Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail
Location: 1417-1467 FL-26, Gainesville, FL 32641, USA
This 59-mile out-and-back starts and ends at Depot Park in Gainesville, which has parking, restrooms and a convenience store. Most of the route is on the grade-separated Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail, but it also contains a side trip to Micanopy and Cross Creek. The Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail is recognized by BikeFlorida.net as one of the top ten bicycle trails in Florida. A brief video about the trail can be viewed here.
The route passes through many scenic, natural areas like Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park and the Lochloosa Wildlife Conservation Area. The State Trail comes to an end in Hawthorne, where riders will find a trailhead with parking and restrooms, as well as some restaurants for those willing to venture away from the trailhead. For those who have the time and are willing to ride on roads, the route leaves the State Trail for side trips to Cross City and Micanopy. Users can ignore the side trips and stay on the State Trail instead.
The side loop travels to Cross Creek, which is home to the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park. It is also home to The Yearling Restaurant, which is a Golden-Spoon award winner. From Cross Creek, the route does a U-turn and crosses Orange Lake to get to Micanopy. In 2015, Micanopy was named as one of the 12 cutest towns in America by the Huffington Post. Riders can stop in Micanopy for a meal at the unique Old Florida Cafe or Blue Highway Pizzeria, both along the route. The route travels north to reconnect with the Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail, taking riders back to the trailhead in Gainesville. For more information about the area, check out VisitGainesville.com.
The Original Florida Tourism Task Force (dba Visit Natural North Florida) and the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council do not warrant the safety of the routes on this map for use by bicyclists. Bicyclists should use these routes only if they have the adequate skill level as bicyclists, and bicyclists must make that determination. All the roads shown are used by automobiles and trucks, and bicyclists assume the risks for their own safety when using the roads and/or routes indicated on this map. The Original Florida Tourism Task Force, the local governments in which these bicycle routes are located and the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council are not responsible for any damages whatsoever from its use.