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These Are the Top 3 Things to Do at Newnans Lake State Forest

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Enjoy the outdoors at Newnans Lake State Forest. With a 7-minute drive from Sweetwater Branch Inn, you’ll arrive at the gorgeous, green site that’s perfect for a day of exploration and exercise. Take a look below and see three of our favorite things to do while visiting the area. And, if you’re looking for more things to do in Gainesville, we have a guide that will provide you with everything you’ll want to try! Download the free Vacation Guide to see more of the best ways to spend your time in Gainesville.


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The Best Ways to Explore Newnans Lake State Forest

1- By Kayak

Enjoy kayaking across this serene, 6,000-acre body of water. While this state forest in Alachua County doesn’t have a launch point or boat ramps, you can visit the southern and eastern shores of the lake to put in your kayak for a smooth, tranquil ride. Or, if you’d rather set up a pre-arranged ride, you can also reserve a kayak trip for two with Sweetwater Branch Inn. We’ll provide you with the kayaks, life jackets, and transportation to and from the Santa Fe River to take the stress out of planning the excursion. Reserve this special and start paddling!

View the Kayak Special

2- By Foot

You can also enjoy plenty of hiking trails within this forest. Choose between the 1-mile, 2.5-mile, or 5.5-mile options that weave their way throughout the stunning pines. Along the way, you’ll pass by the Gum Root Swamp, where a bald eagle’s nest rests right nearby.

3- By Bike

For a little extra exercise, you can also bike your way along these peaceful trails. And, if you’re truly a biking fanatic, you’ll also love pedaling to the heart of Downtown Gainesville using our bike special! With just a 5-minute ride, you’ll have access to some of Gainesville’s best bars, restaurants, breweries, wineries, and more! It’s the perfect way to explore as much of the city as possible during your vacation.

Take a Bike Ride

Take in the Greenery at Sweetwater Branch InnNora Belle's - Front

Newnans Lake State Forest is filled with lush, mature forestry. Continue to surround yourself with peaceful scenery when you return the beautiful gardens of Sweetwater Branch Inn. Take advantage of our onsite amenities by lounging in the shade of the gazebo, or in the sun by our saltwater pool. Then return to one of our accommodations, like Nora Belle’s Cottage, whose wraparound porch offers a lovely setting to enjoy the outdoors. Check our availability and visit us here in Gainesville, Florida!


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