cross creek is home to marjorie kinnan rawlings historic state park. marjorie kinnan rawlings bought a 72 acre orange grove at cross creek in 1928. in 1939 rawlings won the pulitzer prize for her novel "the yearling". in 1946 the yearling was made into a movie and rawlings became nationally famous. today you can tour rawlings' home and farm. the rawling farm is listed as a national historic landmark. the cross creek area is also known for it's excellent fresh water fishing. for those interested in nature and southern culture cross creek is a nice side trip when in the gainesville area. see the attached web site for admission and directions.
payne's prairie state preserve is located 10 miles south of gainesville on US441. the state preserve offers hiking, canoeing, camping, and a boat ramp on lake wauberg. the prairie is a large marsh where you can see alligators, bison, wild horses and numerious bird species. the state preserve is an excellent place for viewing florida wildlife.
located 4 miles west of newberry on SR26 is dudley farm historic state park. the park has numerous period buildings which demonstrate the evolution of florida farming from the 1850's to the 1940's. dudley farm is an authentic working farm and you can see planting and harvesting crops depending on the time of the year. also on the walking trail through the farm you may see florida wildlife. a very interesting and educational place to visit. a great place to take children.
ichetucknee springs located 30 miles northwest of gainesville near fort white florida and was the biggest university of florida weekend party spot for years. each warm weekend thousands of florida students would drink beer and tube down the ichetucknee river. over the years this wild and scenic river was trashed by the partying students. a number of years ago the property of the springs and 10 mile section of the river was bought by the state of florida and made into a state park. the party is now long gone and the ichetucknee tube run is now a more family oriented form of recreation. for information visit my alachua pages and visit the ichetucknee springs state park web site.
You can go tubing down the Itchnetucknee river.. This is a very popular activity for Gainesville residents and almost any Floridian.. It is a clear clear river.. Very safe.. You can rent a tube almost anywhere from High Springs to the state park.. There are clear spring fed coves and it is just a ton of fun especially in the Hot Florida Summer... We encounterd a lightning storm half way down the river aproximately 3 miles long.. They recommend staying low..We did.. nothing happen..I think younger kids..as did our son George prefered Ginnie Springs.. a similar river Very Clear.. Many more coves for swimming.. Scuba underwater caves etc.. Just simply unbeleivably clear water...
Located northeast of UF and downtown, in the middle of a suburban residential area, Devil's Millhopper is a very unusual and scenic state park. Here, you can wind your way down a boardwalk into the base of a giant sink hole full of lush vegetation. You can even see a few waterfalls along the way.