Alachua County Parks and Recreation

This diverse county places the splendors of nature on proud display. Whether it be in a botanical garden, playground swinging and team sports participation, viewing wildlife in a preserve, or walking Alachua’s trails, come view the wide array of plant and animal life in person.

Sports and Other Activities
Grove park is home to a great playground with a soft artificial surface for softer landings. Programs for flag football, popwarner football, cheerleading, youth basketball, youth baseball, girls fastpitch softball, and tennis are all great ways to incorporate your children into a love of parks. There is also an adult softball program for adults.
Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
The gardens are located in Gainesville and boast 24 major collections that can be viewed via a one and a half mile paved walkway. The collections include Florida’s largest public display of bamboos and the largest herb garden in the Southeastern United States. The site’s beautiful flora makes it an ideal location to host wedding ceremonies and receptions. Collections of giant Victoria water lilies and Asian snake arums have also found their home in this idyllic garden setting. Come visit in the twilight hours to experience the Moonlight Walk. During this time, the paths and meadows are illuminated by special laser lights and more than 1,500 luminaries. Bring your leashed dog to share the experience. The Gardens are also wheelchair accessible.
Longleaf Flatwoods Reserve
This expansive, 2,856 acres is a diverse example of Florida’s natural splendor located in the Lochloosa Wildlife Conservation Area. This area is mainly comprised of wet and mesic flatwoods and sandhill. Visitors are encouraged to participate in hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, camping, and wildlife nature viewing. The site is home to gopher tortoises, white-tailed deer, turkey, bobcat, and a wide number of birds. Reserve attendees are encouraged to exercise all due caution during their stay to protect themselves from danger against all wildlife in the area. Feeding and approaching the natural wildlife is strictly prohibited.
Sweetwater Preserve
This 125-acre preserve is situated adjacent to Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park. Sweetwater Preserve provides 3 miles of unpaved, natural trails, which are served by two separate trailheads whose intersections have been given helpful numbers for navigation. A 1.75 mile west trail traverses both hardwood and floodplain lands offering two distinct environments. East Trail is 1.3 miles and offers its own unique set of environments as well. No hunting is allowed in the preserve, so enjoy the wildlife in Sweetwater from behind glass of a pair of binoculars.
The leafy wonder of Alachua County is always available to for the enjoyment of its visitors. Come give this great resource a try to make your day a celebration of the nature of Florida.

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