San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park

With the arrival of fall what better time to get outdoors and explore all that North Central Florida has to offer.  Today we delve into San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park.  This park offers one of the largest mature hardwood forests in Florida. With over 7000 acres there is so much to see and do that you probably cannot accomplish it all in one day.

The park offers a variety of activities for outdoor enthusiasts such as hiking, biking, horseback riding and nature viewing. There are over 30 miles of single track trails for your enjoyment.  The southern 2/3 of the preserve is designated just for hiking so that you can enjoy the serenity of the forest as well as listen to the sounds of nature, while the northern 1/3 is set aside for more vigorous activities such as biking, horseback riding as well as hiking.  The park offers some of the area’s best off-road biking courses and many love to take advantage of this fun activity.

If you are in to wildlife viewing then this preserve has you covered.  Some of the wildlife you are liable to see here are wild pigs, bobcats, white-tailed deer, gray foxes, wild turkey as well as a multitude of songbirds.  Right now is migratory season for many song birds, which means you may encounter even more species of birds as they take respite in the sanctuary of the forest.

The park is open every day of the week from 8:00 am until Sunset.  You are encouraged to take water as there isn’t a natural source for drinkable water, as well as bug spray and sunscreen.  The trailhead for the northern edge of the park for hiking is located four miles northwest of Gainesville on State Road 232 at 11101 Millhopper Road, Gainesville FL 32653.  The northern trails can be found at 13201 Progress Park in Alachua Fl 32615.  The cost is $4 per vehicle or $2 per pedestrian.

Getting Outdoors: Paynes Prairie

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With the weather getting nice outdoors we thought we would give you an idea of something spectacular to get out and see in our area.  Paynes Prairie is a treasure right here in our backyard, which is also Florida’s first state preserve.

Paynes Prairie is teeming with wildlife and visitors will see some type of wildlife while they are there.  There are wild bison and horses throughout the park, as well as hundreds of species of native and migrating birds, alligators (lots of alligators), deer, bobcats, rabbits, and other animals.

The park’s eight trails, including the 16-mile paved Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail, allows one to explore the park’s interior and observe wildlife, while a 50-foot high observation tower provides for panoramic views.

The Seminole Indians once occupied a village along this vast savannah due to the diversity of land.  And, the prairie has some beautiful vistas. You and your family will really enjoy getting out there and exploring.  Due to the abundance of wildlife at the park, pets are not permitted in many locations.

https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/paynes-prairie-preserve-state-park

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Stoneridge Apartments

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If you’re currently a student at the University of Florida or if you’ve already joined the workforce but want to be close to what’s going on in Gainesville, Stoneridge Apartments are located perfectly to suit your needs. This fun and colorful apartment community is located five minutes from the UF campus, which puts residents a quick trip away from classes as well as all the great restaurants and shops nearby.

Stoneridge Apartments are spacious and are available with one to four bedrooms, with up to four bathrooms per apartment unit (which is perfect if you’re not keen to share a bathroom!). Each apartment has wall to wall carpeting, a walk-in closet in every bedroom, and a fully equipped kitchen. Patios and balconies are also available, which is a great addition to any living space, especially if you enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning on a patio or eating your dinner outside in the evening. All apartments include a security system so you can feel safe and know your belongings are safe as well while you’re away.

Outside in the shared community space is a sparkling pool, a pond and picnic area, and tennis, basketball, and volleyball courts. If you like to get your exercise inside in the air conditioning, there’s also a fitness center at your disposal. When you’re looking for something to do with friends, try a game of pool on the billiards tables available for residents to use!

Don’t worry about rehoming your pets because they are welcome at Stoneridge, too! With a pet fee, cats and dogs are both allowed, even with no weight limit for dogs. Transportation is also important to Stoneridge – covered bike racks are available to residents and Stoneridge is convenient to local bus routes. Stop by Stoneridge and see how this apartment community can be the next place you call home!

3800 SW 34th Street, Gainesville, FL 32608   352.448.4958

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Tivoli Apartments

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This week’s spotlight community is Tivoli Apartments.  Tivoli is focused on their renters – and their slogan is aptly ILOVIT – TIVOLI! So there’s no doubt you’ll “love it” and feel at home renting one of the one to four bedroom apartment homes Tivoli has, just south of the University of Florida. The prices are reasonable for a student or young professional’s budget and include a number of amenities and community features that are sure to make living at Tivoli comfortable and convenient.

Apartments at Tivoli are spacious and range in size from the one bedroom unit at 748 square feet, to the four bedroom unit, which is a generous 1672 square feet. Each apartment has walk-in closets and a private bath for each bedroom. Apartments also include a patio or balcony, washer and dryer, and dishwasher. With amazing spaces inside each unit, it only gets better once you see what’s available in the shared community spaces.

Tivoli’s community space includes a beautiful, sparkling pool and patio for fun in the Florida sun. If you’re feeling like staying indoors but still breaking a sweat, check out Tivoli’s 24 hour fitness center where you can work out any time you like. Inside there are also billiards tables, ping pong, and air hockey to keep you and your friends entertained. If you want to do homework or bring your laptop with you outside, there’s free Wifi access for your convenience.

Your rent at Tivoli includes both pest control and trash pickup. Pets are welcome at Tivoli too, with a one time pet fee. To find out what else Tivoli has to offer, schedule a tour and see how this community can be your next home in Gainesville.

2841 SW 13th Street, Gainesville, FL 32608   352.448.4962

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Bat House

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One of our favorite things to do in Gainesville is watching the bats emerge from the bat houses at the University of Florida at sunset.  We take visiting family members to see this spectacle as well.  And what a spectacle it is.  It is amazing to see close to 500,000 bats stream out one after the other in search of their nightly dinner.  They are a great reducing the mosquito population.

The first bat house was built on campus in 1991 with 2 more being built in the years to follow after a collapse of structure in 2009 from over population. The bat houses today hold one of the largest bat colonies in the world.

The best time to arrive is about 15 to 20 minutes prior to sunset.  There is free parking adjacent to the field where the bat houses are located, which is on campus on the north side of Museum Road on Lake Alice.  My advice is not to stand directly in front of the bat houses due to the probability of bat droppings, plus the smell up close is not very pleasant.

This is a FREE activity that your whole family will love.

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Lake Crossing Apartments

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If you are looking for Location and Luxury then you should check out Lake Crossing Apartments. Residents enjoy the comfort of being close enough to downtown Gainesville, the University of Florida and Santa Fe College without being subjected to the noise and traffic there. Lake Crossing apartments are also close to scenic Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park, which is a great spot for hiking, picnicking, or watching wildlife. Another short distance away is the shopping and dining district in western Gainesville, which means a fun evening out is right around the corner!

The apartments here are nestled in lush grounds, surrounded by palm trees and Spanish moss, overlooking the lake. The attractive view is made even better when enjoyed from Lake Crossing’s sun deck or by the pool! Spend some time in the sun relaxing in the outdoor spa or get your heart rate up at the basketball court. If you prefer to do your exercising indoors, there is also a 24 hour cardio and weight center for residents.

Residents have a choice of either one or two bedroom layouts at Lake Crossing, all of which are spacious, light, and airy. You also have the choice to get an apartment with a beautiful lakeside view from your very own balcony. Other details, like the option for a fireplace in your apartment, make your new space feel like more like a home.

Amenities at Lake Crossings include cable, laundry facilities, wifi in the clubhouse and by the pool, 24 hour emergency maintenance, an alarm system for security, and a special area to play with pets. Your rent also includes pest control and trash collection, which means you can mark two things off your to-do list!

Contact Lake Crossings apartments today to see how you can find an amazing new place to call home!

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O’Leno State Park

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Are you looking for another outdoor activity to get out and enjoy our beautiful North Central Florida area?  Head on over to O’Leno State Park.  O’Leno is one of Florida’s first state parks and was developed in the 1930s.

The park is situated along the banks of the Santa Fe River and features sinkholes, hardwood forests, swamps, and sandhills.  The river actually disappears into a sinkhole and travels underground for more than 3 miles before reemerging at River Rise Preserve State Park.

Visitors can experience hiking along the river and through the forest or biking along paved trails.  You can also swim, fish, or paddle a canoe along the river. This is a great place to visit if you are into birding or seeing wildlife. There are picnic tables to enjoy a picnic with friends and family.  There is also a full-facility campground for staying overnight.  You will find plenty to do here so why not check it out?

Canopy Student Apartments

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We are excited to share with you Canopy Apartments, our Fall 2019 cover community.  Canopy is a beautiful community offering the best in luxury student living.  These fully-furnished apartments offer all-inclusive living giving you the ultimate student living experience.

Canopy offers 2, 3, and 4 bedroom options that come fully furnished with stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, full-sized washer & dryers, hardwood style flooring, and a 42″ flat screen tv in the main living area.  Each bedroom has its own private bathroom, so no sharing a bathroom like you might have to do in other student housing.  If you need help finding a roommate they can help you locate a roommate with roommate matching for interested Santa Fe College or University of Florida students.

Another perk of student living is the type of lease offered, which is an individual lease. This means you are only responsible for your portion of the lease even if one of your roommates doesn’t meet their end of the deal or if they have to relocate.

Would you like to know about amenities?  Boy do they have the amenities to impress!   There is a brand-new fitness center with a dedicated cardio room with fitness on demand and a 20’ custom made rock climbing wall! (Yes, you read that right.)  Test your strength with Aktiv Gym and TRX suspension training in the all new weight training gym. The 24-hour clubhouse is perfect for entertaining friends with a full kitchen and virtual golf course, along with billiards, ping-pong and other activities.  There is a gorgeous lagoon-style pool with zero entry access and a section for playing volleyball in the pool.  They also have several poolside hammocks, corn hole games, bar, fire pit, grilling areas, poolside study areas with electrical connections.  There is an indoor basketball court, 2 Volleyball courts, tanning rooms with stand-up beds, study rooms with Wi-Fi, and more.  Did we mention they were Pet Friendly?  They have a Pet park for your furry friend to enjoy.

Canopy also has garages and reserved parking spaces available if you are looking for that.  Just check with them and they will be happy to hook you up.

With so much to enjoy in this resort-style community what are you waiting for?  Hurry on over and take a tour today.  They are located at 4400 SW 20th Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32607.  Or give them a call at 352-367-8383.

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Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail

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Not only are there many indoor activities to keep you busy in Gainesville, but there are also many more activities outdoors to get you going and enjoying our beautiful North Central Florida.  Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail is one such area. This 16-mile long trail is actually built over an old rail trail that was first built in 1881.  You can catch glimpses of railroad history on the trail with concrete and whistle markers.  There is also an old concrete railway trestle still remaining at the LaChua Trail.  This was built to allow farmers to move their cattle in and out of the prairie with ease.

The Trail runs from Gainesville’s Boulware Springs, another historical site, to Hawthorne passing through Paynes Prairie and Lochloosa Wildlife Management area.  This trail is excellent for biking, hiking, running, rollerblading and even horseback riding as parts of the trail have a grassy equestrian trail running along side the Trail.  Most of the trail is shaded as it runs through natural forested areas.

You will enjoy scenic vistas, native plants, and wildlife spottings in addition to getting in your cardio.  The park is open from 8:00 am to sundown every day of the week and it is FREE to use giving you no excuses to get out there and have some fun.

The address is 3400 SE 15th Street, Gainesville, FL 32641

More Summertime Fun (Springs Fun)

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Another fantastic summer time treat is visiting one of our natural springs to enjoy the beautiful landscape and cool down at the same time. Florida is home to more than 700 springs and you can find several right here in our own back yard.  8 billion gallons of water flow from the Florida Aquifer every day into these springs and they emerge at a cool 72 degree temperature.

Here in North Central Florida you are just a short drive away from Gilchrist Blue Springs and Ginnie Springs in High Springs, Ichetucknee Springs in Fort White, Madison Blue Springs in Madison, and Silver Glen Springs in the Ocala National Forest.  There are many more not listed here.  One of our favorite activities is to try and visit them all.  Here is a great article from Authentic Florida with many more details.

http://www.authenticflorida.com/articles/where-to-go/our-15-favorite-freshwater-florida-springs/