Location: Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail State Park starts on S.E. 15th Street and extends to Hawthorne near U.S. 301 (Florida).
Trail Length/Surface: 16 miles, paved
Directions and Access:
Gainesville Terminus: To reach the Boulware Springs trailhead from Gainesville, intersection of University Avenue and Main Street: Travel east on University Avenue and take the right fork onto SR 20. Almost immediately, go south onto SE 15th Street. Travel until you find Boulware Springs City Park on the right. If the road makes a 90 degree left turn, you’ve passed the park and need to turn around.
Hawthorne Terminus: To reach the Hawthorne trailhead from Hawthorne: Follow the signs posted on US 301 or CR 2082.
Trail heads: Boulware Springs Park (3500 SE 15th Street) in Gainesville; near C.R. 2082 west of Hawthorne at 7209 SE 200th Drive; and at 300 SW 2nd Avenue, in Hawthorne.
Activities: Walking, jogging, picnic areas, biking, equestrian, rollerblading.
Facilities: Bathrooms at the Gainesville trail head. Primitive restrooms are located at mile markers 1.0 and 6.6.
Hours: The starting point for the trail, the Boulware Springs trailhead, is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. November through April and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. May through October. The Paynes Prairie portion of the trail is open from 8 a.m. until sunset, 365 days a year.
Contact: Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail, Region 2 Administration, 4801 S.E. 17th Street
Gainesville, Florida 32641 Phone: 352-466-3397
Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail State Park stretches 16 miles from the City of Gainesville's Boulware Springs Park through the Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park and the Lochloosa Wildlife Management Area. Boulware Springs, an important archeological and historical site, has been inhabited for thousands of years. In 1854 at a community meeting at the Springs, the name of the city was chosen. From 1894 to 1923 the springs were the main water supply for the city and also served as a key selling point in attracting the University of Florida to Gainesville.
The first few miles heading east from the Gainesville terminus at Boulware Springs Park pass through historical and natural areas which provide excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. The next section passes over streams and through wetlands that are within the Orange Creek Basin watershed. The last 5 miles to Hawthorne wind through pine forests and wetlands.
There are also other off-road bicycle trails in the 21,000 acre Paynes Prairie Preserve.