Micanopy Cycling

Evinston Route

The Wood & Swink

On the Backroads to Evinston

This 4-mile route runs down old county roads past open pastures and the occasional ramshackle home. The vistas are frequently dotted with cattle (some of which have some pretty impressive horns) and the lucky biker might hear the distinctive call of sandhill cranes landing nearby. There are a number of small but storied churches sprinkled on the side streets around Evinston. The route I lay out here travels mostly on dirt roads but they are frequently shaded by large oak trees loaded up with Spanish moss, which provides some protection from the sun. An alternative route, running along 441 and west on SE County Rd. 10 is paved, but not as covered, and not as scenic.

Route Highlights

This small little community grew up more than a hundred years ago when a landowner from South Carolina gave the Florida Southern Railroad the right of way. While the train station no longer stands, the local Community Store and Post Office, the Wood & Swink, still does. The town is situated on the edge of Orange Lake, right across from its more famous neighbor, Cross Creek.

The Wood & Swink

Stepping into the store is like stepping back in time. The wooden building is filled with 50s memorabilia, fresh picked vegetables (many grown out the back door), postcards and local art and, of course, antique postboxes. Established in 1884, the Wood & Swink is one of the oldest post offices in Florida. The Wood family has had an ownership stake in the country store since 1909 and a family member is still the resident postmaster.

Micanopy Native American Heritage Preserve

Walking paths through the woods will take you to a fenced off area marking what archaeologists believe to be an ancient Native American burial mound. Native American tribes have inhabited the Micanopy area for hundreds of years. The town of Micanopy has set aside this land to be preserved from future development.

Tuscawilla Preserve

Just across the street from the Micanopy Native American Heritage Preserve is the Tuscawilla Preserve. Walking paths wind through the brush and under the old live oaks to the yellow edge of the tall Tuscawilla Prairie grasses.

Route Directions
1. Take Tuscawilla 0.7 miles to 441.

The road is paved here and mostly downhill. Traffic is generally light and cars give you plenty of room. About 2/3 the way to 441 you’ll come upon the Micanopy Native American Heritage Site on the left and the Tuscawilla Preserve on the right. Both are nice quiet places.

2. Take the 1st right onto US-441 and go South for 0.3 miles.

Cars whiz by on 441 but, happily, you won’t be here for long.

3. Turn left at SE 169 Ave and head straight for 1.7 miles.

Turn left onto a dirt road heading up a slight hill. There should be tumbledown wooden building on the corner. The road flattens out pretty quickly but the annoying thing is that the dirt road has patches of loose, soft dirt. Follow the road to the right when it forks near the big house. The rest of the way is nicely shaded, again with some gentle hills.

4. Slant left at SE 179 Place and continue for half a mile.

Head left when the road forks this time. The road will turn back to the right pretty quickly on SE 82 Terrace.

5. Continue onto SE 82 Terrace and go 0.1 miles.

You can either take the first left or head down to the next road to get to the Wood and Swink from here. If you turn left you’ll ride up a little hill past the Evinston United Methodist Church. If you go straight to the next road, you’ll find the Mt. Olive Baptist Church at the corner with its little graveyard tucked in behind it. Also, I have seen a bull with some pretty awesome horns at the farm on the right.

6. Turn left at SE 182 Ave or NW 230 St. Continue for 0.3 miles.

SE 182nd is a dirt road and NW 230th is paved. If you take SE 182nd, turn right on Co Rd 225 to get to the Wood and Swink. If you take NW 230th, turn left.

One Way: 3.6 miles
Round Trip: 7.2 miles
Travel Time: 20-25 minutes one way

Tuscawilla Route
Southeast Micanopy Route
Lochloosa Route
Shiloh Route
Wacahoota Route
Paynes Prairie Route
Eco-Passage Route
Rochelle Route

View Evinston Route in a larger map