Nature and the great outdoors



  • Hunting, Fishing and Boating License Auto Tag Agency 374-3623 5801 NW 34th Street
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  • Parks and recreation Bivens Arm Nature Park 3650 S. Main Street Gainesville 352-334-2056 -- A 1,200-foot boarwalk leads visitors through this peaceful oak hammock and marsh preserve. Wildflower, wildlife and quotes by poets, authors and naturalists add to the beauty and interest of the park. Picnic tables and pavilion available. Open 9a.m. - 5 p.m. daily. Free. Devil’s Millhopper 4732 NW 53rd Avenue Gainesville 352-955-2008 -- Visitors walk down 232 wooden steps to the floor of this large, bowl-shappedsinkhole known as the Devil’s Millhopper. Filled with lush flora and plant species, the sinkhole echoes the persistent trickle of dozens of tiny waterfalls. A visitor center exhibits fossilized teeth, bone and marine shells from eras ling ago. A nature trail winds its way around the sinkhole. Open 9 a.m. - sunset daily. Admission $2/car or $1 pedestrian or bicyclist. Gold Head Branch State Park State Road 21 (6 miles northeast of Keystone Heights) 352-473-4701 This 1,500-acre state park is a popular spot for many water sports, including swimming, canoeing, and fishing. The park also features camping, picnic tables and pavilion, bath houses, nature trails and a softball field. A small store is open for visitors’ convenience during the summer months. Canoe and bike rentals also are available. Open 8 a.m. - sunset daily. Admission $3.25/car. Lake Alice Off Museum Road, Univerity of Florida Gaineville One look at Lake Alice on the Florida campus will tell you why the University of Florida athletic teams go by the name of the Gators. Numerous alligators reside in this large lake and wildlife sanctuary. Lovely botanical gardens grace its east side. Open all day, every day. Free. Lake Wauburg U.S. 441 (8miles south of Gainesville) 352-466-4112, or 466-9287 Open only to UF students, faculty, staff and their guests, Lake Wauburg is a beautiful lake with a wide range of water activities including swimming, skiing, sailing canoeing and fishing. Also available for visitors is a beachfront pier area and picnic grounds. Open Tuesday through Friday from noon to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Closed Monday. Free. |Outdoor menu||Site navigator| Kanapaha Botanical Gardens 4625 SW 63rd Blvd. Gainesville 352-372-4981 The 62 acres of the Kanapaha Botanica Gardens can best be discovered from its mile-long walking trail that guides visitors through a variety of plant life including herb gardens, lily ponds, desert catus and bamboo forests. Plenty of gazebos and benches grace the park for for visitors to stop and enjoy the flowers. A gift shop is located at the entrance. Open Monday, Tuesday and Friday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. - dusk. Admission $2 adults, $1 children 6-13, children under 6 are free. Morningside Nature Center 3540 E University Avenue Gainesville 352-334-2170 Run by the City of Gainesville’s Department of Cultural Affairs, the Morningside Nature Center features an 1840’s cabin and barnyard animals in its Libing History Farm. Seven miles of trails and boardwalks wind through the 278 acres of forest that serve as the home for dozens of species of birds, reptiles and mamals. Open 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily. Free. Children and adults my take part in farm chores daily at 4 p.m. Charge is 50 cents. Paynes Prairie State Preserve U.S. 441 (10 miles south of Gainesville) 352-466-3397 Bison, wild horses, alligators and nealy 300 other kinds of animals and birds inhabit this vast 19,000-acre preserve. Bicycling and hiking are popular along Paynes Prairie’s many roadways and trails. Boating is available at Lake Wauburg and camping and picnic facilities are nearby. A panoramic view of the prairie can be seen from the observation tower at the Visitor Center and musuem. The preserve is open 8 a.m. to sunset daily. The Visitor’s Center is open 8 a.m. to sunset daily. Admision $3.25/car (Limit 8 people in car.) Rails to Trails Boulware Springs Park, off SE 15th Street Gainesville 352-334-2197 Seventeen miles of abandoned railways that stretch from Gainesville to Hwthorne have been converted to public trails ideal for walking, jogging, bicycling and horseback riding. The trail begins at Boulware Springs Park wildlife sanctuary and passes through Paynes Prairie. Open 8 a.m. to sunset daily. Free. Santa Fe Community College Teaching Zoo 3000 NW 83rd Street Gainesville 352-395-5604 Santa Fe Community College students serve as tour guides through the forested trailsof the only community college teaching zoo in the nation. Monkey’s, wildcats and deer are among the 225 different mammals, birds and reptiles found at the 14-acre zoo. Open Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. or by appointment during the week. Call at least three days in advance for tour appointments. Free. UF Astronomy Teaching Observatory On the University of Florida campus, south of the Reitz Union parking lot. 352-392-5294 or 392-1016 Stargazers can enjoy a close-up view at the moon, Saturn and Juptier at the UF Teaching Observatory on Friday evenings. One large telescope and several smaller telescopes are available. Astronomy computer software and slideshows also may be viewed. Open each Friday Evening from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. when the university is in session. Free.
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  • Sports facilities and organizations Gainesville Sports Organization 338-9300 This city office engages in seeking official and amatuer sporting groups to schedule their events in the Gainesville area. Ben Hill Griffin Jr. Stadium at Florida Field (82,500 seats) Tickets for events at all University of Florida facilities may be obtained at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gate 1 or by calling 375-4683 ext. 6800 McKethan Stadium at Perry Field Stephen C. O’Connell Center Tickets for O’Connell Center activities may be purchases at the University Box Office, located in the J.Wayne Reitz Union on campus or by calling 392-1653. UF Track team meets at Percy Beard Field
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  • Public Golf Courses- In the mood to play nine...maybe 18? Here are some golf courses you can make your way over to when you feel like a day on the links. Haile Plantation Golf & Country Club 335-0055 9905 SW 44 Ave. Ironwood Golf Course 334-3120 2100 NE 39 Ave. Villages of Westend Golf Club 528-2520 Newberry Rd. S.R. 26 Meadowbrook Golf Club 332-0577 NW 39 Ave
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