Showing posts with label turkey creek. Show all posts
Showing posts with label turkey creek. Show all posts

September 21, 2021

Hiking at Turkey Creek (Gainesville/Alachua)

Nestled between the Gainesville-Alachua area, the Turkey Creek trail system is a little gem of North Florida. Horse riders, bikers, hikers, and dog walkers are all welcome on these trails. The main trail we traveled through the woods on was 2.5 miles long and had an elevation change of over 85 feet. Rated as “easy” due to the broad, even surfaces on the main trails; the elevation change did make this trail a little more challenging than easy.

Peeking from under a mushroom.

The day we went hiking it had been raining off and on over the last month and the trails were still a little damp. One section of the main trail Turkey Creek actually passes over the roadway so we had to hop over the water. The trail has adequate shade for the majority of the hike.

This is really one of the best trail systems in the Gainesville area. Pick a day to visit when it hasn’t rained too much in the previous week and make sure to wear bug spray - there are definitely a lot of swarming mosquitoes and horseflies as you get into boggier (lower elevation) areas.

This is the bug spray I use:

Buy OFF! Deep Woods Bug Spray (2-pack)


Along the trail there are several sinkholes and deep washes where water has cut through the terrain. Since Gainesville has had quite a bit of rain over the summer there were also many different kinds of mushrooms growing everywhere in the damp ground.

White, wavy mushrooms cover this fallen log.
Another huge mushroom.
We even saw a family of four deer while we were there: a small buck, a doe, and two fawns hiding just off the road. The buck and doe stood just breathing and looking at us about 10 feet from our vehicle - they were small deer, but truly beautiful to see wildlife so close. Other reviewers have noted seeing turkeys, deer, snakes, alligators, and even bobcat while hiking Turkey Creek.

Two deer by the side of the road: a small buck and a doe.

In addition to the main broad, easy trail; there are many side trails and cut-throughs that are not as well-maintained, but still passable if you are on horseback or mountain bike. There’s even a fitness course that cuts through the middle of the park with fitness equipment installed along the route. We will definitely be coming back with our mountain bikes so that we can take some of the side trails more easily and cover more ground to get to some of the back trails.

You might want to bring a hiking stick with you when on foot at Turkey Creek. A hiking stick would come in handy in some of the higher grass areas or if you ran into some of those poisonous snakes that are advertised everywhere. I almost always carry a hiking stick for snakes or wild animal protection as dangerous situations can arise quickly when you’re out in the wild.

This is the hiking stick I recommend:

Buy Hickory Wood Hiking Stick

I also bring a fanny pack with my phone, keys, and water. A fanny pack doesn’t hold heat against your body like a backpack does, it provides plenty of caring space, and you’re still hands-free.

This is the exact fanny pack I carry (blue/yellow camo):

Buy Blue/Yellow Camo Fanny Pack

Here's a red/grey camo version:

Buy Red/Grey Camo Fanny Pack


If you haven’t hiked this really neat trail in the Gainesville area yet, then I highly encourage you to make a trip. It’s so quiet and rural while you’re on the trails that you don’t hear any traffic. It’s a peaceful slice of Florida that you have to visit!

A large tree had fallen across the main trail.

A green Florida anole.
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