Explore the most popular trail running trails near Micanopy with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Gets busy, floods. Worth going back to for quick day hikes

Easy hike with a lot of birds and other wildlife. North side is out in the open for about 3 miles so be prepared. I did run off one alligator from the trail.

2 months ago

Beautiful but too manicured for my taste...

Love running this trail. Always lots of wildlife! Can get flooded after heavy rain though.

trail running
3 months ago

This is one of my favorite trails around Gainesville. There's always a lot of birds and alligators and often wild horses to look at. The major draw is the boardwalk which has a bunch of informational kiosks about the park (it's an engineered water filtration system for the Florida aquifer). It's open sun up to sun down and the views are unbeatable. The only issue is that there's no shade on the trails so be sure to bring sunscreen and water.

I ran all the loops and walked the boardwalk for a cooldown for this. You can hike the whole thing in a few hours but the main draw is the boardwalk which you can do in under an hour with stopping to take photos and read the kiosks.


Alligator ate my hot Cheetos.

4 months ago

The trail is very busy on weekends. One walks about 1.9 miles to and from the berm, which was flooded today.

The part of the trail that goes out into the prairie (most of the trail) is under water. Makes this a nice short walk, less than 1 mi.

5 months ago

The trail passes through pretty changes at the edge of the hammock and is a great place to see a big variety of typical North Florida — turtles, deer, palms, pines, squirrels, sand, ants, mosquitoes, mosses, oaks, flowering plants, and vines. Then comes the tower and the view onto Paynes Prairie, which is a totally separate experience, including glimpses of horses. If you have the stamina (not hard at all for adults, but I do remember the heaviness of my two-year-old!), and if the passage is dry enough to let you through, add the walk along the berm onto the prairie to see a unique vista. Bring snacks, water, and bug spray.

It's a short but sweet hike. I recommend the left fork on the way in to stay on the Prairie rim.

It's pretty secluded. I was the only one out there on the trail. It was kind of like an old road. It's a loop around a marsh with thick woods to the south and more open on the north side. I didn't have too many run-ins with snakes but then again caretakers were out there mowing the grass. It was beautiful tons of butterflies and birds.

8 months ago

I really wanted to get to the bluff tower before Irma possibly causes flooding. Boy was it still wet. Not sure i really like to wade through water. Saw deer, turtle, horses, alligator, herons, mocking birds and more. Slogging through calf deep water though.. thank goodness for trekking poles. It seemed like the water was deeper on the way back. I don't know hydrology or if that was my imagination. The tower was worth the water wading.

8 months ago

Darn. Rain cut it short. Did see deer and pigs. Love it

8 months ago

Yes you will see the ponies pretty neat. Yes you'll see a lot of birds. And if you go down the trail part Marked basin you will see Deepwater. I didn't bring my trecking poles. Almost made it to the end, but chickened out. I'll be back

9 months ago

Bolen Bluff is amazing! I saw 5 wild horses, bison, deer, wild pigs, rabbits , a hawk, some egrets and a snake. A wild colt walked right up to me! (Please do not feed the wildlife!) Nice one mile loop and an out and back to the observation platform for 2.5 miles. Didn't get to climb the observation platform due to a large wasps nest on bottom step. Oh well, the Bison, horses and deer made up for it. Definitely will return!

10 months ago

This so far has been our favorite trail this year. Lots of wildlife here! We saw rabbits,deer,snakes,frogs galore, wild horses and yes there are wild bison out in the prairie! The first leg of this journey starts out in the woods and the mosquitos are very thick so bring some good bug spray and spray well. Once you emerge from the woods it's all open land at the end of the trail is a nice watch tower with a lower level that provides shade. Looking out into the prairie you can see a very long distance. Look for the flocks of white birds and you will find the Bison and horses They clean the bugs off them. A good pair of binoculars is a must as there is plenty to see. We will definitely be visiting this place a few times a year.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

more of an old road rather than a hiking trail. it was pleasant enough. keep a sharp eye out for snakes - saw 3 throughout the loop in March. they looked like brown water snakes rather than cottonmouths but I'm sure those are abundant as well , especially when it's warm.

on Levy Loop Trail

mountain biking
Saturday, March 11, 2017

Not much crowd there as it's a bit secluded. It was worth every minute spent there. Trail changes gradually from thick woods (south loop) to open plains (north loop). I would be cautious of snakes in summer though. We saw plenty even in March, most were shy but one was too comfy to give way, would have stepped on it if I wasn't careful. The north-east part of trail shares territory with human establishment (can see some cows near the fence too). There is a small pond on the north loop but is inaccessible. Nearest we could come to it was maybe around 300 feet. The mid area was dry when we visited, so not many birds to view. There are no restrooms/water-taps anywhere.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Beautiful hike around a marsh, tons of wildlife! The northern half of the trail is completely unshaded, so if you go when the sun is out make sure to bring a hat (or in our case, it was bleak and cold and windy so make sure to bring a good warm windbreaker). You'll find a bench about every half mile or so, which is great for taking a snack break and enjoying the view. Due to the amount of wildlife (snakes and gators and such) there are no dogs allowed. When we went there seemed to be 5 or 6 trails that branch off of the main loop, but they were all chained off so I'm not sure if during the summer they'll be accessible. Overall it's a great 3 or 4 hour hike to get away from civilization for a while.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Saw a bald eagle just chillin. Nice easy hike!

Friday, November 11, 2016

East trail. Saw an eagle, buffalo maybe in the distance, squirrels and lots of birds.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Mostly flat trail through Florida savanna and some wooded areas. It's an easy hike. The only challenges are the merciless sun and heat. There can be a lot of wildlife depending on the time of day and time of year, though some days there were mostly just circling vultures and cicadas.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Have always seen wildlife here, including accidentally wandering into the herd of wild horses. Pretty easy trail though hot and humid anytime outside of the winter.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

This was an easy relaxing hike through the woods on the edge of Paynes Prairie and out into the Prairie. We saw wild buffalo that roam the Prairie from the observation tower. Wasps love the observation tower so be careful when using it. The buffalo were quite a ways off but you could see the top of their backs over the Prairie vegetation. We also saw armadillos, lots of deer and a variety of birds.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The best wildlife hike I have ever had. I saw a hawk, turtles, amazing variety of birds, three herds of wild horses, small alligator and a bobcat. The hike through the woods was very beautiful. Bushes packed with ripe blackberries were in abundance. A gorgeous morning.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Great little trail. Was hoping to see some wildlife but overall it was a nice little hike and a peaceful place.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

A wooded trail brings you into the prairie. Lots of signs of bison, including tons of bison scat and hoofprints. It was very muddy when we went, and the trail through the prairie was really torn up by all the wildlife that travels there. We didn't see any wildlife except for a few hawks and a black snake lounging off the side of the trail. Not a bad outing, but not particularly exciting.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Nice 3 mile walk through the woods and some of the Prairie out to a wooden 1 story lookout. Can be hot and buggy so put on sunscreen/bug spray if you're sensitive to that. Overall nice hike, took us 1 hour and 20 min at a very leisurely pace.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

would love to go on the trail, drove an hour to get there and the gate was locked with no trespassing signs. waste of time

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Perfect trail for wildlife watching. Wild horses, bisons, gators, birds, snakes...

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