San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park is a breathtaking nature preserve with miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. This wilderness area is located in Alachua, Florida only 11 miles from downtown Gainesville. The preserve was named after a mission that was built here during the early 1600s – Mission San Francisco de Potano.
Guests love to visit this serene Florida state park and hike, bike, ride their horses, bird watch, and picnic. A separate hiking area creates a remote wilderness environment for hikers seeking a peaceful walk through the pine, oak, hickory and magnolia trees.
Enjoy a peaceful day wandering throughout the forest of pines and oaks and past sinkholes, ponds, creeks, swamps and a ravine. Pack a picnic lunch to have along the trails or at the picnic area. The park’s picnic areas with pavilions, tables and grills offer guests a comfortable spot to rest between activities.
Here are some of the activities that you can do during your visit to San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park:
Hiking at San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park
San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park features an extensive trail system for guests to enjoy. Three trails within the park are designated for hikers only. These nature trails may be accessed at the San Felasco South Trailhead on County Road 232.
Hikers are also allowed to use the mountain bike trails and the equestrian trails. Please be aware of other traffic when using the multi-use trails.
Here are some of the trails at San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park:
- Moonshine + Creek Sink – A moderate 2.3 loop through the oak and pine forest and along a ravine and several sinkholes and out to the creek.
- Old Spanish Way – A moderate 4.9 mile that winds through the shaded forest and along the swamp.
Biking at San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park
Mountain biking is very popular inside San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park for guests who bring their own bicycles. The park has 20 miles of single-track biking trails ranging from beginner to expert. Maps and trail guides are available.
These excellent cross-country bike trails may be accessed from the trailhead located at 13201 Progress blvd. Riders should be aware that the bike trails cross the equestrian trails at well marked intersections.
Bike riders should yield to horseback riders. Visitors who are planning to ride along the more remote trails are encouraged to bring basic bike tools and gear with them.
Here are a few mountain bike trails inside San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park:
- The Hammock Hub + Tung Nut Loop – These two advanced trails combined add up to a challenging 10 mile ride of log bridges, strenuous hills, steep switchbacks and amazing views from above.
- Sweet Gum Loop – A 1.6 mile moderate trail that may be accessed from the Hammock Hub Trail.
- The Cotton Tail Trail – An easy 1 mile trail for beginner riders.
Horseback Riding at San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park
San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park features a separate trailhead for horseback riders who bring their own horses into the park. These trails offer guests a peaceful area to ride as they extend throughout the woods, across open fields and along the creeks and ponds.
The Equestrian trailhead may be accessed at 13201 Progress Blvd. Please be aware that even though the trails are separate they still meet at intersections. Bike riders are encouraged to give the right of way to horses, but caution should also be observed.
Guests with horse drawn carriages are welcome to use the Turkey Creek and Cellon Creek trails but should call at least a day in advance to make arrangements for access to the carriage gate entrance. A negative Coggins report is required for all horses brought into the park.
The park is currently working on developing an additional 8-mile equestrian trail.
Here are a couple of the equestrian trails at San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park:
- Cellon Creek Trail – A 3.6 mile trail that leads the rider throughout the shaded woods and along the creek.
- Turkey Creek Loop + The Sanchez Trail – A 6 mile loop that follows Turkey Creek through the pines, open fields and ponds.
Birding at San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park
Bird watching is popular within San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park. Guests who quietly wander throughout the park’s woods, trails and along the creek may get a glimpse of bald eagles, owls, Red-headed Woodpeckers, osprey, ibis, Northern Bobwhite, Great Blue Heron and Bachman’s Sparrows. Bring your binoculars for a closer look at these beautiful creatures!
Nature and Wildlife at San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park
While enjoying the trails or simply walking through the park you’ll not only see many species of birds but also White-tailed deer, squirrels, gopher tortoises, armadillos, frogs, foxes, rabbits, snakes, and bobcats.
Pets at San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park
Pets are allowed within designated areas at San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park. Only horses are permitted on the multi-use trails. Dogs should be kept on a hand held leash no longer than 6 feet and cleaned up after.
Camping Near San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park
Spend the day enjoying the extensive trails inside San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park and then drive over to one of these nearby state parks for a peaceful night’s sleep tucked up in a cozy campground:
- Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park, located at 7450 NE 60th St in High Springs, has 16 modern campsites with water and electric connections and 7 primitive tent only campsites. These cozy campsites are near the main Blue Spring Pool and day use areas.
- River Rise Preserve State Park, located at 373 US 27 in High Springs, features a primitive equestrian camping area equipped with a 20-stall barn for guests traveling with their horses. This camping area also has restrooms, showers, and two campfire circles. A negative Coggins report is required for each horse.
O’Leno State Park is right next door to the River Rise Preserve State Park. This state park features both water/electric campsites and primitive hike-in lakeside campsites plus a separate developed camping area for organized groups.
The group camping area consists of 3 leader cabins, 13 sleeper cabins, 2 bathhouses, a dining hall with a full kitchen, a recreation hall, a craft building, and a concession building. These rustic buildings were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the 1930s and do not have any heat or AC.
San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park
13201 San Felasco Parkway
Alachua, FL 32615
Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park: