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One of the greatest aspects of the Gainesville area is how easy it is to gain access to the great outdoors. Here in the Swamp, there's no shortage of nature to explore by way of bike. With such spots as the Hawthorne Trail, Depot Park, San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park, and around the University of Florida campus, one can pedal till they pop. Check out these locales for the best places to bike in Gainesville.


Southeast 15th Street, Gainesville FL, 32641
A trail head accompanied by a 19th century waterworks, 16 miles of rolling hills, and multiple glimpses of Payne’s Prairie, this is the ideal spot for those looking for a long scenic path under the shade of whispering pines. It's also very common to spot deer, wild horses, and buffalo along your ride. Another high point of the Hawthorne is the many opportunities it provides to dismount your bike and go for hikes. The Lachua trail is the crown jewel of these walk-abouts with a boardwalk winding over an aquifer and a grassy levee that leads out to an observation tower where wild horses and buffalo can be seen.
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200 SE Depot Avenue, Gainesville FL, 32601
What used to be an old train depot has now been repurposed as a park for the people of Gainesville. What depot park lacks in size it makes up for in the amenities it offers. The bike trail of Depot Park winds around a chain of lakes with a couple of bridges and fountains along the way. Depot park is the perfect place for a short, slow, and scenic bike ride. Depot park also has Pop-a-Top General Store and The Box Car Wine & Beer Garden, which are great to stop off for a drink or sandwich. After biking and grubbing, there's also the Cade Museum for Creativity & Invention and plenty of lawn space to lounge around on after your biking.
Alachua FL, 32653
The San Felasco Hammock Preserve Park has trails ranging from beginner to advanced. For starters, there are trails like the one-mile Cotton Tail Trail. While The Tung Nut, an 8-mile trail, offers something more for the experienced mountain biker. The Tung Nut trail consists of steep switchbacks, bridges made of logs, hills, and various views of the north rim of Sanchez Prairie. It also should be noted to check the website to see if any trails are closed due to water damage.
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Gainesville FL, 32611
Sometimes, the best things are the ones sitting right under your nose. While UF may not have sweeping views of prairies and others natural wonders, the campus still provides plenty of man-made marvels to soak in as you pedal around campus. You’ll experience sculptures, hills, and various department buildings and libraries.