The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department invites residents to experience autumn in the wetlands on a leisurely 6-mile bike ride around Levy Lake in Barr Hammock Preserve. The bike ride is on Saturday, November 18, 2023, from 9 a.m. to noon. The ride begins at the Levy Loop Trail Parking Lot (14920 SE 11th Dr. Micanopy, Florida).
The trail is an elevated 6.5-mile loop, flat but unpaved, encircling an open marsh. The route is mostly unshaded. Participants are encouraged to bring sun protection and drinking water. They should ensure that their tires are suitable for unpaved conditions.
“Florida isn’t known for colorful fall foliage yet wetland plant communities are home to deciduous trees that turn brilliant hues before shedding their leaves every year, as migratory birds such as Sandhill Cranes and Eastern Phoebes return,” said Milo Neelands, the county’s environmental specialist.
The nearly 6,000-acre Barr Hammock 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.