You won’t regret hiking Longleaf Flatwoods Reserve. With 3000 acres of pine forest to explore near Gainesville, Florida. The views are amazing whether in fog or broad daylight. And I added the parking location to Google Maps to get you there!
With no lake, river, or other destination, hiking Longleaf Flatwoods Reserve might be far down on your list. But there is more than immediately meets the eye. On my first stop, I only spent about half an hour, seeing little at first besides open fields speckled with the reserve’s namesake, the longleaf pines. But I dug in more during my second trip, a nice foggy morning in winter, and enjoyed each of my six miles through thick forest.
What are the Trails Like?
The trails themselves are well maintained, with many choices to create your own journey of loops through red, white, and yellow trails. If you follow my route below, by either using the AllTrails App or the PDF, you will note a long, straight jaunt where I turn back. This is the blue trail. I don’t recommend it as it seems to lead along a fence and straight back to the highway but away from the parking area.
On a weekend, I usually see one a couple of vehicles parked here. Yet the trails and the area are expansive. For that reason, you will have plenty of solitude by yourself or with a hiking partner. This is purely a hiking and camping area. So you will find no amenities such as grills, picnic benches, or other facilities. But the hiking is a no miss – enjoy the scenery and quiet!