A hike through Bivens Arm Nature Park

I drive by Bivens Arm Nature Park in Gainesville several times a week, but I had never stopped to check it out until last week.

What I found was interesting – a small park with an interesting, though short, hiking trail.  It’s not the type of place to spend a day, or even an afternoon.  But it’s the type of place where you can get outside, clear your head and still be home in time for dinner.

Bivens Arm Nature Park trail

The park is about 60 acres, and the trail just over a mile.  You pass through some interesting ecosystems in that mile, though.  Past imposing oaks and creeks that, despite the lack of rainfall lately, are still flowing with some gusto.

It’s a very lush trail and it’s just long enough for you to forget that you’re less than five minutes driving from downtown. Park bench

The trail is flat and easy – a great one for kids.  There’s a very nice pavilion (extremely large for such a small park, but a worthwhile addition, I suppose), and Friends of Nature Parks has provided benches along the trail, which, had I brought a book, would have made an excellent place to enjoy the afternoon.  There’s also a playground for the kiddos, and several geocaches along the trail.

A sign at the trail head warns of alligators, but I didn’t see any on my hike.  Too bad, but there were some great bird-watching opportunities – several wading birds were sunning in the marshy area near the pavilion, and I spotted several ospreys monitoring the park from the treetops.

If you’re in the area, it’s worth a Saturday afternoon romp.  But if you’re looking for more than a half hour trip, I’d head to nearby Paynes Prairie.

This is a short post, but it was a short hike.  A few other photos, in lieu of words:

Alligators on the trail sign

Fuzzy black caterpillar

Huge old tree

Wild berries pink purple

Bivens Creek



  1. A book would have made it perfect..that and it wasn’t snowing as it was here in NY…Michelle

  2. Blogging definitely gets you to stop at places you would not normally go to. It is nice to have a small hike nearby where you can see some birds and possibly an alligator.

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