Location: Gainesville, Fl
GPS Coordinates: 29.685441, -82.227276
We are on a quest to find hiking trails in our area that we have never been on. Julie and I have lived in Gainesville for 30+ years and we thought that we had hiked just about all the trails in the surrounding area.But in doing some searches, we are finding many places that we never knew existed and today’s outing was one of them. There’s a large lake east of Gainesville called Newnan’s Lake which is a large body of water, but fairly shallow and there’s not much development around its’ edges. On the north side off the lake is the Newnan’s Lake Conservation Area which is managed by the St. Johns River Management District. There is a series of trails that make their way through this conservation area and travel through swamps, hardwood hammocks and planted pines.
We started out on the yellow trail, but then found ourselves on the blue trail and have no idea how we switched trails. The blue trail is interesting as it follows the edge of cypress swamps with many cypress knees. Although an interesting walk, this trail was not very well marked and we constantly had to search for the next trail blaze or the orange ribbon they had hanging from the tree branches. I’d recommend maybe skipping the blue trail and walk the white and yellow trails that head east from the parking area. Also, it’s probably a good idea to have a trail map and maybe a good gps. In places the trails are well marked and in other areas they are not too good. We made a few wrong turns and had to check our gps for the correct way back to our car.
The gate next to the parking area that leads to the trail
We found this little guy next to the trail, but he wasn’t too interested on peaking his head out.
Many wetland areas with cypress trees and cypress knees
There’s a few camping locations within this park, tents only and you probably have to hike in.
Walking on these trails and you cross many streams and just about all of them have nice wood boardwalks to help you get across.
The dark water streams causes some nice reflections.
It looks like this barbed wire fence has been here for a long time!
This bridge across the stream has seen better days. We had no problem getting by this area, but hopefully it will get fixed sometime.
At many of the sunny areas there were these wild iris flowers.
This is a little hard to see, but there is a wild turkey running away from us down the path.
Another of the streams that make their way through this conservation area.
Here is the GPS track of today’s hike. This is just a small section of the many trails in this area.Newnans Lake Conservation Area at EveryTrail