Thursday, November 22, 2012

San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park

November 20, 2012
I recently purchased a Florida State Park pass, good for a year. So I decided to research and visit some places near me I had never been to or known about. 7,000 acre San Felasco Hammock Preserve located in Gainesville is one of those places. Hiking was the plan and these two hikes were first. Saved the $4 entrance fee with my pass.
 There are many multi-purpose trails (horse, bike, and hiking) in the preserve, but those from this trailhead are for foot traffic only. 
 Moonshine Creek got its name during the prohibition where it was the site of a moonshine still providing illegal alcohol to citizens of Alachua County.
 The Creek Sink Trail goes around swamps and bottomland where the waters of the creek are absorbed into the underlying aquifer.
 Both trails pass through sunny mixed hardwood forests making up the largest protected stand of mesic hammock in Florida. I learned a new term...mesic, meaning "moist soil". I already knew that a hammock is a stand of hardwood trees on slightly elevated land surrounded by wetlands.
 The brochure says that 45 species of birds breed here, but today was more of a butterfly day. This is a Zebra Heliconian.

Across the road are two more trails. I only hiked about half of the Spring Grove Trail.
 The Old Spanish Way is named for a 17th Century Spanish Mission, San Francisco de Potano, the site of which is located in the preserve. The Spring Grove Trail is named after the town of Spring Grove, which in the early 1800's was the county seat of Alachua County. The actual site of Spring Grove is not known, but believed to be located somewhere in this area.
 There are many sinkholes in the area, but you are discouraged from exploring them.
 A few large trees down over the trail.
 Mostly well-maintained trails.
 It was a nice day for a walk in the woods, but not much else happening here. I forgot to check before I came if there are any Geocaches here. If so, I may have to come back and finish the trails.


  1. Leave it to our Liz to find a treasure so close to home. Who knew.
    Thanks for taking me along.

  2. Lovely hike Liz! Your shot of the leaves on the water is outstanding; not to mention the butterflies!

  3. Looks like a great place for a walk. Enjoyed the trip with you.