With the arrival of cooler temperatures, the Alachua County Land Conservation and Management Program has opened a new hiking trail at Phifer Flatwoods Preserve.
The White Pond Loop trail is 1.4 miles long and open to cyclists, equestrians, and hikers only, providing views of the man-made White Pond. The trail can be accessed from the midpoint of the 1.3-mile-long Turpentine Loop trail, bringing the total trail mileage to the Preserve to 4.6 miles. The entrance to this trailhead is located at 10748 S.E. County Road 2082. Parking is limited to along the road shoulder on the north side of County Road 2082. An alternate parking area is located approximately 1 mile to the east on the south side of County Road 2082, along the Gainesville to Hawthorne Trail.
The new White Pond Loop trail is located within a recently acquired 30-acre property, which was formerly a private inholding within the preserve. The white pond parcel was purchased in 2020 with funds from the voter-approved Wild Spaces and Public Places surtax.
The nearly 1,650-acre Phifer Flatwoods Preserve was protected through four separate purchases of environmentally significant lands between 2006 and 2022. The preserve was acquired and is actively managed through the Alachua County Forever Program, the voter-approved initiative to acquire, improve, and manage environmentally sensitive lands to protect water resources, wildlife habitat, and natural areas suitable for resource-based recreation.