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  • Phifer Flatwoods

      674-acre Preserve with 4.8 miles of unpaved trails through pine flatwoods and cypress swamp. Trails accessible from the paved Gainesville-Hawthorne Rail-Trail. Parking Lot at Intersection of County Road 2082 and County Road 325 on the GHRT. The purchase of Phifer Flatwoods Preserve was made possible by the dedication and quick action of Alachua Conservation Trust and its many friends and supporters.  In 2005 the land was put up for auction and nearly purchased by a Louisiana developer. Aware of the critical timing in the pending sale, ACT quickly rallied the support of the local community, receiving loans from more than 50 individuals, foundations, and non-profit groups, and gifts from more than 250 households. This valiant group effort raised nearly $3 million for the initial land purchase. Alachua County purchased Phifer Flatwoods from ACT using Alachua County Forever funds and a Florida Communities Trust Grant, protecting the land for future generations.

      Preserve Hours:
      8:00AM - 6:00PM November through April
      8:00AM -8:00 PM May through October.

        Preserve Rules:
      • 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.
      • Leashed dogs are allowed on trails provided owners pick up after them.
      • Collecting plants, artifacts, or fossils is prohibited.
      • No taking, harassing, or killing of wildlife without written permission from Alachua County.

        Advice For The Trails:
      • ​Natural areas and wildlife may be hazardous.
      • Stay alert, stay on the established trails, and stay safe.
      • Established trails are marked with blue blazes and signs; other roads and firebreaks are unmarked.
      • During wet weather, trails may be under water.
      • Be prepared for uneven terrain; some trails are maintained as firebreaks.
      • For your comfort and safety, wear sunscreen and a hat, use insect repellent, and carry water.
      • Phifer Flatwoods Preserve map​

      Marsh Trail Trailhead: access by taking GHRT 0.6 miles east from Main Parking Lot. 0.6 mile loop trail through pine flatwoods with an observation area on the edge of a marsh. The trail contains small steep hills and patches of deep sand and gravel.

      Swamp Trail Trailhead: Access by taking GHRT 0.8 miles east from Main Parking Lot. 1 mile loop trail through pine flatwoods with an observation area on the edge of a swamp. The trail contains small steep hills and patches of deep sand and gravel.

      Turpentine Loop Trailhead: Accessible from CR 2082, head 9/10 mile west on CR 2082. 1.3 mile loop trail through dense pine plantation and pine flatwoods, dotted with small marshes. The trail contains several wet crossings and patches of deep sand and gravel.

      Overlook Trail: 0.5 mile loop trail through pine flatwoods and hardwood hammock with an elevated overlook in a magnificent cypress swamp. The trail contains mud patches during the rainy season.

      White Pond Loop Trail: Accessible from the midway point of the Turpentine Loop trail this 1.4-mile loop hugs the edge of white pond at times, but also goes through pine flatwoods and pine plantation. Parts of the trail may be wet during the rainy season.

      Trails may be wet and seasonally flooded.
      No picnic facilities. No restrooms.

      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 on request.