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See the Amazing Wildlife at the Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail

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There’s so much to see in Gainesville! With a paradise-like landscape under the Florida sun, it beckons you to come explore. During your stay at Sweetwater Branch Inn, go on an adventure at a place like the Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail. Here, you can experience some of the natural beauty Florida has to offer such as scenic overlooks, prairie, and wildlife.

Planning a trip to Gainesville? Use our complimentary Vacation Guide! We know that planning a vacation can be challenging, especially if you have never been to the area. Use our free guide as a resource to find some of the best things to do in the area like:

  • Outdoor activities for all skill levels
  • Cultural events and entertainment
  • The best restaurants in the area
  • Festivals and attractions you won’t want to miss

About the Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail

The Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail is more than 16 miles of paved path. It begins in Gainesville’s Boulware Springs Park and stretches all the way to the small town of Hawthorne. Take a leisurely stroll on the paved paths or ride a bike. There are even several hiking trails that jut off from the main path if you’re looking for a challenge!

What You’ll See at the Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail

Whether you walk, bike, or hike on the Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail, you will have a unique experience. You will travel through the Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park and other conservation lands. Experience lush forests that provide shade from the Florida sun. Some trails will lead you to overlooks where you can gaze out over a landscape comprised of prairie, marshes, and water. Take a moment to pause at these overlooks, especially the ones at the prairie. You’ll most likely see wild horses, bison, and even alligators! Because this is a preserved state park run by forest rangers, these animals are strictly protected.

Tips for Visiting the Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail

This trail is open to the public year-round and is meticulously maintained. The park rangers ask that you respect the trail and take everything out with you that you brought in, including trash. Dogs are not permitted on the trail, even on a leash, due to the fact that the wildlife is so plentiful and close. When visiting the trail, we recommend proper footwear, especially if you are planning on hiking. Although parts of the trail are shaded, sunscreen is also a good idea! And of course, bring waters and snacks for your travels. If you want to stop part way through for lunch, have The Sweet Tea pack you an order to-go!

After Trekking the Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail

After your travels on the Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail, come back and relax at Sweetwater Branch Inn. Rest in our Florida-style gardens or beside our saltwater pool. We have everything you need for a rejuvenating stay! Choose from our rooms, suites, and private cottages for the perfect accommodations. Our inn is the perfect combination of Southern comfort, hospitality, and charm. You’ll love its uniquely decorated rooms and common areas; we know it will feel like your home away from home while you’re here. Start planning your stay today!