Sunday, February 24, 2013
A few easy Sunday morning hikes
Location: Gainesville, Fl
GPS Coordinates: 29.655667, -82.276076
It was Sunday morning and we wanted to find a local hike that was new to us or had been awhile since we had done. We decided to try the Morningside Nature Center which is a city park run by the city of Gainesville. Morningside also has a “living history farm” that depicts farming life from the mid to late 1800’s. We used to go here often when our kids were younger as they enjoyed checking out the animals and the old farm house. Unfortunately, the farm is only open on Saturday during the weekend, so we were not able to walk around the farm. This park does have several miles of hiking trails through pine woods, and cypress swamps with several sections being newly rebuilt boardwalks that traverse through the wetlands.
Here is a birding blind. Unfortunately we didn’t see any birds as we passed by this location. Morningside park is part of the Great Florida Birding Trail.
One of the boardwalks on the hiking trail
This small guys was very busy trying to make a new home in the dead tree. He didn’t seem to mind us walking by.
A pileated woodpecker was flying from tree to tree
One of the grass huts behind the educational building at the park,
This guy was living behind the educational building. I think he was looking for a food handout as we walked by.
Here is the track of the trails we walked at this park
Morningside Nature Center Hike at EveryTrail
Since the hike at Morningside was fairly short, we decided to also drive up the road a few miles to the Gum Root Swamp hiking trail. This is also a park run by the city of Gainesville. We did a short one mile loop, but missed the section that runs another mile or so further north. The trail was not marked very good at the north section, so we didn’t realize that there was more to hike until we got back to our car. Gum root swamp park is part of a larger section of land that has been set aside as the Newnan’s Lake Conversation Area. Newnan’s lake is a body of water east of the area we hiked and it good size lake, but very shallow.
There was a small river running from the swampland that makes up a part of this park.
Near one of the ponds that the trails runs by, Julie found this snake hanging out in the leaves and pine needles. I don’t know my snakes, so don’t know what kind of snakes this is.
A small wooded pond within the park.
Here is the track of this short hike we did,
Gum root swamp hike at EveryTrail