January is "National Staying Healthy Month." The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department (ACEPD) invites residents to get outside and participate in an ecologist-led, family-friendly, healthy hike at the Turkey Creek Preserve. The hike is on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, from 8 a.m. to approximately 11 a.m. Hikers will meet at the Turkey Creek trailhead (6300 NW 93rd Ave., Gainesville). Environmental expert and talented wildlife photographer Michael Drummond will lead the hike, accompanied by several members of the ACEPD staff. In the event of rain, the hike will be rescheduled for Jan. 27. Those wanting to participate in this free hike do not need to register.
The cooler weather makes January a pleasant time of year for hiking in Florida, and participants can expect to see a wide variety of ecosystems and many of the beautiful plants and animals that live in the preserve. January is also a great time to observe the many bird species that spend time in our area during the winter. The hike is on a mostly shaded limerock trail of easy-to-moderate difficulty. Participants should wear comfortable walking shoes and bring sun protection and a water bottle. (We will provide a water cooler). If you want to exercise more after the hike, you can also take advantage of the Preserve's unique ½ mile fitness trail, which includes seven workout stations.
The 376-acre Turkey Creek Preserve is actively managed through the Alachua County Forever Program. Alachua County Forever is 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. The referendum was first passed in November 2000. It was funded again by the voters in 2008, 2016 and 2022 with the Wild Spaces and Public Places referendum.
For more information, contact Wesley Wells at 352-451-7855.