Monday, February 9, 2009

Split Rock Walk

A couple weekends ago my friend Lauren and I went on a hike in the woods. We checked out Split Rock Conservation Area, which is just west of town near I-75. It's a bit odd, because even though this is a city park that is open to the public, there are no signs indicating where it is, there's nowhere to really park, and there are no facilities or maps available. I guess they don't really want anyone going there. Too bad!

The park is 241 acres, and a trail loops around it for a couple of miles.

We went off-road to try to find the fabled split rock and the creek that runs through a marshy area.

We were unsuccessful, but we got to see some cool ecosystems.

I liked the bark on this tree.

The ground was very squishy. For some reason I wore my boots instead of old tennis shoes. Bad idea.

At another point we wandered into the woods.

Then we came back to the trail and lay in the sun to call a few people who might be able to tell us how to get to the rock and/or creek.

No one could help us, so we just walked on the trail some more. It was a very fine day, so I did not mind a bit.


Emily said...

I've never heard of this park! And, I like the bard on that tree also.

sarah said...


Amy said...

The no parking, no real entrance thing has really discouraged me from checking out a lot of the parks that are on the City of Gainesville's Nature Operations page. There's one off of Waldo Rd that I keep seeing but can't figure out where to park where my car won't get towed. Where did you park for Split Rock?

sarah said...

Yes! And their Web site is a little, wa wa waaaa. I might call and complain :). As for where we parked at Split Rock, we were on SW 24th Avenue, I think it is, and there sort of this grassy road/track that we drove down (parallel to 24th) and then just kind of pulled off into the part between the grassy track and 24th. It looked like someone had used it as a parking space before. Then we walked a couple dozen yards to the entry gate (which isn't labeled). The car didn't get towed. I would recommend you call the city about the Waldo Road park.

Kim said...

There's a secret bike entrance that I could show you some weekend, if you're interested.

surfer4hire said...

Just came across this dated blog while searching my old Gainesville stomping grounds. I was there from 1997-2001 when Split Rock was really unknown. I was actually pleased to see other comments state that Split Rock is still relatively inaccessible. There are plenty of green spaces in and near Gainesville with signage and parking. Split Rock is a special place that is best left to those willing to explore.