This 662-acre preserve on Lake Alto has 5.2 miles of unpaved trails through pine flatwoods and lake shore hardwood forest. With nearly 1 mile of undeveloped shoreline on Lake Alto, this preserve includes distinct natural communities, and an outstanding view of Lake Alto from the dock. Trails can be accesed from both the north and south trailheads. Funding for acquisition of Lake Alto Preserve was provided by the voter-approved Alachua County Forever Bond. The Suwannee River Water Manage District co-owns 120 acres of Lake Alto Preserve with Alachua County.
8:00AM - 6:OOPM November-April
- Enter the preserve through designated trail heads only
- Visitors who remain after hours are trespassing
- Pack out what you pack in.
- Trails are for cyclists, equestrians, and hikers only
- Trails are multi use. Cyclists must yield to hikers and equestrians
- Preserve visitors may not establish new trails
- Help prevent erosion by staying on the trails.
- Collecting or disturbing plants, artifacts, or fossils is prohibited.
- Leashed dogs are allowed on trails provided owners pick up after them.
- No taking, harassing, or killing of wildlife without written permission from Alachua County.
Advice For The Trails:
- Natural areas and wildlife may be hazardous
- Established trails are marked with trail signs; other roads are unmarked.
- Stay alert, stay on the marked trails, and stay safe.
- During wet weather, trails may be flooded.
- Be prepared for uneven terrain; some trails are harrowed (disked) for firebreaks.
- For your comfort and safety, wear sunscreen and a hat, use insect repellent and carry water.
Lake Alto North Trail Descriptions:
All trails are flat, crossing pinelands and swamp habitat. Trails may flood during wet weather. Trails may be rough, uneven and wet, with areas of soft sand or mud.
- Treefrog Trail - 0.8 mile Crosses the Lake View Loop.
- Lake View Loop - 1.7 miles Loop trail between the Lake Alto dock and County Road 1471.
- Black Bear Loop - 0.9 mile Begins and ends on Lake View Loop.
- Lake Alto North Tract(brochure)
Lake Alto South Trail Description
Most of the trails are generally flat, crossing pinelands and hammock habitats. A short but steep hill is located at each end of the canal bank footpath. Trails may flood during wet weather. Trail surfaces may be rough, uneven and wet, with areas of roots, soft sand or mud.
- Canal Loop- 1.6 miles. A portion of the trail follows the historic Waldo Canal. Hikers may walk on a narrow foot-path along the top of the canal bank. A parallel trail at the toe of the bank is available for cyclists and equestrians
- Lake Alto South Tract (brochure)
No watercraft launch, picnic or restroom facilities at the Preserve. Dock accessible to watercraft on Lake Alto and to hikers from the Preserve. Watercraft launch facilities available at Lake Alto Park (17800 NE 134th Place Waldo FL).
Alligators may be present.
No potable water available.
Trail maps are available at the Preserve or you can request a brochure by emailing the link on our contact page. Brochures are available in alternate format by request.