ALACHUA COUNTY, FLORIDA - Alachua County’s Environmental Protection Department, Land Conservation Division announces the opening of a new hiking trail at Mill Creek Preserve. The 1,230-acre Mill Creek Preserve, the first property acquired through the Alachua County Forever Program, was opened to the public in April 2008. The new trail traverses scenic hardwood hammock forest, pineland, and crosses tributaries of Townsend Branch Creek.
Speaking of the new trail, Land Conservation Manager Ramesh Buch said, “Lofty trees and a quiet setting accompany the walker into the heart of the preserve where visitors can see the southernmost population of American beech trees, observe wildlife, and take advantage of splendid hiking weather.”
Features of the trail include a 2.5 to 3 mile loop depending on the path taken, with benches, interpretive signs and a unique pedestrian bridge with designs by local artist and metal sculptor John Patterson. Keeping fiscal integrity and resource efficiency in mind, much of the trail system’s amenities have been creatively constructed from recycled material, local stone, and logs of non-native invasive trees. Additional savings came from utilizing labor from UF interns, volunteers, and court appointed community service workers. In the near future, this trail will also include a botany walk with labeled trees.
To view the Mill Creek Preserve Brochure, click here.
A guided walk along the new trail will be lead by Alachua County staff on Saturday, January 22, 2011 from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Walkers will meet north of the City of Alachua in the Mill Creek Parking lot located on the south side of CR 236 ¼ mile west of the intersection of CR241 and CR236.
To sign up for the guided walk or for more information contact Alachua County Senior Environment Specialist, Kelly McPherson at 352-264-6848 or firstname.lastname@example.org.