At first glance, Gainesville’s new Depot Park seems to be just a great big playground. It is, but for adults as well as kids. The formerly-semi-industrial site of the Gainesville train depot, located on South Main Street, is also the Trail Head for the Gainesville-Hawthorne Bike/Hike trail that follows an old railroad route.
The trail begins at the park, where there are restrooms, water and even a small convenience store/snack bar in the old depot building. Then, it runs through town to Boulware Spring, the spring that was the original source of Gainesville’s water. On the way to Hawthorne, you’ll pass the south entrance to Paynes Prairie State Park (no bikes in the park here, but there are racks and bathroom). At the end of your 26-or-so mile trip you’ll find yourself just west of downtown Hawthorne, close to refreshments and bathrooms.