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Top 5 State Parks to Visit in Gainesville

By: Hotel Eleo at the University of Florida / 18 Apr 2023
Top 5 State Parks to Visit in Gainesville
With its scenic rivers and freshwater springs, Gainesville is an oasis of natural beauty. But nothing shows off its pristine nature like its state parks. Home to unique wildlife and lush ecosystems, Gainesville's parks are a sanctuary for soul searchers, hikers, fisherman, and campers alike. If you want to be nurtured by nature, here are the top five Gainesville State Parks to visit.

Panoramic Views at Paynes Prairie State Reserve

A vast savannah, Paynes Prairie State Reserve is home to unique plants and wildlife. Check out the two observation towers and soak in breathtaking panoramic views. Enjoy a day of fishing, boating, and canoeing on scenic Lake Wauburg.

Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park

Sink into a natural wonder at Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park, home to a 120-foot-deep collapsed sinkhole. Surrounded by rich vegetation and a rain forest climate, you'll experience an ecosystem rare to the rest of the world.

Sweetwater Wetlands Park

Soak in the serenity of nature in an oasis of wetlands and ponds. Sweetwater Wetlands Park offers a protected habitat, banning fishing, cyclists, and anything damaging to the environment. You can walk 3.5 miles of trails and boardwalks while soaking in the beautiful surroundings. (

Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail

Winding through local conservations, Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail is popular with walkers, runners, and cyclists. The 10-foot-wide paved trail provides fitness seekers with the perfect path for fresh air and invigorating views. (232)

Ichetucknee Springs State Park

Eight sparkling springs collide to create the Ichetucknee River, a popular spot with tubers, canoers, and kayakers. Ichetucknee Springs State Park is 2,669 acres of longleaf pines and dense foliage with three nature trails winding through the forest. Dive into the sparkling springs and tube down the roaring river.

Plan Your Florida Adventures with Hotel ELEO

Ready to be nurtured by nature? Stay at Hotel ELEO and be within minutes of stunning Florida state parks, preserves, rivers, and natural springs. Located on the University of Florida campus in Gainesville, Hotel ELEO offers plush rooms and suites with luxury linens, custom furnishings and lake and city views - the perfect basecamp for exploring.
Pick up snacks and drinks at the grab-and-go market before you venture out. After a day of hiking, biking, or kayaking, come back and enjoy dining on fresh Floridian cuisine at Covey Kitchen + Cocktails. Check our Hotel ELEO's latest specials and packages and plan your escape.

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