The 376 acre Turkey Creek Preserve was purchased in 2009 with funding from the Wild Spaces Public Places sales tax and is located between the cities of Gainesville and Alachua. This important acquisition helps buffer the adjacent San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park providing more habitat for wildlife and lessening developmental impacts to these natural areas. The Preserve encompasses many ecosystems including basin swamp, depression marsh, bottomland forest, hydric hammock, upland hardwood forest, black water streams, and sinkholes.
The preserve is home to a population of native poppy mallows—an endangered plant species in Florida. A can’t miss is the large live oak tree along the southern part of the Pineland Loop where visitors can relax on a bench under the shade overlooking a large sinkhole.
The preserve’s namesake, Turkey Creek, meanders through about ¾ of a mile in the north and east portions of the preserve. This creek flows through rural, suburban, and agricultural areas before entering San Felasco Hammock where it enters into a sinkhole draining into the Floridan Aquifer.
This means preserving this land helps protect not just the creek itself, but also the source of our drinking water.
Visitors can enjoy 5 miles of trails at Turkey Creek Preserve for hiking, off-road bicycling, horse-back riding, and wildlife viewing. Please refer to the brochures and kiosk maps before starting your route as some trails do not allow for bikes or horses.
Additionally, visitors can take advantage of the ½ mile Fitness Trail with 7 work-out stations offering a unique opportunity to skip the gym and exercise outdoors!
Parking Area and Trailhead: main parking area and trailhead is located at 6300 NW 93rd Ave
Walk in Entrance: A walk in entrance (no parking) is available at 10182 NW 59th Terr, Alachua
7am to 6pm October - March
7am to 8pm April - September
“Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time.”
- Open 365 days a year. Visitors on the preserve outside these hours are trespassing
- Use the fitness equipment only as intended by the manufacturer. Equipment is for users age 13 and above. Please see the labels on equipment for instructions on proper use
- Pack out what you pack in
- Trails are for pedestrians, bicyclists, and equestrian users only
- Bikers must yield to hikers and horses
- hikers must yield to horses
- Preserve patrons may not establish new trails without permission from the county
- Help prevent erosion by staying on the trails
- Collecting or disturbing plants, animals, artifacts, or fossils is prohibited.
- No taking, harassing, or killing of wildlife without written permission from Alachua County
- Leashed dogs are allowed on trails provided owners pick up after them
Advice for the Trails
- Natural areas & wildlife may be hazardous. Stay alert, stay on the established trails, and stay safe.
- During wet weather trails may be under water.
- Be prepared for rough or soft trails – some roadways are utilized for fire breaks and are periodically harrowed.
- For your comfort and safety, wear sunscreen or a hat, use insect repellent and carry water.
Hammock Loop (2 miles) — this moderate, mostly shaded loop blazed blue travels through various habitats including mixed-upland hardwoods, marshes, swamps, and sinkholes.
Pineland Loop (1.6 miles) — this moderate trail is blazed orange and loops through the upland pine portion of the preserve.
Fitness Trail (0.5 miles) — this short section of trail starts and ends on the Hammock Loop and features 7 exercise stations. Exercise equipment is for users age 13 and above and visitors should refer to the posted rules and instructions along the trail and at each exercise station. Horses are not allowed on this trail.
Turkey Creek Loop (0.5 miles) — this short, loop near the Walk-in Entrance meanders through hydric hammock and along Turkey Creek. Please stay out of the creek to protect the stream and prevent erosion. The trail is blazed yellow and horses and bicycles are not allowed on this trail.
Connector trails between the Hammock Loop and Pineland Loop are blazed white, and service roads are unmarked and are not as well maintained as the marked trails. Stay out of Closed Areas.
No drinking water available at the Preserve.
No Restrooms. No picnic facilities.
Trail maps and brochures are available at the Preserve and can be provided in a different format if requested.