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Heart of Florida Audio CD included

s c e n i c • g u i d e

Your Inside Guide to the urban cultural beat and small town treasures of Old Florida in Alachua, Columbia and Marion Counties

w w w . F lo r i da s E d e n . o r g




Welcome to the very heart of Florida. Here you’ll find a region working proactively to build a

sustainable economy based on the assets which distinguish and showcase this remarkable place. Whether you’re visiting, newly arrived or seeking to move here, we’ve created this special guide just for you. Creating this guide has been a grassroots project, with several hundred of our creative residents contributing the content within these colorful pages. As you discover our local sites, read our stories and begin to grasp the vast array of the region’s offerings, we hope you will come to appreciate and love this place as we all do. Why did a community create its own guide? After decades of staying under the radar, the time has come to share our unspoiled region with the world. This is one of those magical places. We know that. Our challenge is to find a way to grow, prosper and preserve the quality of the region. As you’ll discover throughout this guide, we are national leaders in conservation initiatives. Our emerging knowledge-based community is poised to offer the latest research and technical advances, while green initiatives are blossoming throughout the area. We’re working to become one of the most innovative regions in the country — but we also know that’s not enough. In order to attract and retain the best and the brightest we have to offer something more.

Within these pages we’ve offered you what we would want if we were discovering a new place. You’ll discover us as a leading cultural destination, with an astounding array of both urban and rural sites and venues. We have added to our inventory of conserved lands in each decade, providing unparalleled opportunities for enjoying trails, farmland, and wilderness. Within the narrows of this ancient peninsula lives an extraordinary variety of flora and fauna. This is where the northern hardwood meet and commingle with the southern tropicals, creating unique prairie, hammock, wetland, sandhill and forest ecosystems. Bubbling forth from the Floridan Aquifer is the largest concentration of fresh-water springs in the world. Keeping these vital areas conserved and natural is crucial to the health of North Florida. In these pages you’ll discover the local businesses that define our small towns, downtowns and main streets. Our year-round gardens, farmers markets and ‘farm to table’ eateries contribute to the sensuous, healthy lifestyle we embrace. You’ll find a rich literary, film, visual art and musical heritage. Residents and visitors enjoy cycling, soccer, archery, equestrian activities and kayaking; and don’t miss the fine opportunities for bird-watching. Everyone wants to go home with stories of how they got off the beaten track and discovered something totally amazing! So send us your stories and we’ll post them on our website. You’ll also find our online magazine version of this and our other guides. Happy Discoveries Everyone! Annie W. Pais, Executive Director, Florida’s Eden We encourage you to support our non-profit work to build a sustainable future for North Florida. Your contribution provides direct support for our programs and helps build the collective citizen voice for our region. Learn more about our Water Awareness and Conservation Efforts on pages 72-79, our Place Based Education Partnership on page 115, and our sustainable economic development Scenic Guides and Florida’s Eden Source on the back cover.

o Professional $50 o Patron o $100

o Supporter $20 o $250 o $500

o Traveler $10 o $1000

Send your tax-deductible contribution to: Florida’s Eden, P.O. Box 1149, Gainesville, FL 32602-1149 or join online at

Florida’s Eden

Non-profit 501(c)3 educational organization Photos above and left, by Sean Dowie



CONTENT ORGANIZED BY THEMES: Go to pages 6 - 9 CONTENT ORGANIZED BY COUNTY: Check the Table of Contents, page 10


HELPFUL WEBSITES FOR THE AREA: Listing on page 11 EVENT CALENDARS and GENERAL WEBSITES are listed when available and marked with the magnifying glass icon. KEEPING UP TO DATE To make sure your guide stays as current as possible, we have provided web addresses so that you can look up event and festival dates, check hours of operation, and get information on current offers and specials..




Official addresses and ZIP codes are listed in order to provide compatibility with GPS units and online maps. We caution, however, that not all locations that we tested showed up correctly on web maps. Addresses are determined by postal routes and do not always indicate actual location. We advise calling ahead to get directions. If you are using the print edition of the guide, we encourage you to use the online version as a companion as it offers many helpful interactive features.

INTERACTIVE FEATURES In the online version all links are live. Click on any link and you’ll be taken to the website. Use the SEARCH BOX to find content anywhere in the Guide. Print out just the pages you need; go to the page you want and click the PRINT ICON. Click on any website link for the option to communicate directly with the business or organization. Your contact information will only be used by the business to send updates or special offers for users of the Guide. Contact information is never shared or sold.

SCENIC GUIDES Find our other SCENIC GUIDES online to explore the areas adjacent to The Heart of Florida. Our rivers, forests and even some of our towns know no county boundaries, and neither do our visitors. We’re connecting the area through our regional guides.

BLOGS Read our online BLOGS about travel, food, the environment and more. THE SOURCE Search the FLORIDA’S EDEN SOURCE to find out even more about the local creative scene. org

F l o r i d a s E d e n.


Heart of Florida The earth may be borrowed but not bought. It may be used but not owned. We are the tenants and not possessors, lovers and not masters. The Earth belongs to the wind and the rain, to the sun and all seasons, to the cosmic secrecy of seed, and beyond all, to time.

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, visit her homestead, page 77

The water at the Ichetucknee Head Springs is so clear as to be nearly invisible in this photo by photographer Sean Dowie.


At the heart of the largest concentration of freshwater springs on the planet, the Ichetucknee River springs forth from a constellation of springs. Gushing forth from the Floridan Aquifer, the river provides clear water, recreation and valuable habitat. Area visitors and locals alike enjoy the Ichetucknee daily, whether its for lazy days of tubing down the river, otter-watching on quiet spring mornings, or for clear fall days of solitary kayaking. Withlacoochee, Ocklawaha, Ichetucknee, Santa Fe, Silver, Rainbow — these are the rivers of the Heart of Florida, feeding into the giants of Florida’s rivers, the nearby Suwannee and St. Johns. Bartram, Muir, and Audubon explored these parts. Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, J.T. Glisson, and countless others have celebrated its land and its people in words. Marjorie Harris Carr and the concerned citizens of these parts have been the instruments of conserving the land for posterity. Hundreds of artists, writers, playwrights, film makers, musicians and dancers find inspiration in these waters, inhabit our small towns and urban centers, bringing a vitality and vibrancy that makes us one of the Southeast’s major cultural destinations. We are home to small-town values, Old Florida heritage that is still alive and well, and to homecooked meals and restaurant fare made from produce picked the same day it comes to your table. Nationally recognized ballet and theatre productions, world class dance, and a mecca for plein-air painting are but a few of our cultural distinctions. So take a few days to explore our treasures!


Birding Springs Enjoy 72 degree crystal clear water every day of the year at the Ichetucknee, p. 12 Alexander, Juniper, Silver Glen and Salt Springs, p. 100 Silver Springs, p. 102 and Rainbow Springs p. 112 Swim the springs of the Santa Fe River, or join those who come from all over the world for springs and cave diving, p. 21

Hundreds of artists call the Heart of Florida home, making it a cultural destination for plein painting, photographers, artisans, sculptors, muralists and more. Experience the Harn Museum, ArtWalk, Art Hop and art festivals and studios in Gainesville pp. 34 - 53 Santa Fe College Gallery, p. 57 The Melrose art scene, pp. 92 -96 Ocala offers the Appleton, Brick City, CFCC Gallery, pp. 104 - 108 Visit the studios and galleries, of McIntosh, pp. 76 - 78

Thousands of acres of conserved wetlands, prairies and forests make the Heart of Florida a paradise for birdwatchers. The Great Florida Birding Trail provides a comprehensive directory of prime birdwatching spots throughout the state, p. 109 Over 270 species flock to Paynes Prairie, p. 64 Unusual birds for this part of Florida prefer Newnan’s Lake, accessible at Palm Point, p. 47 The lake at Sportsman’s Cove can be found in McIntosh, p. 76 Salt Springs, p. 100

Romance Music From Tom Petty to Papercranes to Sister Hazel Gainesville’s band scene has been lively, for some history and instruments check out Lipham Music and for today’s scene try Common Grounds, p. 35 Bo Diddley lent considerable support to the historic Cotton Club, p. 46 and his memorial can be seen in Archer, p. 54 Check out the scene in Ocala, p. 106 and Gainesville, p. 35 Beautiful musical instruments at Leonardo’s in Micanopy, p. 69 Unique Singing River Tours of the Rainbow River, p. 111

There is nothing quite as romantic as palm trees, moonlight, long walks and good food. To help you get in the mood try any of our fantastic eateries, located throughout the region. Take a full moon paddle on the Santa Fe River, p. 33 A carriage ride in historic downtown Ocala, p. 103 Snuggle up for a planetarium show at Santa Fe College, p. 56 Stand on the swinging bridge at O’Leno State Park, p. 15 Enjoy the butterflies at the Butterfly Rainforest, pp. 37 and 97 Let our Bed & Breakfasts spoil you: The Grady House, p. 19 The Sweetwater Branch Inn, p. 33 and the Herlong Mansion Historic Inn & Gardens, p. 68

Theatre & Dance World class theatre and dance can be enjoyed year round; for a listing of Gainesville and Ocala offerings see pp. 34 and 106. The Hippodrome offers professional theatre in an intimate setting, p. 42 University of Florida Performing Arts brings the best from around the world, p. 36 Santa Fe College offers theatre and world dance, p. 57 Central Florida Community College fills its auditorium with stunning performances year round, p. 104

Food & Farms

Birding Old Florida Majestic oaks, wandering by-ways, pioneer farms and evenings on the porch have never died out in these parts. The nation’s best-documented working pioneer farm, p. 30 Experience a community cane grind and sugar boil, p. 74 Buy produce and mail a letter at Florida’s Oldest Post Office and General Store, p. 75 Marjorie Kinnan Rawling’s homestead in Cross Creek, p. 78 Old Florida “Cracker”Village, p. 107

With a year-round growing season, the Heart of Florida offers fresh from the farm produce at farmer’s markets and eateries throughout the area. To get connected see p. 62 Fresh bread, pastries, plants, clothes, books and everything else at Mosswood Farm Store, p. 71

Horse Country Drive the byways of Marion County to see hundreds of farms in the “Horse Capital of the World.”

Enjoy the farm store, festivals and workshops at Crone’s Cradle Conserve, p. 99

Equestrian Trails and Camping can be found at O’Leno, p. 15 San Felasco, p. 27 Hawthorne Trail, pp. 46, 88 Cross Florida Greenway, p. 108 and in many trails near Dunnellon, p. 110

Best Pie in the South, and Fresh Fish and Seafood, both in Dunnellon, p. 113

Enjoy daily shows at Canterbury Equestrian Showcase, p. 31

Cane Grinding Days, p. 74


Trails Awarded America’s Best Trails, Florida offers an expansive network of dedicated trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. O’Leno and River Rise, p. 15 San Felasco, p. 27 Gainesville trails, p. 46 Cross Florida Greenway, p. 108 For paddlers, there is an abundance of rivers and lakes: Ichetucknee, p. 12, Santa Fe, p. 8,, Ocklawaha, p. 100, Silver, p. 102, and Rainbow Rivers, p. 112, and Newnan’s Lake, p. 46, and abundant choices in the Ocala National Forest, p. 100

The area is naturally known for the fame of university sports. Olympic hopefuls come from around the world to train in top-notch facilities; as well as to enjoy the many offerings for individual and organized events for equestrians, cyclists, swimmers, and more. The Newberry Sports Complex hosts national soccer and archery events, p. 28 Try motocross in Waldo, p. 90 The Santos Trail is famed among off-road bikers, p. 109

Goin’ Green Conservation and Innovation make the area the center of Florida’s green economy. Innovation, pp. 44 - 45 Sustainable Santa Fe, p. 57 Land Conservation, p. 61 Water Awareness, pp. 80 - 87 Environment and Education, p. 114


Ancient oaks shade a trail through the Heart of Florida in our cover shot by award-winning photographer Sean Dowie.

executive director Annie W. Pais creative director Stewart J. Thomas special projects coordinator Jacquelyne Collett director of photography Sean M. Dowie accounting Ann Ramsden • Heart of Florida Scenic Guide editors Annie W. Pais Stewart J. Thomas design & production Stewart J. Thomas guide coordinator Jacquelyne Collett guide specialists Sean Dowie, Lois Fletcher Clair Bakr, Lynn Max, Dianne Tornay chief photographer Sean Dowie contributing photographers Lois Fletcher Steve Earl, Ebyabe, Jill Heinerth, Bill Hutchinson, Renée Hoffinger, Dominick Martino, John Moran, Annie Pais, Stewart Thomas, Eric Zamora contributing writers Lars Andersen, Cynthia Barnett database programming William Triplett webmaster Stewart J. Thomas water advisory panel Cynthia Barnett, Ron Chandler David Flagg, Bob Knight, Annette Long Kathryn E. Sieving

Florida’s Eden Heart of Florida Guide © 2009 Artists Alliance of North Florida, Inc. dba Florida’s Eden, non-profit 501c3 organization PO Box 1149, Gainesville, FL 32602-1149 All rights reserved by Florida’s Eden and individual copyright holders, no part may be reproduced for commercial use, in part or whole without express written permission. This project was supported in part by funds provided by the Alachua County Tourist Product Development program.

This publication was printed using low-chemistry, energyefficient plate and print technology, on elemental chlorine free (ECF) recycled paper with 10% post-consumer content.

Ichetucknee & Fort White 12 High Springs 16 Alachua 22 Newberry 28 Gainesville 32 Map 56 Paynes Prairie 58 Food & Farms 62 Paynes Prairie 64 Micanopy 66 Old Florida 74 Evinston 75 McIntosh 76 Cross Creek 79 Water Conservation 80 Hawthorne 88 Waldo 90 Melrose 92 Butterflies 97 Citra 98 Ocala National Forest 100 Acknowledgments 101 Ocala 102 M.H. Carr Cross Florida Greenway 108 Dunnellon 110 Reframing Education 114 Florida’s Eden Source back cover

It’s all about BUTTERFLIES Butterfly City, p. 32 Butterfly Rainforest, p. 37 Butterfly Farm, p. 97


THIS GUIDE ONLINE Live Links • Search Reader Response





FLORIDA SPRINGS Exploration • Protection Education • Recreation

SELF-GUIDED CELL PHONE TOURS Cell phone tours • Podcasts Downloadable Guides Old Florida Heritage Highway Sites: 352-327-9005 Historic Gainesville Sites: 352-327-9002

DESTINATIONS Driving Loops • Day Trips • Maps GPS waypoints / Downloads


FLORIDA’S OFFICIAL TOURISM SITE Trip Planner • Articles • Video

FLOAT DOWN THE RIVER Tube, swim or snorkel Ichetucknee, p. 12 Santa Fe, p. 20 Rainbow, p. 102

photo by John Moran

OLD FLORIDA FESTIVALS Dudley Farm, p. 30 McIntosh 1890s Festival, p. 76 Farmland Preservation Festival, p. 74 Morningside Farm & Forest Festival, p. 74 Ocali Days, p. 107 Heart of Florida Scenic Guide



Fort White, Florida is the center of an innovative educational program that allows students to explore the Ichetucknee Springs State Park as their classroom. Florida’s Eden is proud to be a part of this program -- learn more about it on the back inside cover of this Guide. It is appropriate that this is the source of new ideas, because the Ichetucknee group of springs is one of the most beloved and hallowed spots in North Florida. There are nine named springs within the 2,241-acre park and a large number of smaller springs that produce 233 million gallons of pristine water each day. “Blue Hole” is the deepest spring in the park, at 37 feet. The named springs in downstream order are Head Spring, Cedar Head Spring, Blue Hole Spring, Roaring Springs (also called Mission Springs), Singing Springs, Boiling Spring, Grassy Hole Springs, Mill Pond Spring, and Coffee Spring. The crystalline Ichetucknee River flows six miles through shaded hammocks and wetlands before it joins the Santa Fe River. In 1972, the head spring of the river was declared a National Natural Landmark by the U. S. Department of the Interior. From the end of May until early September, tubing down the river is the premier activity in the area. In addition to tubing, visitors can enjoy picnicking, snorkeling, canoeing, swimming, hiking, and wildlife viewing. October through March scuba diving is available in the Blue Hole (you must be cave certified). White-tailed deer, raccoons, wild turkeys, wood ducks and great blue herons can be seen from the river. Picnic areas, equipped with tables and grills, are available throughout the park. A full-service concession offers food, refreshments, and outdoor products from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Tubes, canoes, kayaks, and snorkeling and diving equipment can be rented outside the park. See page 14 for a list of vendors and campgrounds. Visitors should be aware that there are two entrances to the Park. The North Entrance is off of CR 238 and leads to Blue Hole and the Head Spring. Take SR 47 from Fort White and turn left at CR 238. The South Entrance is 4 miles north of Fort White on US 27 and includes the park’s Education Center and large parking lots and facilities for those tubing down the river. ICHETUCKNEE SPRINGS STATE PARK 12087 S.W. US Hwy 27, Fort White, Florida 32038 Hours: 8 am - Sunset, daily Phone: 386-497-4690 Photographs from Ichetucknee: Sacred Waters by Steven Earl


Ichetucknee: Sacred Waters

by Steven Earl Foreword by Susan Cerulean University Press of Florida, 2009

“The Ichetucknee is Florida’s sacred river, and no artist I know has captured its beauty more impressively than Steve Earl. This remarkable collection of images reflects real commitment and connection: a twenty-year testimonial born of water and blessed with soul.” John Moran, author/photographer of Journal of Light Heart of Florida Scenic Guide


Fort White

Thousands of people a day travel through Fort White, population 431, in the summer, on their way to the world famous Ichetucknee Springs State Park. History The town originated as a fort built to protect the Cow Creek settlement during the Second Seminole War. Supplies were brought by steamboat on the Santa Fe River for distribution to other forts in the area. The site proved less than ideal due to flooding and sickness along the river and today’s town is four miles farther east. The railroad arrived in 1888 and boom times brought the population to 2000, supported by phosphate mining, turpentine and the growing of cotton and oranges. Like many towns in the area, the freezes of 1896—97 destroyed the citrus industry. By 1910, the largest phosphate deposits were depleted and the boll weevil ended cotton farming before World War I. By 1969 there weren’t enough children to justify a high school in Fort White and students were bused 20 miles to Columbia High School in Lake City. The opening of the Ichetucknee Springs State Park, now one of the most popular state parks in Florida, brought visitors and new businesses. In 1999 Fort White High School opened and services a large segment of the rural population of Columbia County. Florida’s Eden has partnered with Fort White Middle and High Schools since 2006 in conjunction with the Ichetucknee Springs State Park to pioneer a groundbreaking education program. Read more about this exciting program on pages 114-15 of this Guide. Ichetucknee Springs and River The Ichetucknee is one of the premier natural wonders of Florida, but until recently it was something of a local secret. The spring was on private property and the access road was not paved. In 1970 the state of Florida purchased the property from the Loncala Phosphate Corporation and in 1972 the head spring was declared a National Natural Landmark by the U. S. Department of the Interior. The Ichetucknee River is now one of the most popular tubing destinations in the world, attracting up to 5,000 visitors each day during the summer. Others come to swim, picnic, snorkel, scuba dive, and explore the nearby forests. Visit the park during a weekend, or on a cool spring or autumn day and you’ll likely have the trail or river to yourself. A wide variety of rare plants, animals, birds, spiders and butterflies can be seen. Of course, the crystal clear waters of the springs are not to be missed on any visit. Train Depot The Fort White Train Depot dates back to the 1880s and is located on a hiking, biking trail connecting Ichetucknee State Park and Branford, Florida. The depot is currently under historic renovation. Places to Eat Great Take Out (GTO) 7674 SW US Hwy 27, Fort White, FL 32038 386-497-1718 Hours: M - Th 6:30 am - 9 pm, F - Sat 6:30 am - 11 pm, Closed Sundays GTO offers great southern breakfast fare, salads, sandwiches and daily specials for lunch and dinner. Stop in for a ready-made picnic as you’re heading out to the Ichetucknee, or stop for comfort food after a luxurious float down the river. Goose Nest Restaurant 8877 SW US Hwy 27, Fort White, FL 32038 386-497-4725 The Goose Nest has been serving breakfast, lunch and dinner for over 30 years. Enjoy the affordable Sunday buffet offering fried chicken, entrees, salad bar, soups, sides, vegetables, iced tea or coffee, breads, home made desserts, and sugar-free delights! Tube Rental, Canoes, Kayaks and Campgrounds Ichetucknee Family Campground, Cabins, Tubes, Canoes, Camping Ichetucknee Tube Center, Tubes, Canoes Ichetucknee Springs Campground, Tubes, Canoes, Camping Buffalo Joe’s, Tubes Lowe’s Tubeland, Tubes, Canoes, Kayaks

14 www,

386-497-2150 386-497-2929 386-497-2285 386-497-1031 386-497-1115


High Springs, 32643 386-454-1853’Leno O’Leno is 6 miles north of High Springs on US 441 River Rise 2 miles west of High Springs on US 27 In a fascinating display of geologic wonder, the Santa Fe River disappears underground at O’Leno State Park and emerges in a circular pool three miles away at River Rise. The area between is known as the Santa Fe land bridge. Together the two parks cover 6,000 acres in Alachua and Columbia Counties. One of Florida’s first state parks, O’Leno was first developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s. The suspension bridge built by the CCC still spans the river and several buildings and pavilions are built in the signature CCC style with large logs and cavernous fireplaces. Visitors can enjoy miles of trails for hiking, biking or equestrian use. Canoes are available for rent at the park. Santa Fe Bike Outfitters in High Springs (386-454-BIKE) offers bike rentals for use at O’Leno. The parks offers swimming, river fishing, canoeing, hiking, picnicking and wildlife viewing. Of note are the cypress knees along the river, hardwood hammocks, and upland sandhills. CAMPING O’Leno offers standard campsites, cabins for groups and youth tent camping. Sixty-four standard camp sites include water and electricity. The group camp accommodates up to 140 persons and includes 17 cabins, fully equipped kitchen, dining hall, meeting building and pavilion. The youth tent camping area is for organized, non-profit youth groups. River Rise Preserve State Park offers primitive equestrian camping, restrooms and a 20-stall horse barn. Register first at O’Leno State Park. ACTIVITIES Old Time Dance every month O’Leno Ole’ Chili Cook-off held in March Campfire programs and guided walks HISTORY In the mid-1800s, a town was founded upstream from where the river disappears. Perhaps first known as Keno, after a game of chance, the settlement was later called Leno. The town grew, and a mill, general store, hotel and livery stable were built. Leno was the end of the line for the first telegraph set up to link Florida with the outside world. When the railroad bypassed the tiny town, Leno rapidly became just a memory. The Old Wire Road and mill dams are all that remain of this early lumber town. In the 1930s the park was acquired for use as a summer forestry camp and training facility for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Photos: clockwise from top left: Bridge span at O’Leno, Santa Fe River, Vegetation at O’Leno State Park, Wildflowers line US 47 from High Springs to Fort White; Center CCC construction at O’Leno. All photos by Sean Dowie


Heart of Florida Scenic Guide


High Springs Visitors come from all over the world to experience the small-town charms and outdoor activities offered by High Springs and its surroundings. Discover history, adventure, recreation and family fun! High Springs encapsulates Florida’s history from its frontier days to its emergence as an eco-tourism destination of international fame. O’Leno State Park is named after the frontier town that stood on the banks of the Santa Fe River, notorious for hard living and gambling. In the 1930s the Civilian Conservation Corps transformed the site by building the magnificent log structures and suspension bridge that visitors can see today. A walk through cypress knees and river vistas leads to the gentle whirlpool where the Santa Fe slowly drains into the ground and disappears. Miraculously, the Santa Fe re-emerges three miles later at River Rise State Park. Florida’s unusual hydrogeology also gives rise to the largest concentration of freshwater springs in the world, including a string of springs along the Santa Fe River well-known to divers, swimmers, and campers. Poe, Lilly, Ginnie, and Blue Springs are all within a few miles of High Springs. The river offers many delights to those who spend an hour or a day on its banks or paddling a canoe or kayak. Go solo, take a friend, rent a kayak, or hire a guide -- whatever your choice, you will find the river alive with fish and turtles, manatee, otter, and a rich array of bird life. High Springs was a bustling railroad town at one time and was the site of major railway repair facilities. Much of the town’s distinctive architecture dates to this time, including two railway depots, the Priest Theatre, several churches and the well-preserved brick buildings of downtown Main Street. Take your time to stroll the shops, cafes and restaurants of High Springs. Live music can be found at the Mad Hatter’s and Great Outdoors Cafés. Soothe yourself at a spa and enjoy the comforts of a cozy bed and breakfast, country inn or river retreat.

photos: Main Street offers a pleasant stroll through a diverse array of shops and eateries, the piano at the Mad Hatter’s Café (photos by Sean Dowie), at right, the Great Outdoors Restaurant (photo by Karen Bentz), kayaker on the Santa Fe River (photo: Sean Dowie)

CALENDAR OF EVENTS: High Springs Chamber of Commerce (386) 454-3120


Additional Info at: HIGH SPRINGS FARMER’S MARKET Every Thursday, 2 - 6 p.m. downtown

Attractions • Events • Lodging • Planner Heart of Florida Scenic Guide




25 NE 1st Avenue 386-454-5700 High Springs, FL 32625 Hours: Tues - Fri 11 - 4, Sat - Sun 9 - 4 Rationality is Optional at Mad Hatter’s, but everything else is sure to be pure enjoyment. Four women came together to share their love of food, art, family and friends. Enjoy good food, works of art by many local artisans, gifts and collectibles, live music from noon onwards on weekends, and watch the action on HiDef TV during Gator games. Enjoy a full line of salads and sandwiches, in-house baked turkey, chicken and ham, and quiche of the day. Home-made desserts include cobblers, cream pies, bread puddings and more. Check the website for menus, music schedule, catering availability and much more. We take our hat off to the Mad Hatter.

MAIN STREET ANTIQUE MALL 10 S. Main Street 386-454-2700 High Springs, FL 32625 Online info at Hours: Mon - Sat 10 - 5, Sun 12:30 - 5 Stop in any day of the year for a spectacular line-up of dealers in quality antiques and collectibles. Sixty-seven booths offer everything you can imagine: furniture, glassware, jewelry, tools, knives, books, figurines, vintage clothing, old coins, records and Hagen-Renager figurines. There’s much more than can be described and dealers bring in new items all the time . . . so stop by and check it out for yourself.


65 N. Main Street 386-454-1288 High Springs, FL 32643 Hours: 11 am until late, daily Built in 1895, the historic High Springs Opera House has been fully restored beyond its original magnificence. The historic building is now home to the Great Outdoors Restaurant, The Springhouse Tavern and Patio, and the elegant Opera House Banquet and Conference facility. The menu includes fabulous food in all its glory! Hand-cut steaks, fresh fish, sandwiches, burgers, and entrée salads are joined by home-made desserts. Enjoy two full-service bars, live music on the patio and our three private-label beers. Voted Best New Restaurant in Florida in 2008.

Attractions • Events • Lodging • Planner Heart of Florida Scenic Guide



20 NW Railroad Avenue 386-454-4943 High Springs, FL 32643 Bakery: M - Th 10:30 - 6, F - Sat 10:30 - 8 Dinner Served Friday & Saturday evening Located in one of two historic train depots still standing in High Springs, the Station Bakery offers delicious homemade breads, cakes and other bakery items made on the premises. Enjoy home-cooked country dinners on Friday and Saturday evenings.

THE COFFEE CLUTCH Espresso & Ice Cream Café

210 NE 1st Street 386-454-7593 High Springs, FL 32643 Hours: M - Th 6:30 am - 6 pm F 6:30 am - 9 pm, Sat 8 - 5 The Coffee Clutch features a fullservice espresso and ice cream bar, along with a large selection of teas and smoothies. Get scoops, sundaes, banana splits and shakes, all made with Working Cow Ice Cream. But before dessert, order your favorite sandwich, sub or wrap with your choice of Boar’s Head meats and cheeses. The cozy dining room offers a homey atmosphere, with free WiFi and family karaoke every Friday night. 18


30 NE 1st Ave. 386-454-0489 High Springs, FL 32643 Info online at Hours: Tues - Sat 10 am - 5 pm This brightly painted Queen Ann Victorian is home to High Spring’s designer boutique. Nancy Gullo began importing fine leather goods from Italy and Turkey when she worked for Senator Sam Ervin. For 25 years she operated her own boutique in Clearwater, Florida, before moving to High Springs where she offers designer clothing, jewelry, fine art and collectibles. Stop by and say hello, and walk out looking like a fashion model.


10 N. Main Street 386-454-BIKE High Springs, FL 32643 386-454-2453 Hours: 10 - 6 pm Former High Springs Mayor Jim Gabriel rents bikes in town and for use on the extensive trail system at O’Leno State Park.


15 NW 1st Street 386-454-SHOW High Springs, FL 32643 386-454-7469 Built in 1929, the building was intended as a car showroom, but was instead converted into a movie theatre. The first show was Al Jolson’s “The Singing Fool.” Movies, live theatre and minstrel shows have filled its stage. Since 1985 two 1940s era projectors have delighted audiences on Friday, Saturday and Monday nights in the refurbished theatre. Pick up tickets in advance at Sheffields Hardware on Main Street, or at the box office at 7 pm on show nights.

GRADY HOUSE BED & BREAKFAST 420 NW 1st Avenue 386-454-2206 High Springs, FL 32643 Visitors rank their stay at the Grady House as a superlative experience. Lucie serves up a culinary treat every morning from her treasure trove of recipes. Paul is a natural host, always engaging and friendly. Together they have made the Grady House an establishment that guests consistently recommend to their friends. The 1917 home provides the perfect retreat after a day of kayaking, tubing or shopping for antiques. Sip drinks in the jasmine-covered gazebo. Water gardens, koi pool, and flowers provide an oasis of peace and comfort. Each individually decorated room is comfortably appointed with soft sheets, downy feather beds, and all the little touches that add up to a luxurious stay. The two-story 1896 Victorian Skeets Cottage has two spacious bedrooms, full kitchen, family room and parlor for groups of up to four people.


340 NW 1st Avenue Mail to: P.O. Box 2999 High Springs, FL 32643 High Springs, FL 32655 386-454-8889 By Appointment Only While visiting historic High Springs, spend some time at this alternative day spa. It offers services and treatments that are truly unique and not found anywhere else in the state. Appointments are available for individuals, couples, or groups. Experience a wide variety of affordable water and massage therapies, as well as aromatherapy, yoga, wellness workshops and a labyrinth for walking meditation. Package services are available with the Grady House Bed & Breakfast and at the Rustic Inn.

ENCHANTED MEMORIES 135 N. Main Street 386-454-4939 High Springs, FL 32643 online info at Hours: Mon - Sat 10 am - 5 pm, Sun 1 - 5 pm, Closed Tuesdays Located in the historic downtown Main Street District, Enchanted Memories offers an eclectic mix of antiques, home furnishings and unique gift items. Everyone will find something to take home. Of interest are the line of soy candles, children’s gifts and a collection of HO and O gauge trains. Hard to find general store items are sure to please. Enchanted Memories also offers a full service furniture restoration and repair department. Stop by to say hi and sit a spell. The Station Bakery, pictured top left, in one of High Spring’s historic train depots; rent bicycles in High Springs to tour the town or for use in nearby O’Leno State Park (photos by Lois Fletcher)

Heart of Florida Scenic Guide


THE SANTA FE RIVER by Lars Andersen


18238 NW Hwy 441 386-454-0611 High Springs, FL 32643 Hours: M - F 9 - 5, Sat 8 - 5, Sun 9 - 5 Adventure Outpost is a full-service outfitter and guide service offering daily canoe and kayak rentals on the Santa Fe River. Author and naturalist Lars Andersen provides guided kayak and canoe tours on over 50 north Florida waterways. Themes include Manatee Encounters, Wildlife Viewing, Local History, Swamp Excursions, X-Stream Exploration and Moonlight Paddles. Lars Andersen conveys the unique qualities of each waterway with his easy-going manner and in-depth knowledge of plants, animals, history and lore. Stop by the Outpost for sales and rentals of kayaks, canoes, paddles, vests, tubes and outdoor gear.


This unassuming little river flows through the heart of Florida’s famous spring country. In addition to many famous springs, including Ginnie, Blue, Poe, Ichetucknee, Mission, Rum Island, Columbia and July, there are dozens more that remain unnamed. Of all of the rivers on which Adventure Outpost offers tours, this has the smallest population of alligators. Most people are just fine with that. On the other hand, you’ll find more turtles here than any other north Florida river. The Santa Fe hosts more species of turtle than any other river and it is not uncommon to see several hundred individuals in a few hours on the river. Most common are peninsular cooters and chicken turtles, with the occasional Florida snapping turtle. Waterbirds, deer, wild hogs and otters are also commonly seen. There are two distinct sections of the Santa Fe, separated by a three-mile land bridge where the river goes underground. The initial 30-mile section is a small tannic stream with headwaters in Santa Fe swamp, near Melrose. After threading through a series of swamps and small, forested channels, the river falls into an underground cavern at the River Sink in O’Leno State Park. Three miles to the south, the river resurfaces at River Rise. Having connected with a channel from the Floridan Aquifer while underground, the river is recharged and renewed. This is where the springs begin and it is this part of the river where most of the recreational opportunities are found. Moving downstream, the river alternately loses water by way of siphons (underwater cracks which drain water into deep channels of the aquifer) and gains water by way of springs (which bring water up to the surface from the aquifer). By the time it passes Ginnie Springs, the river has gained more water than lost. The paddler can now focus attention on the surroundings. Spotting some features, such as Big Awesome siphon and Myrtle’s Fissure, requires a curious spirit and watchful eye. Others, like Little Awesome siphon, are apparent to even the most unobservant passers-by. History: Florida’s earliest inhabitants arrived nearly 12,000 years ago and found plentiful game in the lush Santa Fe forests and at the many springs along the river. One of the earliest dated artifacts of human presence in Florida comes from a paleo-Indian camp site found near Hornsby Spring. A spear tip imbedded in a mammoth bone gives clear evidence of a nomadic hunter’s brave efforts to feed his family. Another interesting prehistoric site is near the Hwy 27 bridge, where the remains of a fishing weir was discovered in the river bottom: a row of posts spanning the river with the point of the V-shaped configuration pointing downstream. In the point, a basket would catch fish driven down by a group of Indians. In 1539, Hernando de Soto led an army of nearly 500 Spanish soldiers on an exploratory mission to find gold in Florida. Fortunately for the Indians of north Florida, their wealth was not in gold or precious minerals, but in rich land. That would be taken later. On this expedition, the Spanish moved through quickly, making winter camp in the Tallahassee area before continuing westward. In the 1600s, Spaniards of the Franciscan order established a network of missions and outposts across north Florida. Most were built at Indian villages along an important Indian trail, stretching from the St. Augustine area to the mission San Luis in present-day Tallahassee. This century-long era resulted in the near total demise of the Indian population through disease, abuse and warfare. Many place names in north Florida can be traced to the mission period. The St. Mary’s, St. Johns, St. Marks and even Suwannee rivers get their names from missions that were located on their banks. The Santa Fe River was named after an important mission, Santa Fe de Teleco, that overlooked a broad, beautiful valley a few miles east of today’s O’Leno State Park. The Santa Fe River in photos: Top left and center by Sean Dowie, Top right by Lois Fletcher. At bottom, left by Eric Zamora, at right by Lois Fletcher

North Florida is the Dive Capital of the World. The Floridan Aquifer is one of the five cleanest sources of water in the world. The liquid is so clear that divers move through absolute clarity, the darkness lit by hand held searchlights. At times the passageways close so tight that tanks and equipment must be temporarily removed or shifted in order to squeeze through. Other caverns are so large that a stadium could fit within the walls. Ancient fossils are embedded in limestone; layers of ancient clay deposits create color patterns as beautiful as any mural. Cave diving is a physically and technically demanding pursuit. Divers must be prepared, alert and keep safety foremost in their awareness at all times. But the allure of adventure, new discovery and beauty brings people back, again and again. Cave diving is a sport that requires the best in equipment, instruction and guides. For more information, you may also see the Florida’s Eden Pure Water Wilderness Scenic Guide on our website at DIVING EQUIPMENT & INSTRUCTION


2025 NW Santa Fe Blvd 386-454-2050 High Springs, FL 32655 Hours: M - F 9 - 5, Sat 8 - 6, Sun 9 - 6 The Santa Fe River is one of the most beautiful and unusual waterways in North Florida. Our trips are all down river with the current, ranging from 3 to 90 miles and pass by numerous first and second magnitude crystal clear springs. Swimming, snorkeling, fishing, picnicking and overnight camping are a few of the exciting activities available for the whole family. Call to plan your next adventure!

Extreme Exposure Dive Rite Ginnie Springs Dive Shop Devil’s Den Diving Blue Grotto Dive Outpost


Reggie H. Ross 352-333-3170 North Florida Cave & Technical Divers Johnny Richards (352) 404-5501 Central Florida Divers, Inc. Daniel C. Patterson 352-250-7740 Gary Brown 352-317-2066 Jim Wyatt 352-363-0013 Heart of Florida Scenic Guide



VISIT HISTORIC ALACHUA Exit 399 off I-75 (13 miles north of Gainesville) Email: Downtown Historic Alachua — even Disney can’t recreate! History gently unfolds along Main Street with graceful period streetlights, charming historic buildings (circa 1905), terrific restaurants, and shops. Downtown comes alive with Spring and Fall Festivals, 4th of July Celebration, Scarecrow Row and a Christmas Parade.What you’ll find is a friendly community of shopkeepers, residents and visitors all enjoying the welcoming atmosphere.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS: Alachua Business League, Inc.


14720 Main Street, Alachua 32615 Hours: Tues - Sat, 11 am - 6 pm (386) 462-9552

Attractions • Events • Lodging • Planner

The town of Alachua has its origins in the nearby settlement of Newnanasville, established in 1818. After the first Seminole War in 1824, a post office was established, roads were built and stores were set up. Newnansville became the county seat for Alachua County, which in those days was one of the largest in Florida, extending all the way to the Georgia border. Several important trails crossed through Newnansville and hundreds of displaced settlers sheltered there during the Second Seminole War (1835-1842). After the war many of the refugees stayed on. The town’s fortunes changed when David Yulee Levy constructed the first trans-Florida railway from Fernandina to Cedar Key in 1854, bypassing Newnansville. The U.S. Land Office and Alachua County seat were moved to the new railroad town of Gainesville. In 1884 the Savannah, Florida and Western Railroad came through the area. A Mr. F.E. Williams took advantage of the tracks running through his property and petitioned for a post office for a new town on his land. He succeeded in 1887 and in time the new town of Alachua swallowed up the business of Newnansville. In 1905, the City of Alachua was officially incorporated and by 1914 it had three hotels, two banks and a number of stores, ice plant, electric light plant, waterworks, cotton gins, two grist mills and a bottling works. While the 1930s Depression hurt everyone, Alachua survived due to the surrounding agricultural lands that brought in enough food. The packing sheds of yesteryear have given way to distribution warehouses for Dollar General and Walmart; and the railway has long since been replaced by Interstate 75. Local folks still look out for one another, take great pride in the local shops and businesses on Main Street, put on the “Best Small Town Fireworks in America” and host Spring and Harvest Festivals annually.



Alachua Spring Festival Alachua Harvest Festival “Best Small Town Fireworks in America” Tree Lighting and Christmas Parade


Alachua Country Spanish interest in Florida’s vast interior was largely driven by ranching. Paynes Prairie was the site of the largest cattle ranch in Spanish Florida, Rancho de La Chua. The Spanish article, la, plus the Timucuan word for Sinkhole, chua, was the name given to the large expanse of water which can still be observed today at Paynes Prairie State Park south of Gainesville. This gave the entire territory the name of Alachua Country and later became the name of the megacounty of Alachua which when formed in 1824 extended from the Georgia border to Tampa Bay. The adjacent Ocali Country is now the Ocala National Forest as well as the city of Ocala. Alachua’s Main Street offers a shaded stroll featuring standout Victorian buildings and an engaging array of shops and eateries. Top left photo by Lois Fletcher, all other photos by Sean Dowie.

Attractions • Events • Lodging • Planner Heart of Florida Scenic Guide


The IVY HOUSE Restaurant

14603 Main Street 386-418-1155 Alachua, FL 32615 Hours: M - Th: 11 - 8, Fri - Sat 11 - 9, Sun: 11 am - 2 pm Enjoy outstanding home-cooked southern meals in our magnificent turn-of-the-century historic Williams house. On the menu are family recipes with a true southern flare, such as Baked Crispy Chicken, BBQ Shrimp with Cheese Grits and home-made desserts like Buttermilk Walnut Pie and Ivy House’s famous Milk Cake. You’ll find yourself coming back again and again. Daily lunch and dinner specials make the Ivy House perfect for your everyday dining. When you’re traveling the area, be sure to stop in and dine at the Williston Ivy House in Williston, Florida.



“On Main Street in Downtown Beautiful Alachua”

386-462-1294 Hours: M - Th 11 - 9:30, F - Sat 11 - 10 For over 20 years Conestogas has provided families a place where they can sit back, crack a few peanuts, and relax in the warmth and friendliness of Main Street Alachua. Conestogas takes pride in serving up exactly what the customer orders: hand-cut steaks, burgers and quality seafood are their specialties. Top it all off with an array of tempting desserts. Relaxed family atmosphere and service with a smile are what you can expect. No need for reservations, just drop by and help yourself to the peanuts. Call ahead to find out about the specials of the day: 386-462-8133

The PINK PORCH Bookstore

“Previously Loved Books”

14720 Main Street 386-462-9552 Alachua, FL 32615 Hours: Tues - Sat: 11 am - 6 pm Over 7,000 used, new, hard and softcover books are available at reasonable prices. First editions of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, as well as local history, favorite mysteries and romances, and books for children and young adults are part of the wide selection of fiction and non-fiction books. Health, cooking, religious and inspirational books, and biographies are also available. The Pink Porch accepts used books in trade. Find a good book, and rest your feet in one of their comfortable rocking chairs.


AYURVEDA HEALTH RETREAT & SPA 14616 NW 140th St. 352-870-7645 Alachua, FL 32615 Hours: 8 am - 8 pm, daily Rest, Relax and Rejuvenate . . . Spend a day, a week, or longer at one of Florida’s premier retreat centers offering traditional Ayurvedic medicine and Panchakarma rejuvenation and detoxifying treatments. The spa includes the Om Yoga Studio and an Ayurveda herb apothecary. Stop by for an Ayurvedic health check-up, an herbal facial, waxing, massage or a stress-reducing shirodhara treatment, pictured above. The on-staff psychologist offers personal and family counseling.

14960 Main Street 386-256-5908 Alachua, FL 32615 Hours: Lunch and Dinner, call for hours Don’t miss Ristorante Deneno for a superlative dining experience for lunch or dinner. Locally owned and operated, Deneno’s offers classic Italian fare in an elegant but casual atmosphere. Watch your pizza come out of the oven right in the dining room. The menu offers the classics you love like chicken or veal parmigiana and piccata, amazing pizza, great steaks, seafood, and vegetarian items. Fresh ingredients are the key to the great tastes in every dish. Have a cocktail from the full bar or a selection from the well-rounded wine list. No reservations are required.

Photos: Enjoy the charms of Alachua’s Main Street District; top left photo by Lois Fletcher, all other photos by Sean Dowie. Heart Florida Scenic Guide 25 Heart ofof Florida Scenic Guide

The Painted Table


14874 Main Street 386-462-0555 Alachua, FL 32615 online info at Hours: M - Th: 10:30 am - 5:30 pm F - Sat: 10:30 am - 7 pm Expect to be surprised as you step into the Garden Gallery. A favorite local destination since 1998, the store will delight your senses as you contemplate the artful displays. Fountains, chimes, work by local artists, and silk floral designs by owner Bonnie Del Rosal have all been carefully selected to enhance your home and garden. The friendly and knowledgeable staff will gladly assist you in finding just the right décor or gift items.


14933 Main Street 386-462-0661 Alachua, FL 32615 Hours: Tue - Sat: 11 am - 8:30 pm Affectionately known as the “hometown pizza place,” this is where you’ll find made-to-order pizza at its best. Pizzas are handtossed and cooked in a stone oven. The family owned and operated restaurant also serves calzones, strombolis, pasta, wings, subs and brownies baked fresh every day! Fridays are pasta nights, with a different pasta offered each week. On Saturdays homemade OoeyGooey Cake is served warm and topped with vanilla ice cream.


14520 Main Street 386-462-2230 Alachua, FL 32615 Hours: M, Sat: 10 - 5. Tues - F: 10 - 6 At Valerie’s you’ll find all the clothes you’re looking for at a fraction of their original retail cost. Gently used clothes are in stock from brands such as Ann Taylor, Abercrombie & Fitch, Chico’s, Hollister, and more. Look through a large selection of wedding gowns, bridesmaid’s dresses and prom gowns. Sizes range from Girls size 8 to Plus size 5x. Valerie’s Loft also features purses, shoes, lingerie and jewelry as well as a select collection of decor items


14545 Main Street, Alachua, FL 32615 386-418-4105 Hours: Mon - Sat: 9 am - 5 pm online info at Open the door to our extensive showroom of fine antiques, upscale modern furniture, and carefully selected collectibles. With over 25 years of experience in the antiques business, owners Fran and George Smith brought keen eye and acute taste to their Alachua establishment. The collection offers finely crafted antique furniture pieces, Depression and Carnival Glass, antique quilts and linens and a large selection of wrought iron garden tables and chairs. A large selection of early 1900s tools, toys and collectibles are on view. Some marvelous finds can be had among the books, magazines, and postcards. Whether you are putting together an entire ensemble or just looking for the perfect gift, Smithy’s offers something for everyone. 26

Photos: Top by Sean Dowie, at right by Eric Zamora


12720 NW 109 Lane, Alachua, Florida 32615 386-462-7905 San Felasco preserves 6,900 acres of wilderness including one of the few remaining mature hammock forests in Florida. The limestone outcrops and extreme changes in elevation provide ideal conditions for many species of hardwood trees, including several champion trees. Rare and unusual plants can be found along the slopes of ravines and sinkholes. Bobcats, white-tailed deer, gray foxes, turkeys, and many species of songbirds make their homes in the 18 natural communities found in the preserve. Sinkholes, steephead springs, ponds, and small lakes dot the landscape. Blues Creek, Turkey Creek, and Cellon Creek all enter San Felasco from outside the park boundary and flow through the park, finally dropping into swallows, which drain back into the aquifer. The park offers outdoor adventure to hikers, off-road bicyclists, horseback riders, and nature lovers. To ensure solitude and quiet for a true wilderness experience, the southern two-thirds of the park is designated for hiking only. The northern third of the park has horse trails, off-road cycling, and hiking. The name San Felasco derives from historical mispronunciation of the San Francisco do Potano, the 17th-century Spanish mission that was located in the southeastern section of the preserve. TRAILS San Felasco Preserve offers extensive trail systems through a variety of terrain for cyclists, equestrians and hikers. Bicycle and equestrian trails are separate systems. Hikers are welcome to use both types of trails as well as designated hiking-only trails. Cross-Country Bicycle Trails Unmatched for its quality of cross-country biking in the state of Florida, the park offers almost 20 miles of single-track trails. Access these wonderful trails from the bike trailhead located off of U.S. 441, south of Alachua. Trails are available for all biking levels; be sure to pick up a map showing their locations. Equestrian Trails San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park offers the equestrian the opportunity to ride through a variety of outstanding natural areas. Horse-drawn carriages can use the wider trail systems. Nature Trails The San Felasco hiking trailhead, located on CR 232 (Millhopper Road), offers 3 trails for nature viewing and hiking. The distances of these trails are 0.9 mile, 4.8 mile, and 5.6 mile. Color markers distinguish each trail. Dogs on a hand-held 6-foot leash are welcome. No bicycles or horses are allowed on these trails. Photos of San Felasco Preserve by Eric Zamora <> Heart of Florida Scenic Guide



The Newberry area was settled in the mid-1860s by families drawn to the rich soils in the area. The discovery of phosphates in the 1890s changed the pace of life with people showing up almost overnight to work the mines. The town was officially incorporated in 1895. Railroads came in to haul out the phosphate, with Henry Plant extending his Savannah, Florida and Western Railroad Line from High Springs to Archer in 1893 and the Cummer Lumber and Phosphate Company completing its Jacksonville and Southwestern Railroad line a few years later. Drugstores, hotels, barbers, photographers, milliners, dentists, and doctors were among the many thriving businesses established in town. Pool halls and an opera house were two popular forms of entertainment.  Miners filled the town on weekends and brawls and shootings kept the town’s three doctors busy. W.N. “Doc” Barry, Sr. described Newberry as “a real wild west town in the East.” Boom times ended when World War I cut off Germany, the principal buyer of phosphate. Visitors passed along the edge of town on the Tamiami Trail, paved to serve the new tourist destinations of Tampa and Miami. Agriculture proved the mainstay of Newberry’s prosperity. The annual Watermelon Festival, founded in 1946, pays tribute to this enduring cash crop, featuring beauty pageants, watermelon rolling, seed-spitting and hogcallling, as well as pie and cake baking contests. Today’s Newberry looks to preserve its integrity as a town with its own schools, thriving Main Street, and historic buildings. Surrounding farms continue to grow watermelons, while sports and recreation facilities are bringing in a new form of prosperity. Newberry’s downtown is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Little Red Schoolhouse, above, dates from c. 1910. City Hall is built in a vernacular style of Florida architecture that originated in the area and utilizes local limestone from Newberry and High Springs. Of the many downtown shops and eateries, it is worth mentioning the landmark Backyard BBQ as a local favorite. Owner Rocky Voglio is a major contributor to Newberry’s civic and recreational programs.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS: additional info: Photos above, Newberry’s main street, the historic Little Red School House, photos by Lois Fletcher; Newberry City Hall, photo by Sean Dowie.


Watermelon Festival, held annually in May

Attractions • Events • Lodging • Planner

NEWBERRY SPORTS COMPLEX 24820 NW 16th Ave Newberry, Fl. 32669

SILVERWIND Jewelry & Gifts

25345 W. Newberry Road Newberry, Florida 32669 352-472-4699 Hours: Tues - Fri 10 - 6, Sat 10 - 3 Experience the excitement of a new discovery every time you enter the yellow doors of Silverwind Jewelry and Gifts in downtown Newberry. New finds and seasonal inventory arrive each week, providing loyal customers fresh reasons to return again and again. Well known jewelry lines such as Biagi, Holly Yashi and Annaleece grace the counters, as well as items created by local artisans. From smoked salmon to a good ink pen, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be pleasantly surprised to find it at Silverwind.


25335 W. Newberry Road Newberry, Florida 32669 352-472-2221 Hours: Mon - Sat 5:30 am - 2 pm Located in Newberryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s historic downtown, the Country Kitchen offers delicious homecooked meals for breakfast and lunch. Pancakes, french toast, omelettes and more are offered on the breakfast menu served all day. For lunch enjoy daily specials and fish and shrimp every Friday.

Athletes from around the world will be coming to Newberry as visionary plans for a large-scale sports complex become reality. The brand new Easton Sports Complex and Archery Center is headquarters of the National Alliance for the development of Archery and will host pre-Olympic and Junior Olympic training as well as regional and national archery tournaments. Tournaments bring 1,200 to 2,000 archers to this town of just 3,000 residents, boosting the local economy for nearby hotels and restaurants. Newberry Parks and Recreation Director Richard Blalock brings over 25 years of experience in sports and recreation and clearly understands how to make dreams come true. The next project is a certified track that will attract state track and cross country meets. Plans are also underway to build a 16-field base-ball facility in partnership with the Cooperstown Baseball Group, Inc. Little League teams would come from up north to hone their skills, much the way pro teams come to Florida for spring training. The City of Newberry sees youth sports as a viable way to remain a friendly rural and farming community. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, Suwannee River Water Management District and Alachua County are all cooperating in making Newberry attractive to sports tourism as an environmentally sustainable fit for the area. Sources: Newberry Parks and Recreation, Gainesville Sun

Above, Newberry resident Kiley Larrick, in training for national archery competition; below: the newly opened sports complex facilities. photos: Sean Dowie

Heart of Florida Scenic Guide


Cane Grinding at Dudley Farm, photo by Annie Pais; corn harvest, top, and traditional music, photos courtesy Dudley Farm Historic State Park.

Dudley Farm provides a unique physical portrait of rural life in pioneer-era Florida. The Dudley family moved from South Carolina and selected the siteera ofera Dudley Dudley Dudley Farm Farm provides provides a unique a unique physical physical portrait portrait of rural of rural lifelife in pioneer in pioneer Farm in 1859 for its ponds and rich organic soil. Not content to be self-sufficient Florida. Florida.TheThe Dudley Dudley family family moved moved to the to the areaarea from from South South Carolina Carolina in the in the midmid farmers, the family rapidly built upofa Dudley largeFarm enterprise. In ponds its heyday Dudley Farm fed 1800’s, 1800’s, andand in 1859 in 1859 selected selected thethe sitesite of Dudley Farm for for its its ponds andand richrich organic organic twenty neighboring families, grew cash crops for shipment to Gainesville, and operated soil.soil. TheThe Dudley’s Dudley’s were were notnot content content to be to be self-sufficient self-sufficient farmers, farmers, butbut rapidly rapidly built built a post office and general store that served area residents and travellers on the new road up up a large a large enterprise. enterprise. In its In its heyday heyday Dudley Dudley Farm Farm fedfed twenty twenty neighboring neighboring families, families, to Gainesville. The remains of this “Old Gainesville Road” pass through the Park today grew grew cash cash crops crops for for shipment shipment to Gainesville, to Gainesville, andand operated operated a post a post office office andand general general asthat part ofserved thearea path that visitors take to theon farmstead from the parking lot. TheThe store store that served area residents residents andand travellers travellers on thethe newnew road road to Gainesville. to Gainesville. Dudley, who lived on pass thepass Farm for the 94 the years, bequeathed theof property remains remains ofMyrtle this of this “Old “Old Gainesville Gainesville Road” Road” through through Park Park today today as part as part the of the to the State of Florida and spent the last 13 path path thatthat visitors visitors taketake to the to the farmstead farmstead from from thethe parking parking lot.lot. yearswho ofwho her life providing detailed narMyrtle Myrtle Dudley, Dudley, lived lived on on thethe Farm Farm for for ratives of every aspect of the farm’s op94 94 years, years, bequeathed bequeathed thethe property property to the to the State State An Historical Perspective eration. She donated family documents, of Florida of Florida andand spent spent thethe lastlast 13 13 years years of her of her lifelife photographs, andof memorabilia, making AnAn Historical Historical Perspective Perspective providing providing detailed detailed narratives narratives every of every aspect aspect this the best documented and preserved by Stewart J. Thomas of the of the Farm’s Farm’s operation. operation. SheShe donated donated family family pioneer farm thememorabilia. United States. documents, documents, photographs, photographs, andin and memorabilia. WeWe byby Stewart Stewart J. Thomas J. Thomas Florida is remarkable in that the pioneer eraone almost to the and turn therefore therefore have have one ofsurvived the of the bestbest documented documented andof the 21st century, in parallel with the dramaticpioneer rise offarms modern development. Reliance on preserved preserved pioneer farms in the in the United United States. States. physical labor and theinnecessity of local self-reliance are characteristic of ofpioneer days, Florida Florida is remarkable is remarkable that in that thethe pioneer pioneer eraera survived survived almost almost to the to the turnturn the of the but the challenges of providing energy, water, and jobs for our communities remain 21st21st century, century, in parallel in parallel withwith thethe dramatic dramatic riserise of modern of modern development. development. Reliance Reliance on on a common theme. physical physical labor labor andand thethe necessity necessity of local of local self-reliance self-reliance areare characteristic characteristic of pioneer of pioneer Thethe history of ofDudley Farmenergy, illustrates thatandpioneer required a constant addays, days, butbut the challenges challenges providing of providing energy, water, water, and jobsjobs forlifefor our our communities communities aptation to changing circumstances. Within the short span of a century, the Dudley remain remain a common a common theme. theme. family madeoftheDudley shift from anillustrates initial reliance on pioneer slave life labor torequired wage alabor. The ravages TheThe history history of Dudley Farm Farm illustrates thatthat pioneer life required constant a constant of weather, climate and pests forced adaptation to new cash crops. Decreasing family adaptation adaptation to changing to changing circumstances. circumstances.Within Within thethe short short span span of aofcentury, a century, thethe size and the availability of electricity and mechanized farm equipment brought Dudley Dudley family family made made thethe shiftshift from from an an initial initial reliance reliance on on slave slave labor labor to wage to wage labor. labor.more changes. The arrival of roads and railways allowed the farm to produce and bring to TheThe ravages ravages of weather, of weather, climate climate andand pests pests forced forced adaptation adaptation to new to new cash cash crops. crops. market a wider array of crops and products. Constant adaptation and success is a charDecreasing Decreasing family family sizesize andand thethe availability availability of of electricity electricity andand mechanized mechanized farm farm acteristic of the pioneer era that is worth noting. It is easy to forget that rapid change equipment equipment brought brought more more changes. changes.TheThe arrival arrival of roads of roads andand railways railways allowed allowed thethe is not unique to our own time period. farm farm to produce to produce andand bring bring to market to market a wider a wider array array of crops of crops andand products. products. ThisThis The Dudley’s were instrumental in helpingofbuild thepioneer roaderainto Gainesville, constant constant adaptation adaptation andand success success is aischaracteristic a characteristic the of the pioneer era that that is worth is worthwhich brought town within arapid half day’s journey. In rapid thetime development noting. noting. It isIteasy isthe easy to forget to forget thatthat rapid change change is not is not unique unique tosuccession, our to our ownown time period. period. of modern Florida eradicated the isolation of rural life with the spread of railways, TheThe Dudley’s Dudley’s were were instrumental instrumental in helping in helping build build thethe road road intointo Gainesville, Gainesville, which whichhighways, telephone wires, cell towers, andsuccession, internet service. brought brought thepowerlines, the town town within within a half a half day’s day’s journey. journey. 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life were manufactured from what was available and nothing was left to waste. During this same time period, 1860 - 1930, the world entered the first period of global almost entirely self-sufficient for the needs of life. Water was gathered from interdependence. The Great Depression was a worldwide phenomenon because of the rooftops and stored in cisterns; ponds were nurtured to keep fields moist globalforeconomy in place in the 1920s. Producing most of their daily needs, the Dudley crops; the necessities of life were manufactured from what was available familyand wasnothing little affected. “During the Depression a lot of people had a hard time, but was left to waste. During this same time period, 1860 - 1930, here on the farm little changed,” noted Myrtle Dudley. the world entered the first period of global interdependence. The Great People have recently become more aware because of the economic riskseconomy of our current Depression was a worldwide phenomenon of the global in globalized economy. Yet, like a pioneer family, we have the choice to adapt wisely to place in the 1920s. Producing most of their daily needs, the Dudley family change, theaffected. ability to“During use our the localDepression resources toa lot become less dependent outside wasand little of people had a hardon time, circumstances. Wethehave new technological choicesMyrtle that we can look to, but the prinbut here on farm little changed,” noted Dudley. ciples remain the same: planting crops suited to our climate, producing and buying People have recently become more aware of the economic risks of our locallycurrent produced food and products, saving water from our rooftops, building homes globalized economy. Yet, like a pioneer family, we have the choice to adapted to the Florida environment. The Dudley’s practiced “green” conservation out adapt wisely to change, and the ability to use our local resources to become of economic necessity. ‘Cracker’ were resistantWe to the ravages Florida’s climate; less dependent on outsidecattle circumstances. have newoftechnological hardychoices crops meant another year without hunger; heirloom seeds could propagated that we can look to, but the principles remain the same:beplanting and saved replanting. cropsfor suited to our climate, producing and buying locally produced food and Today Dudleywater from our rooftops, building homes adapted to the products, saving FarmFlorida is a major eco- The Dudley’s practiced “green” conservation out of environment. nomiceconomic asset to necessity. nearby ‘Cracker’ Newberry it draws cattle aswere resistant to the visitorsravages from ofaround Florida’s climate; the country. It ismeant also another year hardy crops a major withouteducational hunger; heirloom seeds center,could hosting school and saved be propagated Cane Syrup House, by Kate Barnes groupsforthroughout replanting. the Cane Syrup House, by Kate Barnes academic Today year. The farm Farm is recognized as a economic National Historic On a personal Dudley is a major asset toLandmark. nearby Newberry as note, itI was ablevisitors to experience the effect DudleyItFarm on athemajor next generation draws from around the ofcountry. is also educationalfirsthand center, when I hosting walked through the farmstead recently a school I was struck school groups throughout the with academic The Farm is by therecognized excitementasofa the students. The can-do spirit of pioneer times is infectious National Historic Landmark. On a personal note, I was able and Dudley offers the on a scale small be graspedfirst-hand in its entirety. to Farm experience the experience effect of Dudley Farm on enough the nexttogeneration Thinking makesthrough it possible imagine water solargroup. panelsI on whensmall I walked the tofarmstead with acisterns recent and school wasyour own home, garden thatof doesn’t need chemical pesticides fertilizers, a famstruckabykitchen the excitement the students. The can-do spirit and of pioneer times ily thatis prepares food and sits down together for meals. Thinking small is the start infectious and Dudley Farm offers the experience on a scale small enoughof the creativity ingenuity will serveThinking us for another centuryit ofpossible imagine to beand grasped in itsthat entirety. small makes water and severe solarstate panels oncutbacks your own home,have a kitchen thatpublic In 2009cisterns the park faced budget that would closed thegarden gates to the doesn’t need chemical pesticides and fertilizers, a familythe that prepares foodof the and ended the annual cycle of plantings and livestock care that maintain original workings and meals. Thinking the start the creativity farm. In partsits duedown to thetogether enormousfor public support mobilizedsmall by theisFlorida’s EdenofDudley Farm Paintout and2009, ingenuity will serve another century change. in March the Statethat of Florida madeus thefor decision to keep the parkofopen and in full operation. st roys d fir bing dest ty evil in coun ricity an t farm plum e w t ced a oor e farm ll ction c d o e n l B I : : u th :E du 1917on prod 1950 ded to 1930tor intro cott is ad trac

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18730 West Newberry Rd., Newberry FL 32669 352-472-1142 Hours: 9 - 5 Wed - Sun See also Dudley Farm is a 325-acre authentic Florida pioneer farm that offers the opportunity to experience living history from the 1880s through the 1940s. This working farm is unique in Florida and one of the best documented pioneer farms in the United States. The farm is listed as a National Historic Landmark and its 18 historic buildings include the farmhouse, separate kitchen, cane-syrup complex, general store and post office. Seasonal hands-on activities include cane grinding, corn shucking, planting and harvest days and traditional crafts. Farm livestock and heirloom plants are all part of this authentic Florida landscape. Children’s’ activities and school tours are scheduled throughout spring and fall. Visitors are welcome to observe or participate in ongoing programs including traditional crafts on Wednesdays, music the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month (except Aug/ Sept), education programs and special tours. Visitors are welcome to observe restoration work in August and Sept. when farm buildings are closed. The farm was operated by the Dudley family continuously for 150 years prior to its donation to the Florida Park Service in the 1980s. Costumed interpreters work the gardens and farmstead while visitors browse the grounds on self-guided tours. Guided tours are available by advance reservation. SEASONAL ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS Summer Fruit Harvest Days: Peaches, pears and figs ripen July - August. Call for harvest dates. Fall Harvest Days: Visitors can help harvest heirloom crops of field corn, sweet potatoes and pumpkins. Corn Shucking, corn shelling, corn grinding and winnowing will be in progress. Call for dates. A Walk Through Time Quilt Exhibit first Saturday in October. Sugar Cane Grinding: Attend cane grinds in November and December and buy cane products. The first Saturday in December is annual Cane Grinding Day in commemoration of Miss Myrtle Dudley’s birthday. Visitors can experience the farm tradition of gathering the community for cane grinding, boiling cane syrup, music, games and crafts. Dudley Farm Plow Days: 1st Friday and Saturday in February mule and horse teams plow the fields.

Admission is almost always Free 31

Gainesville “Where Nature and Culture Meet”

Known as home to the Gators, Gainesville has its fair share of the real reptile. When naturalist William Bartram traversed the area in the late 1700s he remarked that he could have crossed the water on the backs of alligators, so closely packed were they. Today’s visitor can see plenty of alligators, wild horses, bison, and over 200 species of birds from the same vantage point at Alachua Sink on Paynes Prairie. High ground, fresh water and a protected inland position have all contributed to Gainesville’s success. The town became a major regional center for government and commerce after David Yulee Levy established Florida’s first trans-Florida railway. The tracks stretched from Fernandina to Cedar Key and carried Federal mail and passengers bound from Savannah, Charleston, New York and Boston to Havana, New Orleans and other Gulf destinations. Today the rail bed carries biking trails along Waldo Road, Depot Avenue and Archer Road, linking to an extensive network of dedicated biking and hiking trails. Gainesville residents take recreation seriously, from sports teams to Olympic training. Health and wellness are standout concerns, not only at Shands HealthCare and its network of facilities, but also in the realm of medical research and integrative medicine. Well-known schools prepare students for careers in massage, acupuncture and midwifery. Alachua County has embarked on ambitious sustainability goals, reducing fossil fuel use, constructing trail systems for alternative commuter routes, and conserving natural areas and farmland. Restaurant chefs enjoy a bounty of local foods, while residents delight in the many farmers markets. A turning point in the growth of the town was the relocation of the University of Florida campus to Gainesville. Major William Reuben Thomas offered 517 acres of land, $40,000 from the city, $30,000 from the First United Methodist Church and free water. The original buildings of the University are not far from the Thomas Hotel in the historic Duck Pond area developed by Major Thomas in what is now the Northeast Historic District developed by Major Thomas.


The historic African-American neighborhood of Pleasant Street and the Southeast Historic District preserve more of the city’s history. Today’s city extends far beyond the original town center, bounded by the large conservation areas around Newnan’s Lake to the east, Paynes Prairie to the south, and San Felasco Preserve to the northwest. East Gainesville is shaped by large conservation areas, the quiet shores of Newnan’s Lake, the Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail, Morningside Park and access to Paynes Prairie. The restaurants, studios and galleries of downtown offer an urban experience, including the expanding arts scene on South Main Street and a vibrant night life. Explore the shops and eateries clustered around NW 34th Street and 16th Boulevard. The area between downtown and the University offers another commercial district, as does the wonderful array of local businesses at University Avenue and 34th Street.

EXPLORE GAINESVILLE: Cultural Destination Culinary Scene Downtown Arts Parks and Trails Uptown: Arts, Dining & More Santa Fe College Attractions

PAGES 34 - 37 PAGES 38 - 41 PAGES 42 - 44 PAGES 44 - 47 PAGES 50 - 53 PAGES 56 - 57

Gainesville plays a major role in the Heart of Florida’s prominence as a cultural destination. The city is home to a national ballet company, Broadway-quality theatre, one of the world’s top natural history museums, and important art collections. Scores of arts organizations and hundreds of active artists feed the area’s vibrant music scene, important literary tradition and reputation for the visual arts. Inspired by a strong sense of place, creative spirits have gathered here for decades, making Gainesville a place where people truly enjoy our unique blend of nature and culture.

Attractions • Events • Lodging • Planner

Resources: Events Calendar: Alachua County Visitors & Convention Bureau 30 E. University Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32601

City of Gainesville

866-778-5002 352-374-5260 Complete Visitor Information inlcuding Cultural Events, Bus Routes, Maps and Links

Historic Districts Cell Phone Tours Farmers Markets


MON: 13151 W. Newberry Rd. Town of Tioga, 4 - 7 pm WED: Downtown Plaza, SE 1st St. & University Ave. 4 - 7 pm SAT: Alachua Cty. Market, US 441 & NW 34th St. 8:30 am - 1 pm SAT: Hail Village Center, SW 91st Terrace, 8:30 am - noon

CRITTERS AND CREATURES AT LAKE ALICE Did you know that all shark attacks, world-wide, are monitored by the International Shark Attack File, located in landlocked Gainesville? The Sea Turtle Survival League is also here in inland Florida. For a look at some critters that actually live here, head over to Lake Alice on the University of Florida Campus, a favorite spot for watching alligators. At dusk hundreds of ibis perform flight aerobics to come roost in the trees. Water birds and turtles also abound. People also gather at dusk to watch several hundred thousand bats emerge from the bat house for an evening’s feast on mosquitoes. The Lubee Bat Conservancy, based in Gainesville, works to conserve bat ecosystems locally and worldwide. Also adjacent to Lake Alice are the Baughman Center—popular for weddings—and gardens, trails and wetlands. For more parks, trails and wildlife opportunities in Gainesville, check pages 44 - 47 and page 64.


Photos, above: solar panels cover a Gainesville rooftop, the Baughman Center offers a view of Lake Alice at UF, Gainesville the “Butterfly City,” the B & B District adjoins downtown, the Bat House across from lake Alice, cyclists enjoy a network of trails, and a water feature at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens. All photos by Sean Dowie.

Attractions • Events • Lodging • Planner Heart Heart of of Florida Florida Scenic Scenic Guide Guide

33 33

PLEASANT STREET Historic District

Bounded by NW 8th and 2nd Avenues and NW 1st and 6th Streets The oldest African-American residential area in this original NW quadrant of Gainesville has remained the religious, educational and social center for the black community for over a hundred years. 255 contributing historic structures were built by African-Americans in the post-Civil War era and the early twentieth century. Visit a longstanding Gainesville institution, Mom’s Kitchen, 1008 NW 5th Avenue for authentic soul food. The Fifth Avenue Arts Festival is held each May. Info at Info on Historic Districts in Gainesville and Alachua County at: Self-guided Cell Phone Tours of the districts 352-327-9002


Held annually in November, the Downtown Festival draws over 100,000 people to downtown Gainesville to view the work of over 250 of the nation’s most talented artists. Consistently ranked one of the top outdoor art festivals in the country, the Festival is a signature event on North Florida’s cultural calendar.


Held in October, the region’s only celebration of the Asian cultures, this new festival brings together the many talents of local and Florida residents to showcase an exciting variety of food, dance, music, and art.


Held in January and February, annually. For dates and info: Photos at right: Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church dates from 1904 (photo: Ebyabe), Asian Festival, and below, the Thomas Center celebrates 100 years in 2010 (photo: Sean Dowie), paint palette (photo: Sean Dowie)

Santa Fe College


by readers of Florida Monthly Magazine

A Top 20 Event

Recognized by Southeast Tourism Society

Juried Show

Over 250 top quality artists

Continuous Entertainment Live Music and Dance on 2 stages

Kids Art Jungle & Santa Fe Zoo Visit the Santa Fe College Zoo, too

41 years of tradition 41st Annual Spring Arts Festival

April 10 - 11, 2010

Historic NE 1st Street, Gainesville, Florid

background artwork by Norman Jensen

Voted Top Florida Art Festival

THOMAS CENTER Galleries & Gardens

302 NE 6th Avenue 352-393-8532 Gainesville, FL 32601 The City of Gainesville’s Cultural Affairs Division maintains two exhibition spaces in the historic Thomas Center. Exhibits portray the highest quality of work by local, regional and emerging artists and collectors. Exhibitions vary thematically and rotate every six to eight weeks. Each show opens with a public reception. Special events, lectures, concerts, recitals, symposia and workshops are offered throughout the season. The Thomas Center is a magnificent Mediterranean Revival-style turn-of-the-century mansion, listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It was the home of Major William Reubens Thomas who donated the original land for the University of Florida. It was later operated by the Thomas family as a hotel. Its 94 rooms, Spanish Court, and beautiful gardens were frequented by vacationers, travelers, and such notables as Helen Keller and Robert Frost. Today the gardens are lovingly maintained by the Friends of the Thomas Center. Visitors can take tours of the grounds and the preserved 1920s period rooms.



Gainesville Chamber Orchestra Gainesville Civic Chorus Gainesville Community Band Friends of Jazz & Blues Common Grounds Alachua County Youth Orchestra Gainesville Youth Chorus Liphamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Music N. Central Fl. Blues Society Studio Percussion Santa Fe College Music University of Florida Music

Third Eye Spoken Civic Media Center Goerings Book Store Books, Inc. & Book Lovers CafĂŠ Wild Iris Books




Dance Alive National Ballet Dance Theatre of Santa Fe Danscompany of Gainesville Floridance Company Gainesville Ballet Theatre Gainesville Old Time Dance Society

Carla Amancio of DanceAlive National Ballet, photo: Johnston Photography


Acrosstown Repertory Theatre Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts Gainesville Community Playhouse Hippodrome State Theatre Theatre Santa Fe University of Florida Theatre

Downtown ArtWalk Uptown Art Hop Gainesville Fine Arts Association Harn Museum of Art University of Florida Galleries Santa Fe College Galleries Spring Arts Festival Downtown Arts Festival

ANNIE PAIS Classes Retreats Paintings 352-377-0777 Jacquelyne Collett glass & mi x e d m e d i a c o n s t r u c t i o n s 352-373-4331 Heart of Florida Scenic Guide


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for an exhibition schedule and a list of upcoming events.

352.392.9826 SW 34th St. & Hull Rd. Gainesville, Florida University of Florida Cultural Plaza

at the F LO R I DA M U S E U M of N AT U R A L H I S TO RY

Kathy Malone

Experience hundreds of living butterflies fluttering atop lush tropical foliage and flowersâ&#x20AC;Ś Open Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday 1 p.m. - 5 p.m 6'$VMUVSBM1MB[Bt

Heart of Florida Scenic Guide



Mediterranean Restaurant & Bar

7 SE First Avenue 352-375-7381 Gainesville, FL 32601 Dinner Daily Lunch Mon - Sat Sunday Brunch Emiliano’s Café has been in the heart of downtown Gainesville for 25 years, offering a wide range of Latin flavors, from traditional to Latin fusion. Serving tapas since 1986, Emiliano’s cuisine is always exciting with its variety of options. Enjoy tapas, lunch, brunch or dinner, along with a vast selection of wines and fresh authentic drinks from the bar. There is always a right time to visit this downtown landmark. Jazz nights offer a truly unique and exciting experience 38

12 SE Second Ave 352-378-6307 Gainesville, FL 32601 Hours: Tues - Thurs 5 - 10 pm Fri - Sat 5 pm - midnight Sun 5 - 9 pm Ti Amo! serves up Mediterraneaninspired cuisine offering both large and small plate servings. With its modern atmosphere housed within an historic 1902 carriage house, Ti Amo! is conveniently located downtown, just around the corner from the Hippodrome. Enjoy the full bar, homemade sangria and daily happy hour. Ti Amo! offers private dining perfect for groups of all sizes.


725 NE 1st Street 352-505-5648 Gainesville, FL 32601 Hours: Lunch: M - F 10:30 am - 3:30 pm Friday Happy Hour: 5 - 8:30 pm Saturday Brunch: 9 am - 2:30 pm Imagine walking on centuries-old brick into a lush garden courtyard with café tables surrounding an Old World fountain. The restored turn-of-the-century Vidal House is the setting for the Fat Tuscan in the heart of historic Gainesville. Dine inside or out in this intimate European-style café. A tempting array of lunch items includes gourmet salads, panini and baguette sandwiches. A changing menu of favorites and exotic specials enlivens lunch, Friday happy hour and Saturday brunch. Check out the full menu online at



1511 NW 2nd Street 352-380-0544 Gainesville, FL 32601 Hours: Please call or check the website Civilization is a new addition to the Gainesville dining scene, but one that draws upon the recipes and experience of several beloved earlier ventures and the combined fifty years restaurant experience of the team. Organized as a worker-owned cooperative, Civilization’s chefs have a vested interest in making your meal a truly memorable experience. Dishes draw upon the full range of civilization for inspiration, from hush puppies to samosas, Jamaican jerked chicken, Old Florida sampler, and Thai shrimp. The enticing offerings are too long to list. Specials and rotating seasonal dishes bring out the best tastes for each time of the year. So, take a flavor vacation at Civilization.

photos at left by Sean Dowie: Chocolate Mousse at Mildred’s Big City Foods, fresh fare from local produce at TiAmo! Shitake mushrooms at the Downtown Farmers Market; and fresh produce from Sandhill Farms on display at the Farmers Market (photo by Stewart Thomas)

30 North Main Street, Gainesville, FL 32601 352-337-1188 Hours: Dinner, brunch and a late night hot spot! Tues - Fri 5 pm - 2 am; Sat - Sun 11 am until late The TOP Restaurant has been creating original, fresh vegetarian and meat-loving dishes for 10 delicious years. We aim to please with a variety of features including: Saturday and Sunday Brunch, Photo booth, Full Bar, Front and Rear Outdoor Patios, Local Art, Friendly Service, and Finger-licking Dinner Specials each night. We are located in the heart of Downtown Gainesville, with our own (free) parking lot. Give us a try … GOOD FOOD … GOOD FOLKS … GOOD TIMES. Take a spin to the TOP!

Heart of Florida Scenic Guide



3445 W. University Ave 352-371-4418 Gainesville, FL 32607 Hours: M - Th 11 - 10, Fri - Sat 11 - 11 Keepin’ it fresh—keepin’ it real! We are Gainesville’s champion of casual dining. Our foods are local, organic and good. We have 20 wines, $20 or less and huge martinis! No one comes close to New Deal’s commitment to sustainable agriculture.


1643 NW 1st Ave 352-376-2233 Gainesville, FL 32603 Hours: M - W 11 am - 10 pm Th - Sat 11 - 11, Sun noon - 9 pm Café Gardens has been right across from the University of Florida campus since 1976. This quaint landmark establishment with award-winning courtyard dining is perfect for any date or gathering. The menu features awesome Angus hamburgers, tasty sandwiches, fresh fish, vegetarian options and the freshest of salads. The sweet potato fries are to die for! All soups are homemade. An excellent selection of beers is available and an extensive wine list at reasonable prices. Call for the live music schedule.

THE JONES EASTSIDE 401 NE 23 Avenue 352-373-6777 Gainesville, FL 32609 Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner 8 am - 10 pm seven days a week The Jones is a cozy neighborhood bistro specializing in home-cooked comfort food using local, sustainable and organic ingredients. 40

SWEET DREAMS of GAINESVILLE Handmade Ice Cream 3437 W. University Ave Gainesville, FL 32607 352-378-0532

This local mom and pop ice cream shop makes everything right on site using as many local ingredients as possible. Families are welcome with indoor and outdoor seating and toys to play with. Flavors range from the classics to the exotics, and vegan sorbets. Enjoy the twice a year chocolate night and the occasional crazy flavors event.

3445 W. University Ave 352-371-1711 Gainesville, FL 32607 Lunch: Mon - Sat 11 am - 3:30 pm Dinner: M-Th 5 - 9, F-Sat 5-10, Sun 12 - 8 Quality and freshness with no shortcuts. Chef Bert Gill and staff prepare each dish from scratch. Homemade desserts, organic and local produce and fresh Florida seafood served every day. Mildred’s is proud to say they serve Gainesville’s Best Food.

THE BUSINESS OF FOOD Satchel’s Pizza is alive with interesting spaces and activities. Three playground areas entertain kids and adults. Eat inside an old minibus. Enjoy a constantly changing array of recycled artworks, including a fountain, chandeliers and scores of whirligigs. At Satchel’s, the Lightnin’ Salvage Junk Museum, part exhibit and part store, also offers a regular calendar of local dance and music performance while you eat. But that’s not all. For most of his restaurant career owner Satchel was a dishwasher. So when he started up his own business he wanted to offer employee benefits, profit-sharing, reasonable schedules, and incentives to stay. The result? A very customer-friendly, happy staff. Oh, and great food, too! Sweetwater Coffee is a local fair-trade organic coffee roasting company. The hook to their success? Blending a special brew individual to each local eatery. Flattery is considered the highest praise, and Sweetwater’s success is being copied by Boomerang Coffee Roasters. Chef Bert Gil nurtures tomorrow’s chefs with farm-to-table mentoring at East Side High School’s acclaimed culinary program. His passion for locally-grown organic can be tasted in every item on the menu at his three restaurants, Ti Amo!, Mildred’s Big City Food and the New Deal Café. But like the other food-related businesses here, the bottom line is business success. Bert is the largest buyer of local organic foods and a major contributor to the success of local farms. Sweet Dreams creates sensational ice cream flavors, including the spicy Mayan Chocolate that has become a great local hit. Sweet Dreams provides home made ice cream to many local eateries. From tempeh to hotsauce, ice cream to coffee, establishments are learning how to foster business success while spreading the local flavor around. The recycled “junk” fountain at Satchel’s Pizza, photo by Sean Dowie

Perfect for each other . . . When Frank Lloyd Wright’s Emil Bach House was being renovated to exacting historical standards, Marcus Collier was asked to create a unique piece of furniture that would wed contemporary craft to the spirit of this 1915 masterpiece. The result: a one-of-a-kind desk built of aged black walnut. The hallmarks of this museum-quality piece highlight and reflect the distinctive design elements of the Emil Bach House.

Marcus Collier 352.377.1834 Call for Showroom Tour

Allow master woodworker Marcus Collier to create a treasured family heirloom matched to the unique aesthetics of your home. Heart of Florida Scenic Guide



25 SE Second Place Box Office 352-375-HIPP Gainesville, FL 32601 352-375-4477 Schedule, Tickets, Information available online, call the box office, or find the Hipp on Facebook and Twitter The Hippodrome Theatre is North Florida’s most celebrated producing arts organization. Now in its 37th year as a professional theatre, the Hippodrome produces a wide variety of main stage plays, including drama, comedy, musicals, holiday favorites and compelling new works. The creative focus and the spirit of the Hippodrome resonates with artistic vision while reflecting a sincere search for new audiences and new vital theatrical voices. With programming available over 340 days a year, there’s always something going on at the Hipp! In addition to main stage productions the Hippodrome also offers an art-house cinema, a visual art gallery and an education program. The Hippodrome cinema, located on the first floor, offers first-run independent, foreign and documentary films. As a proud participant in the monthly downtown Art Walk, artists in the Hippodrome gallery gain high visibility in a landmark building.The Hippodrome education program runs camp programs for young people during Spring Break and Summer vacations. In addition, the Hippodrome’s teaching professionals are a daily presence in the public schools teaching prevention through drama and improv. The Hippodrome offers six unique rental locations within the building, including the first floor bar and gallery, cinema and mainstage, the rehearsal room, and the newly renovated basement.The basement space offers a private entrance, full service bar, and flexible seating, is a memorable location for a wedding reception, company party, or conference.


Downtown Gainesville Last Friday of each Month & First Friday of December, 7 - 10 pm Gainesville’s arts and culture venues offer late hours, refreshments and special exhibits and events once a month in the extended downtown and South Main Street arts district. ArtWalk is a free, public event. Start your selfguided tour at the Sun Center or at the adjacent Hippodrome Theatre. Pick up your map and head out to the art studios, restaurants, galleries, performance spaces and other venues that stay open late for ArtWalk, providing a fusion of art, music and food! ArtWalk is the perfect opportunity to experience local art and meet the regional artists, musicians and performers that make up Gainesville’s vibrant arts culture. 42

The 1895 Baldwin House is home to the Law Office of Rush and Glassman, photo by Lois Fletcher

ARTWALK LISTING SPONSORED BY Located in Historic Downtown Gainesville The Law Office of Rush & Glassman 11 SE 2nd Avenue, Gainesville FL 32601 Robert Rush and Daniel J. Glassman 352-373-7566 Attorneys at Law

Art Studio LINDA BLONDHEIM Landscapes of the South

Original Oil & Acrylic Landscape Paintings

3032 NW 161 Court 386-462-5726 Gainesville, FL 32609 Hours: Mon - Thurs 9 am - 6 pm If you love scenic, natural Florida, be sure to visit Linda Blondheim Art Studio. Linda Blondheim paints the “Heart of Florida” in her luscious palette of colors, with deep respect for the land and culture of her beloved state. Linda is a Florida Cracker, born and raised in north central Florida. She will welcome you to her cozy rural studio with a snack and share her paintings and stories about Florida. Take a drive through rural Florida and share an afternoon with Linda.

Relief Print by Leslie Peebles

SWEETWATER Print Cooperative Art Studio

Art Studio ELEANOR BLAIR STUDIO 113 S. Main Street 352-378-6006 Gainesville, FL 32601 Tuesday through Saturday 4 - 7 pm Visit this unique painting studio in a turn-of-the-century storefront right in the middle of downtown Gainesville. Meet the artist, have a cup of tea and enjoy an ever-changing display of finished and in-process oil paintings.

117 S. Main Street 352-375-0790 Gainesville, FL 32601 Hours: Tuesdays 6 - 8 pm Last Friday of every month 7 - 10 pm First Friday of December 7 - 10 pm The gallery at Sweetwater offers a new exhibition each month featuring members and invited artists. Ongoing classes and special workshops are offered. Annual and monthly memberships give local or visiting artists access to presses, darkroom, acid room, and other equipment. Sweetwater artists work in printmaking media, fabric and felting, handmade paper, book arts, ink, watercolor, sculpture and encaustic.


117 S. Main Street 352-514-3838 Gainesville, FL 32601 Class meets Tuesdays 6 - 8 pm Liven up your stay in Florida with a creative adventure. Stewart Thomas offers beginners and seasoned artists alike exciting techniques for incorporating calligraphy, watercolor, collage and bookbinding techniques into your next project. Stewart shares over 30 years of experience in printmaking, bookbinding, oriental brush painting, and calligraphy in English, Chinese, Sanskrit, Arabic & more.

HAROLD’S Frames & Gallery


101 SE Second Place 352-375-0260 Gainesville, FL 32601 Call for Hours Heart of Florida Scenic Guide


Artist rendering of the completed Depot Park with Cade Museum for Innovation and Invention in background, above; and below, interior of the proposed Cade Museum (images courtesy of the Cade Museum Foundation).


South Main Street and Depot Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32601 At one time trains ran along Depot Avenue and right down the center of Gainesville’s Main Street. Today the original wooden depot is being restored as part of the city’s boldest, most visionary projects. The creation of Depot Park brings together environmental remediation, historical preservation, the arts, and a new center for learning and entertainment. This partnering of public and private initiatives is already transforming the area into an exciting nucleus of activity. TRANSIT HUB CONNECTS WITH TRAILS The Depot Avenue bus terminal connects Gainesville’s bus transit system to dedicated hiking and biking trails that extend north to the Gainesville Regional Airport, west to Shands and VA Hospitals and shopping areas on Archer Road, and southeast to the Hawthorne Trail. GAINESVILLE-HAWTHORNE TRAIL Gainesville=Hawthorne State Trail The award-winning trail connects from Depot Park to Boulware Springs park, provides access to Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park and other publicly accessible conservation lands in route to the town of Hawthorne. SOUTH MAIN STREET ARTS DISTRICT The 400 block of South Main Street area is home to the Civic Media Center Reading Room, the Acrosstown Repertory Theatre, SMARTS: the South Main Street Arts Cooperative, the Kickstand bicycle collective, and other up-andcoming eateries and art studios. CADE MUSEUM FOR INNOVATION AND INVENTION Named for Dr. James Robert Cade, professor of renal medicine at the University of Florida and lead inventor of the sports drink Gatorade, the museum is in the planning stages as the centerpiece of Depot Park. The museum celebrates Gainesville’s role as a center for ideas and innovation and will house exhibits, events and creativity labs for all ages.

The Akira Wood building on Depot Avenue is one of the only buildings on the National Register of Historic Places to have solar panels on the roof. Photo by Sean Dowie.

Gainesville’s #1 Solar Electric Company

Gainesville’s #1 Solar Electric Comp Because We Make Solar Affordable Because We Make Solar Affordable! 352-338-8221 License #56761

352-338-8221 Mention “Florida’s Eden” for $250 discount License CVC56761


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For more than 95 years, Gainesville has been served by a public power utility – owned by the people it serves. Today, GRU provides electric, natural gas, water, wastewater and telecommunications services to approximately 92,000 customers. GRU is committed to providing safe, reliable, competitively priced utility services in an environmentally responsible manner to enhance the quality of life in our community.

To ensure high-quality drinking water for future generations, GRU became the first utility in the area to offer customers rebates for irrigation, which makes up as much as 50 percent of residential water use. GRU has expanded its reclaimed water distribution to reduce Floridan Aquifer withdrawals and is working with the city’s Public Works Department on an ambitious plan to improve water quality in the Alachua Sink and restore more than 1,300 acres of wetlands in Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park.


GRU garnered national attention and awards for its solar feed-in tariff, the first of its kind in the nation, which allows customers to invest in photovoltaic systems and sell electricity to the utility. In 2009, the utility began purchasing landfill-gas power from a plant in Marion County and entered into a 30-year contract to bring 100 megawatts of carbon-neutral biomass energy to Gainesville. By late 2013, 21 percent of GRU’s fuel supply will come from renewable sources.


GRU’s energy-efficiency rebates and educational efforts have helped customers lower their bills and energy usage. Overall, GRU customers now use about one-third less electricity than customers across the state of Florida. Total energy savings equal $6.8 million a year on customers’ bills and a reduction of more than 35,900 metric tons of carbon dioxide.


One of the first of its kind in the Southeast, the GRU South Energy Center provides all of the energy needs of the Shands Cancer Hospital at the University of Florida to ensure uninterrupted access to health care in the event of a prolonged outage. It uses state-ofthe-art technology to efficiently convert natural gas, providing a 46-percent savings over traditional fossil fuel-burning generation. Heart of Florida Scenic Guide


Gainesville Parks, Trails & Nature Areas Photos: above, Morningside Living History Farm (photo: Sean Dowie), Prairie Creek (photo Bill Hutchinson); below, the Matheson House, bottom, Bo Diddley at the Cotton Club.

Alachua County Historic Trust

513 East University Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32601 352-378-2280 Hours: Tue - F 9:30 am - 1:30 pm, Sun 1 - 5 pm Free Admission MATHESON MUSEUM Permanent exhibits offer a brief look at area history from the time of the Timucuan Indians, Spanish occupation, William Bartram’s travels and more. MATHESON HOUSE (pictured at left) Period furnishings tell history in the second oldest house in Gainesville. TISON TOOL MUSEUM The skills and artistry that created Alachua County’s built environment are honored in this unique tool collection. Open by Appointment. SWEETWATER PARK This pleasant park is being developed as a native plant botanical showcase, along with pathways, benches and a children’s playground alongside Gainesville’s original eastern boundary, the Sweetwater Branch Creek. WALKING TOUR Pick up a self-guided walking tour of historic homes in the area. “On Tour with Miss Guessie” pamphlet includes anecdotes and a map.



837 SE 7th Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601 The late Bo Diddley, “The Originator” of Rock and Roll, participated in the groundbreaking ceremony (shown above) for renovation of the Cotton Club. The modest building, at left, belies the history played out on the site. African American entertainers who went on to national fame played here, among them B.B. King, Brook Benton, and James Brown who sang his future hit “Please, Please, Please” from the Cotton Club stage. When WW II veterans enrolled by the thousands at UF, they flocked to the club to hear the newly popular music styles, jazz, bebop, R & B, black gospel, work songs and the blues. The site is being renovated and will once again showcase the arts, including music, storytelling and quilts. 46

4700 SW 58th Drive Gainesville, FL 32608 352-372-4981 Enter from SR 24, 1 mile west of I-75 exit 384 The gardens are comprised of 24 major collections including the state’s largest public display of bamboos and the largest herb garden in the Southeast. Some of Kanapaha’s gardens are organized taxonomically; others demonstrate principles of ecology or natural selection. Kanapaha’s signature plants include a premier stand of Chinese royal bamboo (Wong Chuk), and--during the warm months--giant Victoria water lilies and Asian snake arums. Wheelchair accessible, dogs allowed on leash. Picnic areas. Gift Shop.


4732 Millhopper Rd, Gainesville 32653 352-955-2008 A significant geological formation, Devil’s Millhopper is a National Natural Landmark that has been visited by the curious since the early 1880s. A bowl-shaped cavity 120 feet deep leads down to a miniature rain forest. Small streams trickle down the steep slopes of the limestone sinkhole. Researchers have studied fossil shark teeth, marine shells, and the fossilized remains of extinct land animals that have been found in the sink


6518 Hawthorne Rd. 352-372-1026 Gainesville, FL 32641 Hours: daily from dawn to dark Kate’s Kate’s Fish is located at Prairie Creek Camp (shown in the photo at left) where it crosses the Hawthorne Trail. Set in the midst of miles of conservation lands, this is your starting point for adventure. Set out on the bicycle trail, launch into scenic Prairie Creek. Paddle or boat to majestic Newnan’s Lake. Try your luck at fishing, or just relax! Kate’s Fish Camp rents: Boats and Motors, Canoes & Kayaks and provides access to: Fishing, Camping, Bicycling, Birding, Boating, Canoeing, Hiking, Kayaking. Primitive camping and RV Sites are available. Ample parking and extensive grounds provide enough room to facilitate large groups for your next outdoor event! Rental rates for canoe, top water kayak or row boat ($ 15.00 for a half day). Boats and motor rentals starting at ($35.00 for a half day).


Listed below is just a small selection of the many fascinating parks and activities available. For complete info: 352-334-2171 or explore


A living history farm, including log cabin, one room schoolhouse, and farm animals makes this a delightful visit. 278 acres of longleaf pine, cypress domes and other habitat shelter a wide variety of wildlife along several miles of nature trails. Several annual festivals. BIVENS ARM NATURE PARK 3650 South Main Street Bivens Arm Nature Park, a true natural treasure, is a series of wetlands and creeks, bordered by beautiful upland mixed forests, connecting to the extensive wetlands of Paynes Prairie State Preserve. Enjoy the beautifully constructed observation pavilion and intricate trails that wind under live oaks and pines. PALM POINT NATURE PARK 7401 Lakeshore Drive Jutting out into Newnan’s Lake, the park is a magnet for migratory and local bird populations. Brilliant wildflowers attract many native butterfly species, while Newnan’s Lake provides excellent opportunities for alligator sightings and some of the best bank fishing this close to town. BOULWARE SPRINGS & HAWTHORNE TRAIL HEAD 3300 SE 15 Street Cyclists, walkers and equestrians can connect from her to the trail to Depot Park in Gainesville and to the award-winning Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail. Facilities include equestrian unloading, parking and picnicking. EARL P. POWERS PARK 5910 Hawthorne Road This county park provides picnic facilities and boat ramp access to Newnan’s Lake.


The folks you fish with since 1953 5902 Hawthorne Rd. 352-372-1791 Gainesville, FL 32641 Hours: M - F 7 am - 6 pm, Sat 6 - 5 One of the oldest, largest and finest fishing tackle stores in Florida, this familyowned business has been North Florida’s fishing headquarters since 1953. • Large selection of fresh and saltwater tackle • Live bait • Reel and rod repair • Maps and area fishing information Heart of Florida Scenic Guide




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adventure for life! Brasingtons has been your North Florida Outdoor HQ for 37 years! Hiking, camping, backpacking, and paddling gear. Featuring this areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest selection of kayaks. Students receive 10% discount! with Valid Student ID

Brasingtons Adventure Outfitters 2331 NW 13th St. Gainesville, FL 32609 (352) 372-0521 (888) 438-4502 email:

Store Hours: Mon - Sat 10:00 am - 6:00 pm Sunday - Closed

Heart of Florida Scenic Guide


The Shoppes at Thornebrook Village Come discover unique treasures in the friendly atmosphere that makes up the park-like setting of Thornebrook Village. Connecting breezeways allow you to take a leisurely stroll through this open-air village. Our shops are filled with one-of-a-kind curios and fashions. Art galleries, rare gems, antiques and collectibles, specialty furniture, custom framing, designer eyewear, fine dining and exceptional boutiques are just some of what you will find at Thornebrook Village. Create your own ceramics, jewelry and stained glass with our Village artisans. Pamper yourself with a massage, or visit our styling salons, tanning center, scent shop and world-renowned health club. Indulge in hand-dipped chocolates or delectable yogurt. Join us for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Our quality restaurants offer casual and fine dining in both indoor and outdoor settings. Our Lounge is Gainesville’s meeting place, with dancing, karaoke and live music. You deserve the best, so come visit us! Whether you are out for a stroll, looking for that special gift, or wanting to dine under a moonlit sky, you won’t want to miss the Thornebrook Village experience — You deserve it! Thornebrook Village Merchants Association, 2441 NW 43rd Street, Gainesville, FL 32606 352-378-4947

Arts Festival

at Thornebrook

Hood Ornament by Mike Segal

The finest small art festival in the southeast

25 years and counting Fine artists and craftsmen • Local entertainment in four venues Children’s area • Festival food & more Annually in October at Thornebrook Village, Gainesville Annual Dates and Info at:

Gainesville Fine Arts Association

Promoting the Fine Arts in Every Medium Since 1923

50 50

2441 NW 43rd St. 352-375-4947 Suite 6D, Gainesville, FL 32606 Hours: M - F 10 am - 6 pm Sat 10 am - 5 pm Thornebrook is one of Gainesville’s premier galleries, featuring the work of local, regional and nationally recognized artists working in paint, glass, ceramics, wood and jewelry.

Thornebrook Gallery Oil on Canvas by Trish Beckham



2441 NW 43rd Street 352-375-8198 Suite 19, Thornebrook Village Gainesville, FL 32606 Hours: M - F 10 am - 7 pm Sat 10 - 6, Sun 10 - 5 This is a place where friends gather to create beautiful beaded jewelry. The extensive collection of beads includes Swarovski crystals, semi-precious stones, Czech glass and much more. Bead All About It also offers books, findings and one-of-a-kind designer jewelry. Turn any event into a creative occasion: Bead All About it offers classes, parties, girls’ night out — you name it!

& Art Gallery

2441 NW 43rd St. 352-372-2752 Suite 11-A, Thornebrook Village Gainesville, FL 32606 Hours: M - F 10 - 5, Sat 11 - 3 or by appointment A local favorite for many years, McIntyre’s is a full-service stained glass studio.Custom stained glass commission work is encouraged, unique finished work is on display and repair work is accepted. The hobbyist will find supplies and can take lessons. McIntyre’s Gallery also showcases the works of over thirty local artists in a wide variety of media.


Fresh Baked Bagels, Muffins & Croissants 2441 NW 43rd St., Suite 6-C 352-371-3354


2441 NW 43rd St. 352-378-8125 Suite 9, Thornebrook Village Gainesville, FL 32606 Hours: Mon - Sat 10 -6 Sunday by appointment All natural therapeutic spa for anti-aging and pain relief. Featuring: massage, facials, reflexology, acupuncture, biomat and weight loss therapies. All treatments use the highest quality organic products and essential oils. Biomat • Rejuvena Massage Treatments Reflexology • Acupuncture Spa Parties

LOST ART GALLERY The Date Vendor August Francois ca. 1860 - 1889

RENAISSANCE APPRAISALS, Ltd. 2441 NW 43rd St. 352-377-7030 Suite 1-A, Thornebrook Village Gainesville, FL 32606 Hours: By appointment only Specializing in Fine Art Appraisals for Insurance, Estate, Resale and Donations Accredited, International Society of Appraisers USPAP Certified, American Society of Appraisers

2441 NW 43rd St. 352-377-7030 Suite 1-A, Thornebrook Village Gainesville, FL 32606 Hours: Mon - Sat 10 - 5 Specializing in 19th and 20th Century Paintings, Objet d’Art, and Antiquities Featuring Museum Quality Pieces at Affordable Prices Still Life with Flowers Thomas Hart Benton Heart of Florida Scenic Guide



4201 NW 16th Boulevard, in the Millhopper Shopping Square, Gainesville, FL 32605 352-378-1383 Hours: Mon - Sat: 10 am - 7 pm, Sun: noon - 5 pm This cooperative gallery of local artists provides a wide range of high quality work in a variety of media. Upcoming artists as well as award-winning local artists and artisans display there work here. A special show each month highlights the work of one individual, providing a constantly changing gallery of new works. All work is local, original and produced by the member artists and artisans of the Guild. Work includes painting, photography, jewelry, quilting, batik, baskets, handmade books, blown glass, stuffed animals and much more.


Working To Help All Of Us 4130 N.W. 16th Blvd Gainesville, FL 32605 352.372.2233 352.372.3435 Fax

Hours: Monday - Friday 7am - 9pm Saturday - Sunday 8am - 8pm


Across from Thornebrook Village 2406 NW 43rd Street 352-376-4922 w w w. G a rd e n G a t e N u r s e r y. n e t Hours: Mon - Sat 9 - 6; Sun 12 - 5


Uptown Art Hop is the fun and festive way to visit a wide variety of locally owned galleries and boutiques featuring art and artistic artifacts. Art Hop takes place on four Friday evenings through the year (February, May, September, November). Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an easy walk around Thornebrook Village, The Marketplace and Millhopper Square, or ride the â&#x20AC;&#x153;bike taxisâ&#x20AC;? from place to place to see works by local artists and global artisans.

Art â&#x20AC;˘ Refreshments â&#x20AC;˘ Live Music â&#x20AC;˘ Special Events NW 43rd Street & 16th Boulevard, Gainesville


2410 NW 43rd Street 352-377-3278 Gainesville, FL 32606 Located across from Thornebrook Village Hours: Open Daily, Call for Specials Take a trip without leaving town. At Cabana Cove youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll feel like youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been transported to Key West for a weekend getaway. Dine on specialties like Sweet Jerked Chicken or Mojo Seared Skirt Steak. One bite of Cabana Coveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s traditional Cuban Sandwich and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll never guess youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re more than 90 miles from Havana. Top off any meal with a slice of Key Lime Meringue Pie and your vacation is complete. With most items under $10, this is one mini vacation you can fit into your budget.


4203 NW 16th Boulevard, in the Millhopper Shopping Square, Gainesville, FL 32605 352-335-0806 Hours: Mon - Sat: 10 am - 7 pm, Sun: noon - 5 pm World-class traditional textiles, pottery, and folkart can be found at Alternatives Global Marketplace. Clothing, jewelry and world music add to the offerings. Owner Laurie Wilkins has an eye for quality and an exceptional appreciation for the artistic flair of every item in the store. She is highly committed to providing a better alternative to what is available in the general marketplace — one that is fair trade, environmentally friendly and hand-made by artisans from around the world.



4128 NW 16th Blvd 352-336-3175 Gainesville, FL 32605 Hours: Mon - Sat 10 - 7, Sun 11 - 5 A destination in its own right, Paddiwhack is North Central Florida’s largest American craft gallery. You can easily spend a day enjoying the works on display by over 350 artists represented by the gallery. Whether you are looking for furniture from Sticks, David Marsh, or the Shoestring Collection; pottery by Bill Campbell; or a Florida landscape by Linda Blondheim, Paddiwhack is the place. Visitors find the Paddiwhack collection impressive. We’re sure that you will come away with a new vision of the talent and imagination at work in North Florida!

4205 NW 16th Blvd 352-379-1272 Gainesville, FL 32605 800-337-3844 Hours: Mon - Fri 10 - 8, Sat 10 - 6, Sun noon - 5 Gifts of Avalon is the regions oldest and largest bead store, offering all types of beads, and jewelry-making supplies. Ongoing classes and visiting artists offer instruction in basic and advanced beadwork, metalsmithing, wire wrapping, glass fusing, glass beadmaking and art clay. The store’s website offers a wealth of information and a complete online catalog.

4215 NW 16th Blvd 352-381-1997 Gainesville, FL 32605 Hours: Mon - Sat 10 - 6, Sun 12 - 5 Wild Birds Unlimited isn’t just about selling birdfeeders and birdseed. We pride ourselves on having accurate knowledge about your local birds. Our Certified Birdfeeding Specialists have been trained to show you how to turn your yard into a birdfeeding habitat that not only brings song, color and life to your home, but also benefits the wild birds and the environment in your area.We also have the products and knowledge to help maximize your birdwatching experience.You won’t find that kind of expertise anywhere else.



Supports all things Natural, Wild and Free

photos by Sean Dowie (background), Bill Kilborn (kayaks),

Gail MacLeod (heron)

A rare Birding & Wildlife Experience awaits you on our Pure Water Treasures


You can find us every day at the City Beach & Park, 1st and A Streets in the quaint fishing village of Cedar Key from 10 am to 6 pm daily


– Kayak Cedar Keys, 8085 A Street, Cedar Key, FL 32625 –


Railroads and Rock ‘n’ Roll The first railway to cross Florida passed through Gainesville and the town of Archer on the way from Fernandina Beach on the Atlantic to Cedar Key on the Gulf. At the end of the Civil War the remnants of the Confederate treasury were hidden at Cotton Wood, the Archer plantation of David Yulee Levy, owner of the railway. In 1876 a small building was the site of a deal that allowed the contested votes of the Archer precinct to stand, thus securing the victory of Republican candidate Rutherford B. Hayes for president. The 1905 Maddox Foundry in Archer is still in operation. Perhaps the most famous resident of Archer was Bo Diddley (1928-2008), born Ellas Otha Bates, and known as “The Originator” because of the key role he played in the transition of blues music to rock and roll. As a singer, guitarist, and songwriter he influenced such musicians as Buddy Holly, Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. His generosity extended to many musicians, organizations and schools. His memorial stands in Archer (photo, below, by Sean Dowie).

FLORIDA SCHOOL OF MASSAGE 6421 SW 13th Street (US 441) 352-378-7891 Gainesville, FL 32601 Hours: Saturday 10 am - 2 pm Grounds and labyrinth open at all times Considered one of the finest massage schools in the country, Florida School of Massage has been empowering students to turn their dreams into reality by providing extraordinary holistic massage therapy education since 1973. The school has an excellent bookstore, massage therapy clinics, walking meditation labyrinth and a beautiful property adjoining Paynes Prairie.


Clinical Counseling, Massage Therapy & Energy Healing 1810 NW 6th Street, Suite A Gainesville, FL 32609

Call for Appointment: 352-222-8126 email:

Monica Grey is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Licensed Massage Therapist and Reiki Master. She has been in practice since 1996. She offers a unique integrated approach to bodywork and psychotherapy with expertise in traditional as well as alternative modalities. Her clinic provides counseling for individuals and couples, therapeutic massage and energy healing. She also offers all levels of Reiki Energy Healing Certification License # SW4384 MA50355

Heart of Florida Scenic Guide


Santa Fe College is considered one of North Florida’s community treasures and offers a wide variety of educational and enrichment opportunities throughout north central Florida. The college offers visitors unique opportunities to have fun while learning more about the world around us.

Santa Fe College

The college, founded in 1966, primarily serves the Alachua and Bradford County district but also attracts students from throughout Florida and 73 countries. The college is ranked in the Top Ten nationally in terms of the number of associate degrees awarded, and is a member of the League for Innovation in the Fine Arts Hall opening in 2011 Community College. Santa Fe currently enrolls more than 17,000 students, with campuses in Gainesville, Starke, Keystone Heights, Archer and Alachua. Santa Fe recently began offering bachelor’s degrees in addition to associate degrees, as well as more than 80 fast-track career programs, by day, evening and on-line.

Community Enrichment The college offers a rich and varied selection of enrichment programs for the community. Nearly 6,000 residents enroll annually in continuing education and community education programs, selecting from a wide array of courses ranging from golf to music appreciation to advanced computer skills.

Program Information at 56


The Kika Silva Pla Planetarium, the only public planetarium within 100 miles of Gainesville, features an intimate, visually stunning experience of the night skies. Santa Fe’s state-of-theart digital sky projectors are among only a dozen installed in planetariums worldwide. Entertaining shows are open to the public on Friday and Saturday evenings. Private shows can be arranged by appointment. The Planetarium is located next to the Physical Sciences Building (Building X), which offers museumquality displays of rocks, minerals, and fossils in its lobby.

Show Information and tickets: 352 395-5255 Kika Silva Pla Planetarium photo by Gene Bednarek

Teaching Zoo

Ocelot at the Santa Fe Teaching Zoo, photo by Shannon Calvert Santa Fe College offers world class dance programs and performances, photo at left by Jim Atyeo

The 12-acre Santa Fe Teaching Zoo, adjacent to I-75, is the training ground for the college’s nationally recognized zookeeper program. The Teaching Zoo is open to the public and is home to more than 75 different species of animals. Family favorites include the Bald Eagles, White Handed Gibbons, White-throated Capuchin monkeys, Sika deer, Galapagos tortoises, Matschie’s Tree Kangaroo, Asian small-clawed otters and African Grey parrots. Hours: Saturday and Sunday, 9 am - 2 pm, Weekdays by appointment Entry fee: $5 Adults. $4 Children <12 and Seniors >60

352 395-5601

Rock Cycle Garden In a state nearly devoid of visible rocks, it’s fun to see boulders from around the country illustrating the different types of rock formation. The Rock Cycle Garden rings the retention pond in front of the Santa Fe Library. Educational signs provide explanations for each type of rock and walking the circle provides a pleasant outdoor experience, especially when combined with a visit to the Teaching Zoo or the Planetarium.

For information,

Santa Fe Arts Santa Fe College enjoys an enduring and dynamic relationship with the arts. The annual Spring Arts Festival, produced by Santa Fe College, is the largest single public event in north central Florida, attracting more than 130,000 visitors to downtown Gainesville each spring to see the work of 250 artists from throughout the nation. On campus, Santa Fe College offers visual art exhibitions year-round in two different venues: the Santa Fe Gallery and the President’s Exhibition Gallery. In these spaces, the college hosts shows by local and regional artists, along with traveling exhibits and collaborative shows with University of Florida, Gainesville Fine Arts Association or Artisans Guild. Hours: Galleries are open from 12 - 4 pm on weekdays

… a north Florida treasure Sustainable Santa Fe

Visitors to Santa Fe’s Northwest campus, adjacent to I-75, can see some of the college’s sustainability efforts in action. The new Perry Construction Institute, opened in 2009, is the college’s first LEED (green) building. Photovoltaic film on the roof produces electricity and water is heated with a solar thermal unit to the rear of the building. Inside, the entire building is a teaching laboratory with the heating, electrical and plumbing piping in plain view. Stroll the college’s 5-acre North Woods teaching area, conserved in perpetuity on Earth Day 2009, across from Building X and the SFC Police Department. If you visit the campus during Earth Week in April or Campus Sustainability Day in October, you may see the Earth Dancers perform or participate in the Sustainability Fair. A new Green Speaker Series is planned for the 2009-2010 school year.

Visit for details.

The performing arts at Santa Fe are extraordinary. There are 10 music, dance and theater groups and more than 250 students majoring in the performing arts. Coming in January 2011 is a new Fine Arts Hall, featuring a 600seat theater that will host performances by the colleges’ dance, theater and music students as well as the Gainesville Chamber Orchestra. The $17.2 million construction project is the largest in college history and is testament to the quality and value of arts programming at Santa Fe.

Information at

Painting, above, by Margaret Tolbert, one of many artists and naturalists included in Portray, Preserve, Prosper: The Florida’s Eden Heritage Springs District exhibition and the Art and Science of Water public forum jointly presented by Santa Fe College and Florida’s Eden in 2008.

Heart of Florida Scenic Guide


At the heart of every great community is a business infrastructure that promotes innovation, public service and economic opportunity. In North Central Florida, Cox leads the way in all three. Cox has been serving the cable television needs of Alachua and Marion counties for nearly three decades. In recent years, they have broadened their service offerings, adding Digital Cable, High Speed Internet and Digital Telephone. These innovations provide residents access to a whole new world of entertainment and information technology. More important, however, is Cox’s dedication to serving our community. Sponsorships of events such as the Alachua County Teacher of the Year, Marion County Golden Apple Award and the Teen Summit on Internet Safety and organizations such as the March of Dimes and United Way are testaments to their commitment to improving lives throughout our area. As a local company, Cox provides hundreds of high-quality jobs throughout the region. The company’s overall economic impact, in excess of $15 million annually, is staggering. Plus, Cox is working to improve the quality of our water and air through their Cox Conserves initiative. With efforts including efficient heating and cooling systems, green energy sources, hybrid fleet vehicles and more, Cox is a responsible environmental steward. Cox’s tradition of technological innovation is demonstrated in products and services such as On Demand, through which Digital Cable subscribers can immediately access a wide variety of programming. Hit movies, educational programs, children’s shows and more are just a button away, there to watch any time, on your schedule. Cox Communications delivers multiple communication and entertainment services via one fully integrated network. For the home, Cox offers a variety of advanced digital video, High Speed Internet and telephone services. Business customers of all sizes are provided with our High Speed Internet, phone and long distance services, as well as data and video transport services. In addition, Cox Media offers local and national cable advertising in both traditional and new media formats, along with promotional opportunities and production services. With the support of businesses like Cox, the Heart of Florida continues to thrive and provide rich, rewarding opportunities for our neighbors and friends.


1-888-269-9693 ©2009 CoxCom, Inc., d/b/a Cox Communications Gainesville/Ocala. All rights reserved.

Heart of Florida CD

Heartfelt appreciation to sponsor COX Communications. Many thanks to Bill Beckett, Cathy DeWitt and Donna Green Townsend at WUFT-FM and WJUF-FM, for production, narration and deep knowledge of Florida music and stories. This CD would not have come into existence without their expert help and great passion. Thanks to all the featured artists for granting permission to use their work. The audio CD may not be sold, duplicated or distributed without the express permission of the performer, copyright holder and Florida’s Eden. Narration: Cathy DeWitt; Nature Sounds: Donna Green Townsend; Production: Bill Beckett Heart of Florida: Track Listings and Credits; All material used by permission. 1) Introduction; Music - “I’m Florida” ©1995 written and performed by Bobby Hicks (from Will McLean and Friends: Live at the Thomas Center, Wakulla Music) 02) Music - “Florida Home” ©1993 written by Janet Rucker and performed by Patchwork ( “Alligator Stomp”, ©1994 written and performed by Anna Moo ( from Anna Moo Crackers 03) Music - “Vitachuco” ©1981, written and performed by Don Grooms (from Walk Proud My Son, You ‘n’ I Records) 04) Paynes Prairie - Music “Dance of the Sand Hill Crane,” ©1995 (Wakulla Music) written and performed by Will McLean, with David Beede ( hammered dulcimer; Kate Kennedy, bowed psaltery (from Will McLean and Friends: Live at the Thomas Center) 05) Evinston - “Ode to the Wood and Swink”, Poem by Callie Thompson; Music - “Kerfunken Jig/MunsterLass/Munster Buttermilk” (trad.) played by Lee Staley, fiddle; Tom Staley, guitar; Fay Baird, banjo 06) Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings at Cross Creek, interpreted by Betty Jean Steinhauer, Florida Humanities Council ‘Road Scholar’ and Chautauqua Performer; Alexa Elliot, reporter 07) Music - “The Creek”, written by Paul Garfinkel and performed by the Ashley Gang ( from Doin’ Time © 2000 08) Cross Creek Romance by Shelly Fraser Mickle, produced at © WUFT-FM 09) Cat fishing on Orange Lake with J.T. Glisson and Don Bauknight, Donna Green-Townsend reporting, © WUFT-FM 10) Zora Neale Hurston, from “The Life and Times of Zora Neale Hurston” feature produced by Imagination Room Media Co., © 2007 11) Music - “Florida” ©1994 written & performed by Anna Moo, Anna Moo Crackers 12) “Open Letter to Florida,” extract from poem, written and read by Callie Thompson Music by David Beede (Native American flute), © WUFT-FM 13) Music - “Florida Home,” written by Janet Rucker and performed by Patchwork 14) Ocala Horse Lands - Music - “Barbaro” written and performed by Edy Richman; “Starbright” ©1994 written and performed by Anna Moo 15) Marjorie Carr , with Donna Green Townsend – Music “I’ll Fly Away” performed by the Washington Sisters, (trad., written by Alfred E. Brumley & Sons Music Co.) 16) Music – “Dam of the Ocklawaha” ©1963, written and performed by Dale Crider ( 17) Dunnellon - Music – “Florida Man” from Songs from the Singing River © 2007, written and performed by Jon Semmes ( ) 18) Will McLean - Father of Florida Folk featuring Don Grooms with Donna Green Townsend, © WUFT-FM 19) Will McLean’s Burial on the Ocklawaha River featuring Dale Crider with Donna Green Townsend, © WUFT-FM 20) “My Soul is a Hawk,” Poem, written and read by Will McLean from Will McLean CD “Florida’s Black Hat Troubadour – ©1996 Wakulla Music ( 21) Close - Music - “My Heart Belongs to Florida” ©2003, written by Cathy DeWitt, performed by Patchwork on Patchwork Rides Again (; ( 22) Credits – Music - “Lullaby of the Rivers” ©1997 (BMI), written and performed by Bob and Joline Patterson, from A Place in My Heart, Conch Island Music) (

North Central Florida’s Folk & Americana Radio Program Hosted & Produced by Cathy DeWitt • Sundays at 6 pm Background photo of the Orange Lake Overlook in McIntosh, by Sean Dowie

Heart of Florida Scenic Guide


Conservation efforts have increased preserved lands in Alachua county from fewer than 2,500 acres in 1970 to more than 110,000 acres today. Thanks to Liz Binford of the Alachua Conservation Trust for assisting with maps on this page.



The thirty counties of Florida’s Eden span the peninsula from coast to coast in a landscape traversed by wilderness rivers fed by thousands of fresh water springs. Prairies, hammocks, forests and waterways are filled with an outstanding array of plant and animal life. Cultural centers, small towns and rural wilderness can all be found within easy travel distance from one another.

Florida’s Eden Scenic Guides

Pure Water Wilderness Heart of Florida

Available online:

The conservation efforts of the past few decades have resulted in an astounding array of parks,, trails, farmland, preserves, and wildlife corridors. Opportunities for outdoor recreation, birding and wildlife viewing abound. Farmland preservation contributes rolling vistas, watershed protection, and a year-round season of fresh, locally produced food. To learn more about the groups that work to preserve land, see page 86. 61 62 63 64 65

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Lake Alto South 184 Lake Forest Creek Pithlochocco Canoe Tract 25 Lake Kanapaha 448 Loblolly Woods 154 Lochloosa Wildlife Conservation Area 10,352

Alfred A. Ring Park 20 Alpine Groves Park 56 Ashton Biological Preserve 170 Austin Cary Memorial Forest 2,071 Balu Forest 1,599 Barr Hammock Preserve 5,615 Bartram-Carr Woods 9 Bat House Woods 8 Bell Ridge Longleaf Mitigation Park Wildlife & Env. Area 722 Bird Island 101 Bivens Arm Nature Park 79 Bivens Rim Forest 114 Black Sink Prairie 402 Blues Creek Ravine 161 Boulware Springs Park 103 Broken Arrow Bluff 11 Caravelle Ranch Cons. Area 6,550 Caravelle Ranch WMA 5,978 Carl Duval Moore State Forest 306 Carney Island Conservation & Rec. Area 684 Clear Lake 13 Cofrin Nature Park 30 Colclough Pond 5 Colclough Pond Sanctuary 36 Devil’s Hammock 3,254 Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park 67 Dudley Farm Historic State Park 333 Earl P. Powers Park 9 Emeralda Marsh Cons. Area 6,952 Felburn Park 137 Ferngully Preserve 26 Flatwoods Conservation Area 76 Fort White Mitigation Park Wildlife & Environmental Area 1,329 Gainesville-Hawthorne Downtown Connector 7 Goethe State Forest 53,100 Goodbys Creek Preserve 34 Graham Conservation Area 1,468 Graham Woods 8 Green Acres Park 38 Gum Root Park 370 Half Moon WMA 9,569 Halpata Tastanaki Preserve 7,863 Harmonic Woods 10 Heritage Nature Conservancy 11 Hogtown Creek Headwaters 73 Hogtown Creek Woods 29 Horseshoe Lake 204 Horseshoe Point Conservation Area 2,751 Ichetucknee Cons. Area 497 Ichetucknee Springs State Park 2521 Ichetucknee Trace 659 Indian Lake State Forest 4,461 John Mahon Park 8 Julington-Durbin Preserve 2,040 Kanapaha Botanical Gardens 37 Kanapaha Prairie 683 Keystone Air Park Tract 24 Lake Alice 129 Lake Alto North 487


Conserved Lands in the Heart of Florida and Adjacent Counties


Heart of Florida Scenic Guide


Explore the areas to the west of the Heart of Florida with the Florida’s Eden Pure Water Wilderness Guide online at



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Ocala National Forest

Longleaf Flatwoods Reserve 2816 Lower Waccasassa Cons. Area 297 M. K. Rawlings Park 24 Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway State Rec. & Cons. Area 75,078 Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Hist. State Park 98 McCall Park 76 Mill Creek Nature Preserve 1226 Moccasin Slough 262 Monteocha Conservation Area 60 Morningside Nature Center 278 Natural Area Teaching Laboratory 60 Newnans Lake Conservation Area 7579 O’Leno State Park 1721 Ocala National Forest 38,3214 Ocklawaha Prairie Restoration Area 6193 Olustee Creek Conservation Area 1,268 Orange Creek Restoration Area 3512 Owens-Illinois Park 23 Palatka-Lake Butler State Trail 629 Palm Point 6 Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park 20,857 Phifer Flatwoods 644 Poe Springs Park 214 Potts Preserve 9,429 Prairie Creek Preserve 366 Price’s Scrub 963 Rainbow Springs State Park 1472 River Rise Preserve State Park 4,480 Rodman Bomb Target 2,623 Ross Prairie State Forest 3,521 Saarinen Preserve 80 San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park 7,082 San Felasco Park 186 Santa Fe River Ranch 738 Santa Fe Springs Conservation Area 875 Santa Fe Swamp Conservation Area 7,332 Sawgrass Island Preserve 1,168 Scott Spring/Celebration 2000 Community Park 22 Seven Sisters Conservation Area 270 Silver River State Park 4,230 Silver Springs Conservation Area 331 Split Rock 240 Springtree Park 12 Sugarfoot Prairie 199 Sunnyhill Restoration Area 4,198 Sweetwater Preserve 116 Terwilliger Pond 25 Tuscawilla Preserve 531 Twenty-ninth Road Property 6 Upper Waccasassa Conservation Area 4,335 Waccasassa Bay Preserve State Park 33,992 Walton Parcel 10 Warren Cave 7 Watermelon Pond - Gladman Tract 439 Watermelon Pond - King 40 Watermelon Pond Mitigation Park Wildlife and Environmental Area 1,288 Watermelon Pond Park 12 Welaka National Fish Hatchery 406 Welaka State Forest 2,253 Withlacoochee State Trail 762 Yankeetown Conservation Area 427

Food & Farms lage Ma l i r rV

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Florida Organic Growers Events Calendar, Farmers Market Info, Education & Information Farmers Market Listings, Recipes, Seasonal Produce Guide, Blog

Simply Good Food Locally Grown Visit the website or join the Slow Food listserve to get regular updates on farm tours, local food events, and potlucks. The group regularly schedules visits to local farms, food tastings and local food product sources that are otherwise not open to the public.

US Hwy 441 North, McIntosh Area Halfway Between Gainesville and Ocala

Every Friday Afternoon S easonal H ours • 3:00 pm to D ark www .O ur V illage M arket . org


Gainesville Farm Fresh Directory of farms, markets, stores, and restaurants that support local food, seasonal directory, resources, classes and volunteer opportunities. Marion County Agricultural Extension Office Where to buy agricultural products and a seasonal harvest guide, at: Photos, top, left to right: Preserves from the area include Mayhaw jelly, a rare delicacy made of the mayhaw, a tart red fruit native only to the swamps of North Florida and Georgia (photo, Sean Dowie); Crone’s Cradle Conserve offers classes, workshops, and other farm events (photo: Crone’s Cradle); Persimmons, citrus, and pecans add flavor to local foods (photos: Annie Pais, Stewart Thomas); milk from grass fed cows from Kurtz & Sons ; Barbara Feaster’s Old Florida Christmas Tree at Deerfield Farm. At right, top, Florida windmill, and bottom, blueberries being sorted in Earleton (photos by Sean Dowie).

Just thinking about Florida’s Eden conjures up a perpetual garden of earthly delights! Here we have the complete recipe for rich culinary offerings: a year-round harvest, two coastlines, many delicious products and the combined influence of various cultures, including Spanish, Caribbean, Southern Cracker and African. While people in most of the country are putting their garden beds to sleep for the long dormant winter; North Florida residents are turning the soil and preparing for our glorious cool weather crops. This truly is Florida’s Eden! From African cultures comes the tradition of eating black-eyed peas and greens for New Year prosperity. From the Moorish tradition by way of the Spaniards comes Rice Pilaf with Chicken and Menorcan Clam Chowder. Wood-fired barbeque may have its origins in the Caribbean, and the traditional Cracker style of flavoring grouper is to lay them out on cedar planks in the smoker. Seeking out what the locals eat has now been elevated to a global traveling genre described in two tasty words . . . Culinary Tourism. Exciting local “Farm to Table” partnerships allow chef’s to offer the freshest products from area gardens. Farmer’s Markets and you-pick-it farms make organic produce affordable and available to all virtually every day of the week! Visiting a market is a quick way to catch up with local flavor, find a gift to take home, and meet wonderful people. The people who sell the food at our markets are the same folks who woke up early to milk the cows, feed the hens, pick the produce and get it to market fresh. Most markets feature local products, too, including honey, sauces, dips, baked goods, candles, soaps and artisan crafts. There are often a few musicians to liven up the scene as well. The stalls are full of produce picked that morning and everything that is local and flavorful. Organic milk is offered from grass-fed cows. Clams, smoked grouper and fish dips are brought from Cedar Key. Organic beef contains no added hormones, antibiotics or pesticide-laden feed. Try out all sorts of new flavors, including edible flowers, mayhaw jelly, and tupelo honey. Chefs are looking to exciting new combinations of the area’s rich and varied harvest. Alachua County is a leading producer of pecans and blueberries. The first commercial citrus growers in Florida took advantage of the rich soils and warm temperatures surrounding Orange Lake. Some of the best oranges in the country are still grown in the area. Persimmons, mushrooms, Seminole squash, strawberries and watermelons all grow in abundance. From fancy eateries to finger food, local is finding its way onto the restaurant table. Gainesville Chef Bert Gil buys more local organic produce than anyone to supply his three local restaurants, Ti Amo! the New Deal and Mildred’s Big City Food. From family-run The Jones Eastside to the University of Florida’s Gator Dining Services, more and more places are buying local whenever possible. A new push is being made to establish a fully licensed commercial kitchen to serve as a local food products incubator. Hourly rental of kitchen space, assistance with packaging, labelling and legal issues will allow local entrepreneurs to bring even more of the flavors of Florida’s Eden to table and palette.


PAYNES PRAIRIE PRESERVE STATE PARK 100 Savannah Blvd., Micanopy, FL 32667 352-466-3397 Hours: 8 am - Sunset, daily Camping Reservations: 800-326-3521 For Additional Events, Info and Volunteer Opportunities Contact: Friends of Paynes Prairie, Inc. Photographs by Dominick Martino. Illustrations, left, from William Bartram’s “Travels” 1773-1775, right, Steamer on Alachua Lake, c. 1880.

Paynes Prairie is biologically, geologically and historically unique. The area was established as Florida’s first state preserve in 1971 and now designated a National Natural Landmark. The 21,000 acres encompasses the largest wetland north of the Everglades and harbors an astonishing range of biodiversity. Over 20 distinct biological communities provide a rich array of habitats for wildlife, including alligators, bison, wild horses, skinks, miniature shrews, otters, foxes, bobcats and over 270 species of birds. Rare wetland orchids, majestic longleaf pines and live oaks are just a few of the more than 800 plant species. The prairie is noted for its populations of sandhill cranes, bald eagles, hawks, and migrating ducks. Dazzling seasonal displays of marsh marigolds, American lotus, and pickerelweed flowers paint the “Great Alachua Savannah” in colors as brilliant as those observed by naturalist and artist, William Bartram, in 1774. Exhibits and an audio-visual program at the Visitor Center explain the area’s natural and cultural history. A 50-foot-high observation tower near the visitor center provides a panoramic view of the preserve. Eight trails provide over 30 miles of opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, and bicycling. Ranger-led activities are offered on weekends, November through April. Join the Friends of Paynes Prairie for special guided walks, astronomy nights, and other events.

Paynes Prairie

“With my camera I hope to show how important our environment is for all life and how every species has a purpose.”

Dominick Martino Keep an eye out for bison and wild horses, living links to Florida’s past, that roam 6,600 acres of Paynes Prairie. Bison disappeared from Florida in the early 1800s but were reintroduced here in 1975. Wild horses are descendants of those brought by the Spanish in the early 1500s and left to roam free after British raids in the early 1600s. The treeless prairie basin was formed when sinkholes situated close together eventually merged. Alachua Sink on the north side of Paynes Prairie drains the basin and provides millions of gallons of water a day to the Floridan Aquifer–the source of our drinking water. Longtime observers note that not a single year is the same on the Prairie. At one time the Prairie was a lake, with steamboat service from one side to the other. Even a few years ago, water levels again were on the rise, closing the outer lanes of US 441. As the seasonal rains diminished the waters slowly dried, bring back more grasslands. ACCESS Main Entrance: US 441, 10 miles south of Gainesville: Visitor Center, Observation Tower, Fishing Access and Boat Ramp to Lake Wauberg (no gasoline-powered boats), and Full Camping Facilities Bolan’s Bluff Trail: US 441, 4 miles south of Gainesville, Upland Forest and Prairie Trails La Chua Trail: South end of SE 15th Street, Gainesville, La Chua Sink and Trail HISTORY For over 12,000 years people have been drawn to the lush land of the Prairie. The prehistoric Paleo, Cades Pond, and Alachua peoples were followed in more recent times by Potano Indians, Spanish adventurers, Seminole Indians, and finally, Americans migrating from the north. Paynes Prairie has always proved an irresistible lure to explorers, adventurers, and entrepreneurs. Hunter-gatherer societies on the Prairie gave way to large Spanish and Seminole cattle ranches. Florida “cow catchers,” cotton and citrus farmers, steamboat operators have all made their mark. Today the Prairie is valued by residents and visitors alike as a place for recreation, contemplation and wildness just a skip away from urban Gainesville.

1940 - 2009

The photographs on these pages are part of the stunning body of work by Dominick Martino, volunteer Photographer in Residence for Paynes Prairie. Dominick had the mind of a scholar and become a self-taught naturalist. He gave generously of his time and knowledge, interpreting the Preserve on its trails, weekly at the farmer’s market, and at countless events, helping visitors and locals alike understand the importance of the Preserve and its 21,000 acres of wilderness. Dominick attended New York Institute of Photography and in 1962 began his career, photographing crime scenes during the week and weddings on weekends. In 1972 he became a photojournalist for a news group in New Jersey. In 2003 he and his wife Maureen headed south where Dominick found a truly rewarding second career in retirement. Devoting his time and talent exclusively to Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, he captured countless stunning photographs of wildlife and scenery, bringing national fame and admiration to Alachua County. His work has raised significant funds for projects at the Preserve and attracted many new members of the Friends of Paynes Prairie. Dominick was a member of the Gainesville Fine Arts Assoc. and won countless awards for his work.

Signature Photographs by Dominick Martino can be purchased online at: Heart of Florida Scenic Guide



“Florida’s oldest continuous inland settlement”

Nestled under spreading live oaks, the quaint streets of Micanopy are home to a long history. The ancient Native American trading route is now Cholokka Boulevard, featuring eateries and places to shop for a diverse array of crafts and antiques. Inhabited since the time of the Timucuan Indians, the town was the Seminole village of Cuscowilla when explorer and naturalist William Bartram visited in 1774. His favorable writings led to the forming of the first distinct United States town in Florida territory, coinciding with the Spanish ceding Chief Micanopy of Florida in 1821. It is named after Seminole Chief Micanopy (ca. 1785 - 1847). The rich history of the town can be experienced through engaging displays at the Micanopy Historical Society Museum and through documentation in its archives. Micanopy’s downtown is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as are thirty-nine distinct sites within the town. Long a center of artistic activity, Micanopy continues to host the annual Micanopy Fall Harvest Festival with over 200 displays, musical performances and an old-time auction. Famed residents included Moses E. Levy, late zoologist and author Archie Carr, and his wife, conservationist Marjorie Harris Carr. The movies Cross Creek (1983) and Doc Hollywood (1991) were filmed here, and the town is the subject of several songs, including the hit “Seminole Wind.”

CALENDAR OF EVENTS and INFO: Annual Festivals Include: 4th of July Parade


Annual Fall Harvest Festival Light Up Micanopy

Attractions • Events • Lodging • Planner

Photos, opposite and above, by Sean Dowie

MICANOPY HISTORICAL MUSEUM & ARCHIVES Cholokka Boulevard and Bay Street, Micanopy, FL 32667 352-466-3200 Hours: 1 - 4 pm daily, closed Christmas and Thanksgiving days; archives by appointment The Micanopy Historical Society Museum, located in the 1890s Thrasher warehouse, invites you to discover local and regional history: the Timucuan Indians and the arrival of the Spanish, William Bartram’s nature explorations, the founding of the town of Micanopy in 1821 and Fort Micanopy, the Seminoles and the Seminole War, settlement from 1842 to the Civil War and town development from the late 1800s to the present. Experience life in the early 1900s by browsing through artifacts donated by local families! Entry to the Micanopy Historical Museum, left, photo by Lois Fletcher

William Bartram’s Florida: A Lasting Vision

By Charlotte Porter, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida

The natural beauty of North Florida has attracted many visitors. In the spring of 1774, a naturalist named William Bartram (1739-1823) traveled inland with British traders from the St. Johns River to the Alachua Savanna, present day Paynes Prairie. This prairie is a large wet meadow teeming with wildlife. Because Bartram recorded plants, Cowkeeper, the chief of the Lower Creek village of Cuscowilla (near present-day Micanopy), called him “Puc Puggy,” or Flower Hunter. Having failed in 1766 to run an indigo plantation outside St. Augustine, Bartram had not yet made a place for himself in life. Now, at the age of thirty-five, the late bloomer returned to Florida to follow his favorite pursuit, natural history. Nature’s variety inspired Bartram, and his drawings introduced readers on both sides of the Atlantic to Florida. Bartram observed animals, too: the black vulture, the gopher tortoise, and sandhill crane. His famous accounts of the roaring alligators did not overlook their maternal care for their young, a fact long doubted, but recently confirmed by biologists. In his famous book Travels, published in 1791, Bartram, fearing bloodshed, urged the federal government to send agents to the Indian nations to learn their languages and customs, but his advice was ignored. The most famous parts of Bartram’s book, the descriptions of Florida, were translated into almost every European language. Poets used his imagery to fuel the Romantic Movement in classics like the “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and “Kubla Khan.” The bird artist, James Audubon, and many landscape painters followed Bartram’s track. Today’s travelers belong to a long tradition and enjoy the sights, sounds and fragrances first described by Bartram on the eve of the American Revolution.


Attractions • Events • Lodging • Planner Heart of Florida Scenic Guide


Micanopy Herlong Mansion Historic Inn & Gardens “Easily Florida’s Most Elegant Bed and Breakfast.” Florida Trend Magazine

402 NE Cholokka Boulevard, Micanopy, FL 32667 352-466-3322 The Herlong began life back in 1845 as a simple “cracker” style home along the Indian trading route now known as Cholokka Boulevard. In 1910 Natalie Simonton married Zeddy Clarence (“ZC”) Herlong. ZC was a young and prosperous entrepreneur whose lumber mills, railroad, cattle, citrus and farming operations generated the wealth necessary to remodel the once humble farmhouse into the grand style of the mansion of today. A member of Small Elegant Hotels Worldwide, the Herlong offers 12 gracious rooms and suites. Breakfast is served every morning, refreshments are available all day, and complimentary wine and fresh-baked cookies are offered in the evenings. The beautiful award-winning gardens are the perfect setting for weddings. Experience a gracious afternoon on the Herlong Mansion’s upper veranda; Micanopy transformed by holiday lights. Herlong Photos by Carolyn Stevens West. Photo far right, Sean Dowie


205 Cholokka Boulevard 352-466-9229 Micanopy, FL 32667 Hours: 10 am - 5 pm daily, closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Days The Gallery is where “The Arts Meet History” in an authentic log cabin, c. 1929, featuring the work of some of Micanopy’s finest artists and craftsmen. Find unique fine arts and fine crafts among the paintings, pottery, fiber art, rag rugs, wood, jewelry and much more created by members of the Micanopy Community Council for the Arts, including nationally recognized and award winning artists. Take home a wonderful gift for yourself or for that special someone.


Folk Art, Corkscrews, Florida Paintings & Memorabilia 502 Cholokka Boulevard, Micanopy, FL 32667 352-234-0285 Hours: Thurs - Sat 10 - 5, Sun 12 - 5 Info online at Tom Staley and Fay Baird sell Florida Highwaymen paintings, Florida hand-colored prints and Florida memorabilia, as well as violins, guitars, banjos, decoys, folk art and corkscrews. The store is located immediately next door to the Herlong Mansion. Make sure to stop in for a visit when you are in historic Micanopy. “Looking North Along the Coast” by J. Daniels




Junque, Antiques & Musical Instruments 302 Cholokka Blvd 352-450-0928 Micanopy, FL 32667 Hours: 10 am - 5 pm daily Stop in and browse a great collection of vintage and new guitars, banjos, ukuleles, mandolins, pianos, keyboards, drums, and woodwinds. Makes include Martin, Gretsch, Gibson, Guild, Taylor, Fender, Epiphone and more. Also on hand are music books, strings, accessories, antique clocks, furniture, art and some really good junque.

Gracious Living 114 Cholokka Blvd 352-466-5005 Micanopy, FL 32667 Hours: 11 am - 5 pm daily except Tues. Proprietor Sharon Conchiglio has assembled an inviting collection of simple southern chic. The bold lipstick- red doors welcome all who enter into this romantic shop. Artfully displayed American and European antiques blend seamlessly with vintage and new home furnishings and décor items. Choose from an array of luxurious linens for the well dressed bed, an extensive offering of gifts and toiletries from around the world, romantic intimate apparel, handcrafted jewelry and unique baby items for the well-appointed nursery.



112 Main Street 352-466-3327 Micanopy, FL 32667 Email: Hours: M - Sat 10 - 5, Sun 11 - 5 or by appointment Established in 1979, Delectable Collectables is housed in the historic Micanopy Banking Company Building. Browse an extensive collection of Victorian to vintage jewelry as well as one of the country’s premier Cameo collections. The shop also features an impressive array of authentic Flow Blue, Majolica, Art Pottery and early glass. Online Info at

204 NE US Hwy 441, Micanopy, FL 32667 Hours: Mon - Sat 11:30 am - 9 pm, Sun 12 - 8


Eat Well! Live Well! Blue Highway is famous among residents throughout the area for handcrafted pizzas and calzones, sensational salads and gourmet sandwiches. Beer and wine are available. The freshest and best quality ingredients are used, purchased locally whenever possible. All sauces, salad dressings, pizza dough are made in-house. Heart of of Florida Florida Scenic Scenic Guide Guide Heart

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214 NE Cholokka Blvd, Micanopy, FL 32667 352-466-0012 Hours: 11 am - 5 pm daily Originally built as a general merchandise store around 1900, Micanopy Canopy Connection now houses 3,000 sq ft. of antiques, art and collectibles from over 15 vendors. The building is famous as it has been featured in several Hollywood movies and most recently in a book by a local author on Florida ghost stories. The stories are haunting because the building is also home to some very friendly ghosts! Micanopy Canopy Connection is open seven days a week. Hollywood fell in love with this place and you will too!

“We never pretended that Florida was the Kingdom of Heaven . . . but, it is a child’s Eden.” Harriet Beecher Stowe Palmetto Leaves, 1873


COFFEE ‘N’ CREAM More than an ice cream shop

201 NE Cholokka Blvd, Micanopy, FL 32667 Hours: Mon - Fri 9 am - 5 pm, Sat - Sun 10 am - 5 pm 352-466-1101 Serving breakfast and lunch this cafe is a popular local hangout, specializing in Aunt Sherry’s Chicken Salad stuffed in a fresh tomato along with Thursdays homemade Chicken and Dumplings, a local favorite. Speciality coffees by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and 16 hand-dipped flavors of DeConna ice cream. There is often live music out on the porch. There is inside seating as well. Photos at top: Micanopy, stairs at The Shop (photos, Lois Fletcher), brick oven at Mosswood Farm Store (photo, Sean Dowie); above, Florida fox squirrel (photo, Sean Dowie)

210 Cholokka Blvd. 352-466-4031 Micanopy, FL 32667 Hours: M - Sat 11 - 5, Sun 12 - 5 Marlene Oberst opened The Shop doors in 1980 in Dr. Daily’s old drugstore building. The Shop comprises 3500 square feet of beautifully decorated rooms full of treasures from around the world, including vintage and contemporary furniture, lighting, iron, folk art, holiday and seasonal items all year long. Be assured that you will always find something special and unique for your home.


703 Cholokka Blvd, Micanopy, FL 32667 Hours: Tues - Sun 10 am - 6 pm, Closed Mondays


From the front porch to the back garden, this home-style store is dedicated to old-fashioned, earth-friendly lifestyles. With a focus on organic and non-electric goods, the store combines a passion for the environment with old-time farm life. Visitors can purchase recycled overalls, vintage aprons and sewing notions, as well as natural laundry soda, handmade soaps and heirloom vegetable seeds. You can also find a variety of health foods, local honey and our very own homemade jams, jellies and marmalades. We offer organic coffee and pastries daily. Artisan breads from the store’s wood-fired brick oven are available Saturday and Sunday.



103 Cholokka Blvd. 352-466-0309 Micanopy, FL 32667 Hours: 10:30 am - 5 pm daily The flower garden and front porch are an invitation to explore the charms of the Lost Ark’s large selection of depression glass, crystal, china and furniture. Check out the selection of antique toys, dolls, and many other special finds. There is always a good supply of linens and quilts. Online Info at

At the Stagecoach Stop Antiques Mall 110 Cholokka Blvd. 352-466-3456 Micanopy, FL 32667 352-284-6732 Hours: Mon - Sat 10 -5, Sun 11 - 5

Handcrafted Bead Jewelry Necklaces Bracelets Earrings Eyeglass Holders Hat Pins Sports Colors


204 Cholokka Blvd. 352-466-5047 Micanopy, FL 32667 Online at Hours: Thurs - Mon 11 am - 5 pm Nepenthe brings the flavor of the Orient to Micanopy with its extensive offerings of authentic antique Japanese and Chinese furniture and accessories. Rare and unusual items include a large collection of antique porcelain, pottery, cloisonné, glass, woodblocks and furniture.



110 Cholokka Blvd, Micanopy, FL 32667 352-466-3456 Located inside the Stagecoach Stop Antiques Mall Hours: Mon - Sat 10 -5, Sun 11 - 5 The Florida Label Man offers the state’s largest selection of original fruit crate labels. Choose from thousands of archivally framed or professionally mounted authentic labels from the golden age of label design and printing. Browse through the large selection of other antique collectibles and hundreds of antiques and collectibles reference books.


208 Cholokka Blvd, Micanopy, FL 32667 352-318-0152 Hours: Thurs - Sun 11 - 5, or by appointment Within the walls of this charming little house are historic and even prehistoric treasures of such quality that the store is known as “the museum that parts with its exhibits.” Roberts Antiques specializes in items relating to Florida’s past, as well as select items from private collections, pre-Columbian artifacts and folk art. FLORIDA MEMORABILIA • Postcards • Souvenir china • Sterling silver spoons • Seminole Dolls • Photographs • Stereo views • Maps • Prints • Museum quality polished fossil coral from Florida The ecological richness of Paynes Prairie, just north of Micanopy, is beautifully portrayed in this photograph by Dominick Martino.


Ty Tyson Original Palm Furniture



w w w. .com Showing at Windmill Gallery, 19865 N. Hwy 441, McIntosh, Florida, at the Scenic Orange Lake Overlook 352-591-3030

Jean Tyson Painting the East Coast â&#x20AC;&#x201D; from Maine to Florida


Old Florida

OLD FLORIDA HERITAGE HIGHWAY The 48 miles of Scenic 441 and the network of scenic byways in and around Orange Lake retain the seamless qualities of Old Florida, little changed from the times of author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. Here one can find a wealth of birds and wildlife, cycling routes, boating opportunities, and small towns that each retain their own individual character. RESOURCES: 352-3327-9005 CANE GRINDING November and December is cane-grinding time in North Florida and a chance for people to get together to celebrate. Here are four opportunities to experience the excitement and take home some bottles of genuine boiled cane syrup -- the perfect accompaniment to biscuits or pancakes. DUDLEY FARM, Cane Grinding Day 1st Saturday in December, as well as cane grinds in Nov. Call 352-472-1142 for dates and times. MORNINGSIDE LIVING HISTORY FARM: Farm & Forest Festival and Cane Boil. Info: 352-334-2171 or SILVER RIVER MUSEUM: Cane Grinding is part of the “Ocali Days” festival the 2nd weekend in November, For info 352-236-7148. DEERFIELD FARM: This Florida Century Pioneer Farm in Shiloh has been in the family since 1840. The Feaster’s host cane days the 1st Saturday and Sunday of December. Barbara Feaster’s jams and jellies can be purchased here as well as at Mosswood Farm Store in Micanopy and at the Wood and Swink in Evinston. Access: 2.6 miles west of I-75 on CR 234, which becomes CR 329. After passing the daylily farm on left, enter dirt drive to Deerfield Farm on the right.

Celebrating Florida’s Farming Heritage

Farmland Preservation Festival Tailgate Farmers Market Crafts by Local Artisans Storytelling • Music Small Farm Animal Petting Zoo Experience down-home hospitality and celebrate Florida’s Farming Heritage with an emphasis on preserving farmland and the sustainability of the local rural economy. An Educational Program of the Marion County Citizens’ Coalition, Inc. a 501c 3 organization

Held Annually in April, McIntosh, Florida Check Website for Details 74


FLORIDA COW CATCHERS When Ponce de Leon arrived from Spain in 1521 he brought Andalusian cattle with him. Large ranches were established by the Spanish and the Native Americans. Until 1950 Florida was a free range state, requiring landowners to build fences if they wanted to keep livestock out. What became known as cowboys elsewhere are known as “cow catchers” in Florida -- the cattlemen who rounded up the animals for market. The long whips they “cracked” over the heads of the livestock gave its name to the “Florida Cracker” and by extension to everything from “cracker architecture” to “cracker cuisine.” Experience ranching skills at rodeo nights: Cowboy Eddie’s Rodeo Arena, Hawthorne, Every Wed, Fri and Sat: 321-288-1790 The Ocala Rodeo: Photos: above, boiling cane juice at Deerfield Farm, below, cattle roundup in Evinston. Photos by Sean Dowie


Evinston is a tiny hamlet along the shore of Orange Lake, directly across from Cross Creek. Author J.T. Glisson makes his home here – but growing up next door to Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (he is featured as the boy in her book Cross Creek) he had never stepped foot in Evinston. “It might as well have been across the Atlantic Ocean,” he says. J.T. Glisson’s best-known book is The Creek. Evinston is also home to Florida’s original U.S. Federal Post Office, which has been in continuous operation since 1882. The Wood family has supplied the postmaster for the Post Office since 1906. Wilma Sue Wood continues to monitor all the comings and goings of Evinston from her position as Postmaster. She and Freddy Wood operate the general store. Visitors are in for a real treat, so make sure you stop by the Wood & Swink Old Store and Post Office. This is the genuine article, from the old wood stove in the middle of the room, to the original combination lock post office boxes, to the fresh produce that can be purchased along with the work of local painters, crafts, syrup, preserves and memorabilia. If you enjoy the beauty of Evinston, you will be pleased to know that farmers such as Freddy Wood have placed conservation easements on their land. Many years’ efforts by the Wood family, the Conservation Trust for Florida (CTF) and Florida’s Eden are making it possible to preserve the Wood & Swink as well, and make the historically correct renovations required to maintain it as a working U.S. Post Office. Take a look out the back door to discover just how fresh produce can be. It is but a few steps from garden to your shopping basket! A farmer of some note, Freddy has written extensively on the history of Evinston, as well as his approach to gardening. Pick up a copy of one of his books along with your vegetables.

WOOD & SWINK Old Store and Post Office

SR 225, Evinston, FL 32633 352-591-4100 Hours: Mon - Fri 10 - noon; 2 - 5 pm Photos, top to bottom: photographer Sean Dowie captures palms along the shores of Orange Lake, The Old Wood & Swink Old Store and Post Office (photo by Sean Dowie), Authors Freddy Wood and J.T. Glisson in the Wood & Swink alongside Wilma Sue Wood’s Florida Christmas Tree – note the starfish on top! (photo by Annie Pais), the Wood & Swink at the height of wildflower season, and the original combination boxes still in use (photos by Sean Dowie).


McIntosh dates back to the early 1800s when John H. McIntosh is alleged to have squatted on property in the area. In 1830, Nehemiah Brush bought 4,000 acres from a Spanish land grant and settlers came from the St. Johns River and Palatka areas about 60 miles away. In the late 1800s the Brush family donated land to the Florida Southern Railroad to encourage growth for the town, however it was the Seaboard Railway Company that eventually built the depot in downtown McIntosh. The train brought so many visitors to the small town, primarily to hunt and fish, that a 19-room hotel was built in 1895. The train service ran from 1883 to 1973. The prosperity of the town is evident in its many large Victorian homes and commercial buildings. The train depot and a few feet of track are on the National Register of Historic Sites and are maintained as a museum by the Friends of McIntosh. Today, McIntosh is a quiet town known for art, antique shopping, classic car gatherings and bird watching along the lakeshore. The landscape is noteworthy for its hills and the view from the Orange Lake Overlook just south of McIntosh is a beloved spot for plein air painters.

McIntosh 1890s Festival

Held annually in October Info at Each year the Friends of McIntosh sponsors the festival to raise scholarship funds for the communityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s young people, to make town improvements, and to purchase and renovate historic properties. The festival includes 1890s enactors, 250 vendors, food and brings over 35,000 visitors.



20740 9th Street (US 441), McIntosh, FL 32664 352-591-1455 Hours: Mon - Sat 11 am - 5 pm Located in the tranquil town of McIntosh, Winters Past is a true treasure of a shop, specializing in vintage costume jewelry, authentic vintage hats, handbags, shoes and clothing. It houses an array of 1950s and 1960s rhinestone and crystal designer jewelry, older sterling jewelry, and a splendid display of Victorian pieces. At home in the old 1920s Dandridge Market, owners Sheila and Jim Winters keep the vintage boutique open Monday through Saturday. MC, AMEX and VISA gladly accepted. 76

WILLIAM SCHAAF STUDIO at the Carriage House


352-591-5930 Hours: Thursday, Friday, Saturday 12 - 5 pm Fine Arts and Studio Furniture Gallery featuring Florida artists in oil and encaustic paintings, sculpture, ceramics and commissioned furniture works.


next to the Historic Train Station McIntosh, Florida


Antique Tools and Apparatus Display.



Offering Intaglio Editions, Workshops and Special Events.

By Appointment Only


352-372-6262 Reliquary Clay Container, Mixed Media 17” x 16” x 12” on Japanese style oak base by George Ferreira

352-456-1178 The mission of the Conservation Trust for Florida (CTF) is to protect the rural landscapes of Florida.

20886 US 441 and Avenue “C” McIntosh, FL 32664

One artist, one vision, one singular, customized design... for one discerning client at a time. custom furniture, cabinetry, staircases, doors, tables, chairs and more.

Bill Flusche’s award-winning furniture and custom architectural woodwork is found in elegant homes and corporate collections from New York to California.

KERALAS Design You’re invited to open the doorway to a world of artistry in wood. 352.284.3925

Heart of Florida Scenic Guide



US Hwy 441, just North of McIntosh, Florida Information Online at Halfway between Ocala and Gainesville


JERSEY’S CREAMERY Thurs - Sat 12 - 8 pm, Sun 1 - 7 pm Don’t miss owner Karen DeConna’s signature recipe for 100% handcrafted creamy frozen custard ice cream! Everything is made on site from the freshest organic ingredients available, including cheese, soap, lotions and ice cream! Located in the historic 1800s train depot at Harvest Village. 352-317-8060 78


Thurs - Sat 11:30 am - 8 pm, Sun 12 - 4 pm Enjoy a blend of homestyle comfort food with influences from Miami to Chinatown. Lunch is a unique concoction of grilled wraps, sandwiches, juicy burgers, fresh salads and seasonal homestyle soups. Our home style dinners such as meat loaf and pot roast with fresh veggies and delicious desserts will keep you coming back again and again. 352-591-2000


18700 S. CR 325 352-466-3672 Cross Creek, FL 32640 Hours: From October thru July, hourly tours given 10 am - 4 pm The farmyard, grove, and nature trails are open 9 - 5 daily, all year Visitors from around the world come to experience the cracker-style home and farm where Rawlings wrote her Pulitzer prizewinning novel The Yearling. The Rawlings home has been maintained with her furnishings and personal effects, while the grounds are typical of the time, including chickens, orange groves, out buildings, and often wash hanging on the line. Rangers in 1930s attire will share Rawlings stories and guide you through the house October through July. Reservations are required for group tours. The adjacent park offers picnic facilities and boat ramp to Orange Lake year round.

“Cross Creek belongs to the wind and the rain, to the sun and the seasons, to the cosmic secrecy of see, and beyond all, to time.”

Cross Creek

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

The “bend in the road” that Pulitzer Prize winning author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings writes of so memorably in her books is still the recognizable Cross Creek of today. Take a moment to slow your pace and adjust to creek time. Full of wildness and mystery, the area bespeaks the ancientness of wetlands and wildlife. Residents are proud of their way of life. Marjorie put this into words and changed the literary landscape for many readers. Like many a Florida visitor in her day, Rawlings arrived in Jacksonville by way of steamship and came into the interior by boat up the St. Johns River. In Cross Creek she found her muse and devoted her life to tellings its stories. Elected to the National Academy of Arts and Letters and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, Rawlings took to outdoor Florida as she hunted, fished, rafted on the rivers, and explored uncharted waterways. Author J.T. “Jake” Glisson, who grew up as a boy next door to Rawlings, has built upon the literary tradition. Artist resident Kate Barnes holds workshops on art and Florida cookery. Cross Creek is situated between two lakes and offers opportunities for boating, fishing and birdwatching. Down the road the tiny hamlet of Island Grove was once a booming metropolis. In 1894 it boasted three general stores, moss and cigar factories and “several hundred inhabitants.” Twenty thousand crates of oranges and vegetables were shipped out of the Island Grove station of the Florida Railway and Navigation Company and fishing was another important industry. In 1911 residents raised money to drain enough wetland to build hard roads into the area and end the community’s status as a genuine island. M.K. Rawlings has her resting place in a quiet corner of the Island Grove cemetery.


14531 E. CR 325, Cross Creek (Hawthorne, FL 32640) 352-466-3999 Hours: Wed - Fri 5 - 10 pm, Sat 12 - 10, Sun 12 - 8:30 Recipient of numerous awards by Florida Trend Magazine, and considered one of the finest restaurants in the state, the Yearling has been serving up traditional dishes just down the road from Marjorie Kinnan Rawling’s home since 1952. The flavor and spirit of Old Florida is alive in Cross Creek with a consistency of experience that is hard to match anywhere else. Sample dishes such as stuffed flounder, deep fried clams, and prime rib, as well as such traditional offerings as venison, quail, cooter, froglegs, and alligator. Salads, desserts and many other dishes are made exactly as M.K. Rawlings recorded them in her book Cross Creek Cookery. Live music, and a vast collection of books, paintings, and memorabilia collected over the decades add to the immersion experience of dining at the Yearling.

The Yearling Lodge, aka, the Secret River Lodge Stay for more than dinner: the Yearling also offers seven restored cabins along the Creek. Cross Creek connects Orange Lake to the south and Lochloosa Lake to the north. Both lakes offer freshwater fishing at its best. Wildlife abounds. As day turns to dusk, and at early morning dawn, the enchantment of Cross Creek will cast its spell. Contact The Yearling for lodge rental information.



water. . . florida’s treasure North Florida hosts the world’s largest concentration of springs, with an estimated 10,000 bubbling forth from the limestone caverns of the Floridan Aquifer. Over 700 springs have been mapped, giving rise to pristine rivers, including the Ichetucknee, Santa Fe, Suwannee, Rainbow, Steinhatchee, Waccasassa, and Crystal. The Suwannee is one of the prime wilderness rivers of North America, unencumbered by dams or levees and flanked by conservation lands. The longest undeveloped coastline in the continental U.S. extends along Florida’s Big Bend on the western edge of the Heart of Florida region. Coastal estuaries and salt marshes are rich nurseries of marine life and house significant bird rookeries. The protection of these resources provides vital benefits for all Floridians.

The Floridan Aquifer is the largest source of fresh water for the entire state of Florida. It extends under large parts of Georgia, Alabama and Florida. In North Florida, the aquifer is only 100 to 150 feet below your feet. Layers of clay protect the aquifer and keep it under pressure.

Florida First Magnitude Springs 80

Pressure on openings in the stone and clay layers forces large volumes of water to the surface. North Florida is home to the largest concentration and greatest outflow of fresh spring water in the world.

“Everything we know will be reinvented in the coming 20 years. It’s a whole new world for education. We envision green advisors guiding students in high schools and community colleges toward jobs on every education level and in every sector of Florida’s blue/green, innovative economy.” Annie Pais Executive Director, Florida’s Eden

“Our part of Florida has a clear path to water sustainability—that is, using and enjoying water today in a way that doesn’t jeopardize the ability of our children and grandchildren to use and enjoy water. Our water wealth, along with technological breakthroughs and a new interest in water sustainability among Florida’s businesses and residents, has opened up this new, blue path.” Cynthia Barnett Author, Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S. Diver, explorer, filmmaker and educator Jill Heinerth captures the beauty of Florida’s water in this photo.

“The Floridan Aquifer: one of the five cleanest sources of water on earth.” Ron Chandler Florida Water Atlas, USF

Heart of Florida Scenic Guide


In Florida, water is our stock in trade

The Blue Path to Prosperity

“On the blue path, Floridians reduce Florida has a prized environmental asset: clean, fresh water. water use, keep natural water systems 97% of all the earth’s water is salt. Another 2% is locked into icecaps and glaciers. Worldwide consumption of the remaining intact and become the economic center 1% is increasing at double the rate of population growth. for innovative water systems. In Florida, we are waking up to the fact that water is our prime economic asset. It is vital to maintaining the natural environment This is not only the ecologically ethical that sets Florida apart for quality of life, agriculture, aquaculture, path, but a more prosperous path for our and tourism. Water has the potential to support an even more region’s people and businesses.” prosperous economy if Florida decides to lead the way on water sink conservation, natural water systems management, and state-ofCynthia Barnett hole coastal wetlands surficial sands the-art water products and services. water table Within a very short time period, humans have dredged, clay confining layer sea water (salt) aquifer spring drained and pumped Florida from one of intermediate the wettest places on clay confining layer the planet, to a state grappling with water shortages, multi-billion “By choosing the Conservation Economy, we will eliminate the need floridan aquifer dollar water transfer proposals, and even (dolomite larger price tags for for big costly, infrastructure projects with their devastating, unintended and limestone) environmental fixes. Currently “the Floridan Aquifer, one of the consequences and become the innovation model. We’ll lead the nation by five cleanest sources of water on earth, isThe being lost at the rate is ademonstrating how conservation our only pathunderlying to prosperity”most says Annie Floridan Aquifer dynamic moving system ofisfresh water of the state. of approximately 46 billion gallons per year,” according to Ron Pais, Executive Director of Florida’s Eden. Chandler of the Florida Water Atlas. “Conservation is the only option we have for ensuring a prosperous economy while delivering a healthy water resource for all of Florida’s citizens. We have a chance to do things differently and derive enormous The country is awaiting the first state to become the model.” economic benefits by setting course on this new, blue path. “If we reduce wasted water resources by 25%, and actual consumption by 25% we will have medium and no need for the drastic and expensive water transfer projects being proposed.” Ron Chandler deep well water withdrawals

From North Carolina to New Mexico states are positioning themselves to use their environmental assets and human know-how to sea buildwater the (salt) prosperous “green” economies of the future. Florida fresh water can become the center of a clean, sustainable salt waterand high-profit in aquifer in aquifer “blue” economic sector focused on water conservation, marketing products and expertise to locales around the world eager to improve quality of life using less water. Salt Water Intrusion intowhile the Aquifer

y condensation

Florida’s natural water cycle




aquifer recharge area

rivers and wetlands spring


is a dynamic system that is unsurpassed at replenishing ground water, aquifer, springs, rivers and wetlands with fresh, highly purified water.

sea water (salt)

The Natural Water Cycle Replenishes and Filters Water throughout the System:

Aquifer, springs, rivers BLUE IN ACTION: UF’s Rinker Hall serves 1,000wetlands, people per day butand uses estuaries. less potable water than an average home.

Led by Coca Cola, the beverage industry has committed to recycling all water used in the beverage manufacturing process. Proposals to convert cow manure into methane gas would produce valuable fuel while reducing nitrate run-off into rivers and springs.

The methodology behind the triple conservation medium and of land, energy and water is the key to 21st century economic vitality. deep well


water withdrawals

Most of our citizens assume we’re already protecting springs and the aquifer. They are shocked to learn that this isn’t exactly true. A great deal is spent to fix water problems we’ve caused by polluting or otherwise harming natural systems. On the new, blue path, Florida would spend its money on conservation up front rather than on costlier restoration later. So, why don’t we have adequate protection for our water? It turns out that we the people must command it. Annie Pais

“Water should be kept in its natural systems,” notes business journalist Cynthia Barnett. Behind this simple wisdom lies a profound approach that could help us avoid water wars, save billions of dollars in taxpayer money, and save Florida’s beloved rivers and springs. South and Central Florida are facing a water crisis. Salt water is intruding into coastal aquifers. With the destruction of coastal wetlands hurricanes cause much greater damage. The largest environmental budget in history will achieve only partial restoration of the natural ecology of the Florida Everglades. By contrast, intact natural systems deliver wide-ranging and cost-effective benefits. Since its inception the Suwannee River Water Management District has operated on the principle that conservation now is better than restoration later. Conserved lands along the Suwannee River, North Florida’s undeveloped Gulf coastline, and intact prairies and wetlands are recharge areas for the Floridan Aquifer, providing clean, fresh water for a majority of Florida’s residents and visitors. This natural system provides flood control, limits storm damage, maintains Florida’s springs, and supports healthy rivers and estuaries that are the basis for Florida’s recreational and commercial fisheries. Fresh water is a renewable resource, but unlike static petroleum or mineral deposits, water is part of a dynamic system. Sustainable water use must be consistent with the rate at which water is replenished. Florida’s natural water cycle is unmatched at keeping the aquifer filled with fresh, highly purified water. Compromising the system by draining wetlands, reducing vegetation cover, diverting rivers, or over-pumping results in a rapidly declining system that will devastate Florida’s water supply.

photo, above: Sean Dowie

Conservation vs. Restoration

About 13% of all energy generated in the United States is spent pumping and treating water and moving it around. Sattenspiel and Wilson, “The Carbon Footprint of Water” The River Network, 2009.

“State, regional and local governments are carrying out billions of dollars worth of mega-water infrastructure projects across Florida, including some that would tap Florida’s Eden rivers for water supply in sprawling areas of Central Florida. Such projects are the costliest options for taxpayers, and they always come with unintended consequences for future generations.” Cynthia Barnett

BLUE IN ACTION: Water efficiency in new buildings reduces operating costs by 12%.

Algae-based solar energy could turn ponds into power plants. Water conserving crops and farming methods developed in Florida can be marketed to tropical and subtropical areas around the world. Rooftop rain harvesting, cisterns and rain barrels can eliminate use of groundwater for urban landscaping.

The Blue Economy develops sustainable water knowledge, products and services.


What you can do AT HOME


Lawns account for the majority of home water use in Florida. Even Florida’s sod growers agree that lawns are being over-watered. Too much water wastes a precious resource, but also causes run-off of nutrients that is destroying the water quality of our springs, rivers and estuaries. Conserve 25% to 50% by following the recommended watering schedules for your type of lawn. Conserve 50% to 75% by changing over to Florida Friendly types of plants. Eliminate use of well and public supplied water by installing rain barrels to capture rainwater from your roof. Eliminate fertilizer use by using different plant varieties and recycling kitchen scraps. Fertilizers leach into the ground water and run off into springs and streams. Fertilizers are the single largest source of pollution dramatically reducing water quality in Florida’s springs and destroying the life cycle of Florida’s waterways.

Lawn & Garden






Showers & Baths 10% Dishes & Cleaning Leaks

Drinking Water STOP NITRATE RUN-OFF INTO FLORIDA’S SPRINGS AND RIVERS “Florida springs typically provide a purity of water unsurpassed by conventional water treatment technologies, in terms of water clarity, mineral content, and extremely low concentrations of trace metals and organic pollutants. This historical purity of springs is threatened by increasing pressures from human populations. Nitrate nitrogen is elevated throughout much of the state at concentrations that are from 25 to more than 100 times the natural background. While not toxic to humans at these levels, nitrate is a plant growth nutrient that results in severe alteration of the plant and animal communities in spring boils and spring runs.” Robert Knight, Ph.D. President, Wetland Solutions


7% 5% 1%

Conserve water and eliminate fertilizer run off using the tips above Conserve 43% by installing a more efficient toilet. Save even more with a new waterless fixture or composting toilet. Conserve 30% by setting correct water levels and waiting to wash larger loads. Conserve 18% by using low-flow showerheads and taking shorter showers. Conserve by turning off the tap when not in use. Recycle cleaning water to irrigate plants. Conserve 77% by identifying and repairing leaks. Only 1% of household consumption is used for this most valuable use of a limited commodity: fresh, clean water. Sources: EPA, Florida DEP, American Water Works Association Research Foundation




What you can do




All over North Florida people are taking part in One Region / One Book. It’s an easy and fun way to learn more about our water resources. There are activities for the whole family, community events, and education components for schools. • INCREDIBLE SPEAKERS • WORLD CLASS FILMS • FAMILY EVENTS Check our website for events and information for your: • BOOK CLUBS • HOMEOWNER’S ASSOCIATIONS • CHURCHES AND CIVIC GROUPS

Author Cynthia Barnett, photo: Gregg Matthews events • information • resources

Find copies of the One Region/One Book selection, Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S. in your local library or school. Copies of the book have been made available through donations to the OROB Fund of Florida’s Eden. To donate, volunteer, or include materials in your school curriculum, please go to our website, or contact us directly.

• TEACHERS Find curriculum tools and ideas on our website • VOLUNTEERS Contact Florida’s Eden • DONATE Books for your community Please contact Annie W. Pais Executive Director, Florida’s Eden 352-377-0777 Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S. combines environmental history and investigative journalism to tell how one of the wettest places in the world has come to face water shortages. It explains key water issues, from economics to politics, in a clear, lively style. Its ultimate message is one of hope for the future. Mirage was the 2008 Gold medal winner for best nonfiction in the Florida Book Awards. Author Cynthia Barnett is senior writer at Florida Trend magazine, where she has worked for 10 years covering investigative, environmental, public policy and business stories. She’s won numerous journalism prizes, including eight Green Eye-shade Awards, which recognize out-standing journalism in 11 southeastern states.

One Region/One Book is the first phase of the Florida’s Eden Water Awareness Campaign to build citizen knowledge and encourage dialogue on our region’s most valuable economic and natural resource: Our Water. To learn more please visit online. Heart of Florida Scenic Guide


To learn more about the environmental treasures of the region, we invite you to contact the groups who are involved daily in the work of protecting, conserving and teaching about our water, land, habitats and wildlife. Links to these groups, and others, can also be found at

Alachua Conservation Trust

Contact: Lesa Holder or Ivor Kincaide 352-375-1078 12 W. University Ave., Ste. 201, Gainesville, FL 32601 Alachua Conservation Trust works to protect the natural, historic, scenic and recreational resources in and around Alachua County. ACT’s Volunteers have done trail creation and maintenance, native habitat restoration, graphic/web design, office work, and historical research. You can help ACT achieve success by volunteering, teaching an environmental education class, or by making monetary donations.

Conservation Trust for Florida

Contact: Busy Kislig-Shires Byerly 352-466-1178 P.O. Box 134, Micanopy, FL 32667 Our mission is to protect the rural landscapes of Florida. We focus on farms, ranches, working forests, and natural areas that provide landscape connections. CTF has successfully protected approximately 9,100 acres of rural landscapes and wildlife corridors through educational workshops, direct protection through voluntarily donated conservation easements, and acquisition by publicly funded land conservation programs.

Friends of Lower Suwannee & Cedar Key

Contact: Joan Stephens 352-463-1095 16450 NW 31st Place, Chiefland, FL 32626 The mission of the Friends of the Lower Suwannee and Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuges is to provide active advocacy and physical support for the successful stewardship of the Lower Suwannee and Cedar Key National Wildlife Refuges. The Friends promotes awareness of the refuges, their habitats and their work, assists the scientific conservation and preservation efforts of the refuges, and advocates responsible habitat use. We provide education, volunteers and advocacy. Photos, top: Water reflections captured by photographer Renée Hoffinger. To view more of her work, and that of other Florida’s Eden members, visit the Florida’s Eden Source at





Our Santa Fe River, Inc.

Contact: Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, President 386-454-4446 460 SW Riverland Ct., Ft. White, FL 32038 Our mission is to collect and disseminate information with the goal of protecting the waters and lands supporting the aquifer, springs and rivers within the watershed of the Santa Fe River. Sign up for weekly email updates: Donations accepted at: Meetings held at various times; annual meeting in May

Save Our Suwannee

Contact: Joan Stephens 352-463-1095 P.O. Box 669, Bell, FL 32619 Save Our Suwannee is people dedicated to keeping the Suwannee River and its tributaries in their natural pristine state. Through education and action we work to preserve and protect the soil, flora, birds, animals, and water, including the underground aquifers, in the Suwannee River Basin. Heighten your appreciation of the Suwannee River through learning, activism and fellowship..

Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club Contact: Rob Brinkman PO Box 13951, Gainesville, FL 32604

The Suwannee-St. Johns Sierra Club supports the local environment through education, political advocacy and helping our members experience nature through our outings program. Monthly Meetings: 7:30 - 9:00 pm Nematology/Entomology Building

First Thursday of the Month UF Campus, Gainesville

Wetland Solutions, Inc.

Contact: Robert Knight 386-462-1003 2809 NW 161st Court, Gainesville, FL 32609 All Floridians share the same water â&#x20AC;&#x201D; groundwater for drinking and springs, and surface water for support of our natural ecosystems. Please contact your Water Management District governing board and ask them to provide their financial and regulatory support for cleaner and more water for the environment, above and below ground. Heart of Florida Scenic Guide


INFO: Hawthorne Chamber of Commerce

PO Box 125, Hawthorne, FL 32640 or call Evelyn at 352-481-2203

HAWTHORNE MURAL AT M&S BANK “The Bank of Hawthorne”

6875 SE 221st Street, Hawthorne, FL 32640 352-481-2411 “This is where it all began! M&S Bank, originally known as The Bank of Hawthorne, opened its doors in 1959. Today we remain the only bank to serve the people of this great city. We value the trust and confidence you have placed in us over the years. Our Hawthorne Mural was commissioned and painted by local artist Harimandir Khalsa in 1994.”



Hog Fest 352-317-3995 A benefit for Hawthorne’s youth education programs, the fest includes food, art, children’s activities, softball tournament, live music, BBQ cook-off and the infamous Hog Chase. Held annually in October. Hawthorne Homecoming 352-481-2432 Parade, booths, food and more Holiday Parade (December) Parade, booths, food and entertainment

HAWTHORNE TRAIL Dedicated hiking and cycling trail connects Hawthorne to Lochloosa Wildlife Management Area, Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park and Gainesville’s network of trails.

Photos: top, left to right: Mural at the M&S Bank by artist Harimandir Khalsa, the Hawthorne Historical Museum, the former Moore’s Hotel (now Hawthorne Apartments) is one of many historical structures, trains still roll through Hawthorne. Photos by Sean Dowie: at right, cyclists on the Hawthorne Trail, below right, Lake Lochloosa, background, ancient oak in Hawthorne.


In any direction from Hawthorne the visitor will find miles of conserved lands, some of North America’s richest eagle nesting areas and some 400 bodies of water. The Hawthorne Trail is one of Florida’s premier cycling routes and offers hikers and cyclists alike connections to conserved lands, the Lochloosa Wildlife Management Area and Paynes Prairie State Park. The trail follows one of two railway beds that crossed in Hawthorne, making it an important center for shipping citrus and other crops out of the area. Today, SR 20 and US 301 still carry heavy loads through Hawthorne, but visitors will find a quieter side to the town. Explore the museum, old railway memorabilia and mom and pop stores. The 5,700-acre Lake Lochloosa offers superb fishing, as do the many other creeks and lakes in the area. Author Virginia Seacrest writes: “Our country is swelling with a generation longing for their good ol’ days. Surprisingly in Florida, the nation’s fastest growing state, we can still find a few small towns Garrison Keeler might use for material, southern style. Hawthorne, a town time passed by, traps all the charm of a pioneer Florida town; yet, it still functions without the gilt of a tourist town. If you long for the smell of a feed store and remember how the town shakes and comes to a standstill when the train comes through, visit the real Old Florida town of Hawthorne.”

HAWTHORNE HISTORICAL MUSEUM & CULTURAL CENTER 7225 SE 221 Street, Hawthorne, FL 32640 352-481-4491 Hours: 9 - 4 daily, call Jane Segal to open up (she’s right next door!) 352-481-4436 Housed in the lovingly restored former sanctuary of one of Hawthorne’s African-American Methodist congregations, the museum exhibits historical artifacts prepared by local residents. A prize quilt by Greta Knowles illustrates some of Hawthorne’s older homes. Old tools are on display from the turpentine industry that once was a mainstay of Florida’s economy. On vivid canvases Hawthorne’s “Grandpa Moses” recalls his memories growing up in the town. You may even get a personal tour of the paintings that grace every wall, showing the old train depot, carriage works, bottling plant and the old Morrison’s Mill.


Access: From the north off County Road (CR) 2082 and from the Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail. From the east, off U.S. 301. In Cross Creek, access is adjacent to the volunteer fire department on the east side of CR 325 and from Fish Camp Road. www. 386-329-4404 Including adjacent conservation land purchases the area covers 27,000 acres of pine plantation, water oak, live oak, lake and wetlands, providing important habitat for bald eagles, osprey and wading birds. Eighteen listed species live within the area, including Florida black bear, fox squirrel, eastern indigo snake, wood stork, and sandhill crane. Recreational opportunities include hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, canoeing, boating, and primitive camping (with permit outside of hunting season).

Heart of Florida Scenic Guide



Founded in 1820, Waldo is one of Alachua County’s oldest towns, originally the plantation village of Bellamy Station on the route of Florida’s Bellamy Road. When Senator David Levy Yulee built Florida’s first trans-state railway, he renamed the town Waldo in honor of his friend, Dr. Benjamin Waldo of Ocala. The town’s train depot served civil war troops, new settlers looking for good soil and a mild climate, as well as tourists looking for “a winter playground,” all which could be found in beautiful Waldo. In its glory days Waldo boasted several resort hotels, two theaters and an opera house. The railroad brought people from all around the country to a land that was excellent for hunting, fishing and boating. Investors built homes and built thriving businesses, including an ice factory and cold storage plant, a grist mill, a cotton gin, a saw mill, a wagon factory, and a broom manufacturer. It was even the home of the Entenza family’s El Toney cigar factory, a large employer of the community during its operation. Some of the original buildings remain today. A canal connected Melrose and Lake Santa Fe for the shipping of oranges, vegetables, turpentine and passengers to the rail depot in Waldo. A series of disastrous freezes in 1899 laid havoc on Waldo’s horticultural assets of citrus groves and other crops. When two inches of snow covered the ground and the freezing temperatures lasted for four straight days, Waldo’s reputation for a mild climate for farming and leisure was soon lost. Today Waldo hosts the famed Waldo Flea Market, open daily, and one of the finest motocross facilities in the southeast, the Waldo Motorsports Track. RV and hotel facilities make this an ideal place to stay while visiting the area.

17230 NE Hwy 301 352-468-2500 Waldo, FL 32694 Convenient lodging within walking distance of the Waldo Flea Market. Just minutes drive to the Gainesville Raceway, Waldo Motorsports track, Gainesville Regional Airport, and the University of Florida. Enjoy all the features and amenities this brand new hotel has to offer, including WiFi, flat-screen TVs, free HBO, refrigerators, microwave ovens, outdoor pool and exercise room. Ample on-site parking can accommodate cars, trucks or buses. The Waldo Sleep Inn & Suites is the perfect place to call home when you are in the area. Call the friendly staff today to book a room.

Photos: top left, Welcome to Waldo mural, photo by Lois Fletcher; at right, top to bottom, Motocross sports at Waldo Motorsports Track, photo by Sean Dowie; Waldo caboose and the Waldo Flea Market, photos by Lois Fletcher.

BELLAMY STATION TOURS Historic Tours of Waldo

The Historic Society of Waldo offers fully narrated 90-minute historic tours of Waldo. Call to book your tour: 352-468-1910 email: Visit Historic Waldo and enjoy a fully narrated 90-minute historic tour in the comfort of an airconditioned van. Experience Waldo as it was a hundred years ago. Tour includes over forty historic sites, including a mesmerizing drive along the Waldo Canal, local ghost lore, and the history of the Entenza Cigar factory – once the largest employer in the state – and now the oldest commercial building in Waldo. Visit the home of over 800,000 commemorative Coca-Cola bottles and see the second largest Camphor tree in the nation, thirty-four feet, one inch, in diameter. Tours start at the Old Entenza Cigar Factory, Kennard and Cole Streets, Waldo, FL 32694. “There’s more to Waldo than meets the eye.”


Attractions • Events • Lodging • Planner


15455 NE Hwy 301 352-468-2357 Mail to: P.O. Drawer L Waldo, FL 32694 Hours: Mon - Sat 8 - 5 Explore four acres of different kinds and sizes of chainsaw cut wood. Find that perfect piece to create your home’s mantelpiece, bar top, coffee table or clock. Cypress knees can be carved, painted, or just enjoyed for their natural beauty. Find different size craft slabs for any of your projects. Also in stock is the largest display of commemorative Coca-Cola and soda bottles in the USA: 3500 different bottles on display! Clock motors, hands, numbers, painted clock dials, and the C-28 two-part epoxy resin, free-form wood boxes, cypress clocks and carved wooden fish are also for sale. Not in the area? No problem. Check the website, make a call.Tom’s ships anywhere.

Visit this most unusual one-of-a-kind business.

• 24-Hour Credit Card Self Check-In • RV-Friendly Fuel Center • All Drive Thru Sites with Private Patio • Deluxe Bath House • Wireless Internet • Pet Walk Area • Laundry Facility • Exercise Track • Security Lighting & Perimeter Fence • “Live” On-Site Camera for Web Viewing • Emergency Safe Room on Site Waldo Rolling Villas RV Park is on Hwy 301 between Jacksonville and Ocala. Stop by for a night or for a full week. Park Sites are always available. Sports Fans–we’re just 15 minutes from Gainesville

Rolling Villas RV Park Wa l d o , F l o r i d a

RV Park • Fuel Center • Arby’s • Dunkin’ Donuts • Sleep Inn

Phone: 877-301-7878

17254 NE US Hwy 301, Waldo, FL 32694


The visual appeal of the small town of Melrose is matched by its historic heritage and lively art scene. Many of the area’s artists, artisans, naturalists and musicians call the town home, and three local art galleries work in concert to host events featuring art, music, film, lectures and poetry. Patrons walk from gallery to gallery, dine at the award-winning Blue Water Bay restaurant, and to concerts and events held in the Heritage Park pavilion, turning the evenings into festive town events. Since 1877 when the community of Melrose was platted along the historic Bellamy Road – Florida’s first federal highway – the charm of Melrose has been enhanced by its slow pace and abundance of beautiful lakes. In 1881, the canal connecting Lake Santa Fe to the railroad at Waldo was completed, allowing northern tourists to travel by steamboat from Waldo to the southeast end of Lake Santa Fe. A community of fine Victorian homes grew up around beautiful Melrose Bay, along with schools, churches, a hotel, stores, a newspaper and a grist mill. The winter of 1894-95 brought disastrous freezes to the area. The hotel closed, merchants went out of business, and the tourist destination of Melrose barely survived. With the tragedy came the unforeseen benefit of the preservation of a lifestyle. While the rest of Florida boomed, little changed in Melrose. The visual history of the community remains a vital part of everyday life, protected by Historic Melrose, Inc. and supported by the Melrose Business & Community Association. Pick up a Walking Tour Guide to the 79 historic buildings in Melrose – available at the Art Galleries or at Chiappini’s store at the corner of SR 26 and SR 21. Chiappini’s store and gas station is itself an historic Melrose institution that has been tended by three generations. Visit Bellamy Road Fine Arts, Melrose Bay Art Gallery and Shake Rag Artists’ Collective – all located in historic buildings – on weekends or during special events. A great time to plan a visit is during Open Air Arts, held each spring, when Melrose opens its lakeside yards and docks to the general public while some 75 plein air artists paint the town. MELROSE PARK AND BOAT RAMP For public access to Lake Santa Fe, use the boat ramp located on Trout Street, off of SR 26. The ramp is on Melrose Bay, which connects to Lake Santa Fe.


BELLAMY ROAD FINE ARTS 5910 Hampton Street 352-475-3435 Melrose, FL 32666 Hours: Sat - Sun 12 - 5 pm, Special Events

Bellamy Road Fine Arts, Literature and Film is a subsidiary of the David Turner Warner Foundation, Inc., a non-profit, private operating foundation established in 2008. Bellamy Road is dedicated to supporting the work of creative artists in the visual arts, literature, film, music, and other performing arts. Bellamy Road offers workshops, conferences and exhibitions on site.

HISTORIC MELROSE Daurer History Center and Heritage Park 5910 Hampton Street, Melrose, FL 32666 352-475-5715 Opposite Trinity Episcopal Church, 204 NE SR 26) Park is open during daylight hours

In the center of Melrose, Historic Melrose, Inc. (HMI) maintains the Melrose Heritage Park, which was preserved from development by the efforts of HMI’s active membership. In the park, the Daurer History Center houses a photo collection of Melrose history and is open for special occasions or by appointment. WALKING TOUR: A walking tour of the Melrose Historic District is well worth taking. The small town is full of old homes, shady roads and lake scenes. Historic Melrose has designed a walking tour brochure which may be picked up at the Melrose Bay Art Gallery or at the famed Chiappini’s Store at the corner of SR 26 and SR 21. FARMER’S MARKET: The Heritage Park hosts the new Melrose Farmer’s Market every Friday afternoon, with live music in the park pavilion.

Fine Dining in the Quiet Town of Melrose Specializing in Seafood and proud to present one of the most extensive wine lists in North Florida. Friday and Saturday nights we offer our famous ‘Gourmet Buffet’ featuring specialty salads, seafoods, creole-cajun dishes, and chicken, pork and beef dishes. On Sunday morning stop in for our Sunday Brunch! SR 26 in Melrose, Florida Hours: Open daily at 12:00 noon. For reservations please call (352) 475-1928

Heart of Florida Scenic Guide



103 SR 26, Melrose, FL 32666 352-475-3866 Hours: Saturday 10 - 6, Sunday 1 - 5 or by appointment Located in a renovated historic building, Melrose Bay Art Gallery is a lively fourteen-member cooperative of award-winning fine artists and folk artists who show work of the highest caliber. Monthly exhibitions feature a solo artist or a themed group show. The exciting receptions that open each show have become notable social gatherings for art patrons, art collectors and the community. Each springtime, the Gallery hosts an Open Air Arts event in cooperation with Bellamy Road Fine Arts, inviting over 75 regional plein air artists to spend a week together painting the rural scenes, conservation areas, historic homes and lake views of the area. Residents open their yards and docks on Lake Santa Fe to artists and to patrons. The event culminates in a major event with live music at both Galleries and Shake Rag Artistsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Collective down the street, attracting hundreds of visitors and turning Melrose into a festive celebration. In addition to fine art, Melrose BayArt Gallery Works by member artists, clockwise from top left, always has a wonderful selection of fine crafts and Harriet Huss, Frank DiGangi, Anne Gilroy, Gary Borse unique artisan-made gifts. 94



854 N SR 21 352-475-1008 Melrose, FL 32666 Hours: 6 am - 7 pm daily Visit Lake Area Bakery for delectable and unique baked goods: fresh baked breads, rolls, cookies, cakes, pies and cheesecakes in every flavor. Stop by early as selections go quickly. A specialty is handmade desserts created from Blue Water Bay recipes, including the famous Sour Orange Pie and the Chocolate Bomb Cake! Hot brewed coffee and pastries served out front every morning has become a specialty at this Melrose gathering place. Come by for an ice cream cone any time of day or order a full cake or pie for your next party. This is definitely worth the drive to Melrose!


25710 NE SR 26 352-475-1228 Melrose, FL 32666 Hours: M - F 11 - 6, Sat 10 - 6 The newest addition to the Melrose art gallery and shopping scene is the cheerful and welcoming Lather & Lace. The shop offers an eclectic mix of unusual gifts. Stop in to check out the featured item: special handmade soaps created by the shop’s owner, Lori Stevens. Made with goat’s milk, essential oils and other pure ingredients, the soaps come in every variety and are wrapped in floral papers ready for gifting. Fresh flowers arrive daily from local growers.

Photos, top, left to right, archival photo of Chiappini’s, all other photos by Sean Dowie. Chiappini’s has been a Melrose tradition since 1935. Part museum, part quirk, the business is a daily part of life as gas station, convenience store, bait shop and bar all rolled into one little building. A must stop if you are passing through. A feature of many historic Florida towns is the Woman’s Club. The Melrose Woman’s Club, established in 1890 as the Literary and Debating Society, was one of the first in Florida. The building, on the National Register of Historical Places, still houses the Club dedicated to the “literary, educational, civic, and social improvement of members and of the community.” Cakes at Lake Area Bakery Delights, and the historic home of Shake Rag.

301 SR 26 352-475-2924 Melrose, FL 32666 Info online at Hours: M - W 10 - 2, Fri - Sat 10 - 5 The newest addition to the Melrose art scene was established around a nucleus of award-winning artists. The gallery is housed in the two-story back portion of the Anne Lowry Antiques old Gothic church in the heart of Melrose. Walk through the light-filled working studios of painters, engravers, and assemblage artists and observe “art in progress.” A central gallery displays the finished works alongside fine woodworking, metalwork, photography, and painted furniture. The collective seeks to showcase fine art and craft that are original, excite the imagination, push boundaries, stimulate creative thought and make the spirit soar. Check frequently for poetry and writing groups, classes, workshops, and events.

Heart of Florida Scenic Guide


Florida’s American Heritage River Images from the St. Johns Region

By Mallory M. O’Connor and Gary Monroe

“Indispensable for anyone seeking to explore Florida beyond the brochures.”—Herbert L. Hiller, author of Highway A1A: Florida at the Edge “If you are looking for an elegant way to navigate up the St. Johns River without leaving your armchair, allow me to recommend spending time with this book. It is beautifully illustrated and a wonderful read.” —John Delaney, president, University of North Florida Satisfy the art and nature lovers on your list this holiday season with this luxuriously illustrated book. Featuring a stunning collection of paintings, sketches, sculptures, photographs, and material culture, Florida’s American Heritage River captures and celebrates the beauty, power, and impact of the St. Johns region. 384 pp. | 8 x 10 | 205 color plates Hardcover $44.95



Butter flies

GREATHOUSE BUTTERFLY FARM, Inc. featuring farm tours, gift shop, gardening center, educational programs and butterfly art gallery

20329 SR 26 East, Earleton, FL 32631 866-475-2088 On SR 26 between Gainesville and Melrose Fall/Winter Hours: Tues - Sat 10 - 5, Sun/Mon by appointment Spring/Summer Hours: Mon - Sat 10 - 5, Sunday 12 - 5 Take a behind the scenes tour of a working butterfly farm. The tour begins with an indoor presentation and then a leisurely walk through the butterfly gardens. There are lots of shady benches for visitors to stop and enjoy the scenery. Continue on to the butterfly barn where free-flying butterflies are the star attraction that will capture the imagination of young and old alike. This is truly an unforgettable experience! Greathouse Butterfly Farm specializes in raising butterflies native to Florida. Their expertise, quality and customer service have made them the number one source for butterflies since 1994. If you need butterflies for your special event, this is your source. They provide butterflies for release at weddings, photo shoots, film productions, and educational resources.

BUTTERFLIES EVERYWHERE Since the opening of the Butterfly Rainforest at the Florida Museum of Natural History, the area has become a center for all things related to butterflies and moths. Whether enjoying these colorful creatures in the wild, at the Butterfly Rainforest, or at a farm, you are sure to see something amazing among Floridaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nearly 200 native species. The Heart of Florida has become a center for butterfly photography and Gainesville has named itself the Butterfly City. The recent McGuire gift of more than 2 million butterfly and moth specimens brought the Florida Museum collection on a par with that of the British Museum of Natural History as the largest lepidoptera collections in the world. Valued at over $41 million, this recent addition may include as many as 1,000 new, unnamed species. More than 9 million butterflies in the Florida Museum of Natural History make it a center for the study of global biodiversity.

At the Museum visit the living Butterfly Rainforest, p. 37 The Museum also features an annual butterfly festival, photography contest and other butterfly events: Try the Online Butterfly identifier: See more butterflies at: Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, p. 46 photos this page by Sean Dowie, below left, by Annie Pais, butterfly photos below right and on opposite page by Lois Fletcher.

Heart of Florida Scenic Guide


Photos, this page and of the Orange Shop by Sean Dowie

Citra “Citra is the home of Florida’s first commercial orange groves and legendary for the quality of the fruit produced.” Pete Spyke, The Orange Shop Citra has a long citrus growing history and is the namesake of the industry. Nearby Orange Lake provides protection from freezing winter winds and the rich hammock soils grow the most exceptional citrus in the world. Citrus was brought to Florida by the Spanish settlers in the 1500s. Seedling ‘groves’ were planted by the Spanish and Native Americans in many areas of the sate and over the centuries some of these stood out for the quality of fruit they produced. Citra’s unique climate and soils became legendary and the first commercial orchards in Florida were established here in the early 1800s. Severe freezes in 1835 and 1894-95 killed most of the trees, but growers always found a few survivors and replanted because the fruit was exceptional. Citra is famous for the ‘pineapple’ orange developed around 1860. A seedy, sweet orange with a distinctive pineapple aroma, the fruit was regarded at the turn of the century as the finest orange available. Citrus production thrived and by the mid-1900s five railroad spurs terminated in Citra to route fresh fruit shipments to different parts of the U.S. Thousands of acres of orchards stood all around the southern shores of Orange Lake between Citra and McIntosh. Navel oranges gradually replaced the ‘pineapples’ and ‘Citra navels’ are still grown today. Severe freezes in the 1980s decimated the citrus industry all the way south to Orlando, and the core of the industry moved to warmer areas of Florida. A ANNUAL ORANGE A-FAIR few growers remain in Citra and the exceptional fruit Held every fall to raise funds to complete the Citra Historical Museum grown on the rich soils of Orange Lake remains the Dates and Info: 352-595-3377 finest available anywhere. Enjoy the Citrus Cook-off, Country Home Cooking, Historic Artists’ Vision Quest, Live CITRA GROWERS MARKET, Thursdays 4 - 7 pm Music, “Ole Time” storytelling, History Quest, Antique Car Rides, Antiques & Collectibles Fresh produce, vegetable and herb plants, fresh citrus, fresh squeezed orange juice, jams, pickles, goat cheese, wild alligator meat and organic chicken. 98


An Authentic Florida Citrus Store The Orange Shop 18545 US 301 North Citra, FL 32113 800-672-6439 Hours: 8 - 5 daily, seven days a week

18454 US 301 North, Citra, FL 32133 800-672-6439 Hours: 8 - 5 daily The Orange Shop has roots that go back to 1845 and has been selling fruit on the front porch every season since 1936. This is the last true roadside citrus stand in Florida and their formula for success is unchanged: every tree is cultivated with tender loving care. Fruit is hand harvested and packed in bags or gift boxes for customers. The friendly, helpful service has been the same for over 70 years The proprietors take pride in honoring the legacy of their fore-fathers who planted groves in Citra before the Civil War. Today all fruit is grown in Citra and the Indian River, using environmentally responsible practices. Each year more people discover The Orange Shop and join those who have been customers for decades. Orders are taken by phone, online or in person and make the perfect gift for folks back home. Stop by The Orange Shop on our tour if this intriguing part of Florida for a free cup of cold, refreshing freshsqueezed juice, a sampling of the many gourmet varieties of Florida Citrus and some good conversation. You’ll take a little of Old Florida home with you.


6411 NE 217th Place, Citra, FL 32133 email: 352-595-3377 Hours: 9 am - 3 pm seven days a week Farm Tours: every Saturday Directions: From the traffic light on US 301 in Citra, proceed 6.4 miles east on CR 318. Turn left on NE 217th Place. Drive 1.3 miles to the Crones’ Cradle store, gardens and greenhouses. Crones’ Cradle Conserve is an ongoing experiment in agriculture, environment, life style and sustainability. The Conserve’s Heritage Experience honors early homesteaders by offering hands-on activities that minimize the human footprint on the planet. Visitors are welcome to take a tour of the farm every Saturday, sign up for regular workshop opportunities, and stop by the farm store open daily. Organic vegetables and products are produced for sale to local families in the Conserve’s farm store. Our objective is educating and persuading others about the value of local, fresh organic foods toward a healthy, energetic, happy life. Our greenhouse and small farm store offer organic produce, herbal and vegetable seedlings, fresh and dried herbs, an array of jams, jellies, relishes, pickles, vinegars, soups, salves, soaps and herbal teas, as well as kitchen utensils, candlesticks, and furnishings from local, native woods. The store offers gardening, culinary, children’s and sustainability books, garden tools and works of art by native artisans. The bee yard provides delicious, clear raw honey and the poultry yard provides rich, yard-raised brown chicken eggs. The worm beds provide organic, highly nutrient castings from planting high-quality vegetables, herbs and flowers. Crones’ Cradle is the site of North Florida’s only eco-cemetery, providing interment without chemicals in a biodegradable casket. The Florida Folkkeepers School is a growing part of Crones’ Cradle Conserve with pioneer skills, crafts and artisan training to honor Florida’s early pioneers by learning and using their experiences and philosophy for modern needs.

Heart of Florida Scenic Guide


OCALA NATIONAL FOREST Lake George Ranger District, 17147 E. State Road 40 Camping Info: www. Silver Springs, FL 34488, 352-625-2520 Interactive Map: www. The Ocala National Forest was established in 1908 as the first national forest in the eastern US, and is the second largest national forest in the nation. Bounded by the Ocklawaha and St. Johns rivers, its 607 square miles are over 600 natural lakes and ponds. The forest protects the largest sand pine eco-system in the world, known as the Big Scrub, as well as the best remaining stands of longleaf pine in central Florida. Karst features, such as sinkholes, caves, and springs outcrop most notably where water meets bedrock. Sinkhole lakes, vast wet and dry prairies, and dense hammocks of sand live oaks add to the mosaic of life in this, the Greater Ocala Ecoregion. The region’s eastern boundary is defined by Tiger Bay, a large swamp containing pine islands forming an ancient marine terrace between two ancient sand dune ridges. In addition to being an important recharge area for the Floridan Aquifer, the forest is home to a wide variety of wildlife and plants that flourish in the complex ecosystem. The forest hosts a variety of recreation, scenic and historic areas. The recreation activities are as diverse as the environment, from canoeing in wilderness waterways to swimming in crystal clear constant 72° springs. Visitors can enjoy year-round camping, picnicking, fishing, birding, hiking, bicycling, horseback riding and four-wheeling on designated Jeep and ATV trail systems. Four major springs can be enjoyed at the popular recreation areas of Juniper Springs, Salt Springs, Alexander Springs and Silver Glen Springs. The Ocala National Forest is open year-round. The Lake George and Seminole Ranger District offices are open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The offices are closed on holidays. The Salt Springs, Pittman and Ocklawaha Visitor Centers hours vary due to season and personnel. Please call the visitor center before heading out to ensure they are open. FLORIDA BLACK BEAR SCENIC BYWAY Connecting Silver Springs with the city of Ormond Beach, the Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway (SR 40) traverses some of Florida’s most pristine ecosystems, centered on the Big Scrub, the world’s largest scrub forest. Providing access to a wide array of public lands, the Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway runs through the heart of Florida black bear habitat. photos: at top, Silver Glen Springs in the Ocala National Forest (by Sean Dowie), Florida Black Bear, Lake Delancy (by Eric Zamora), Forest boardwalk (by Sean Dowie)


A hundred years ago, steam boats carrying well-heeled northern adventure seekers made their way up the Ocklawaha River to the legendary Silver Spring, one of the largest artesian springs in the world. Today hundreds of tourists daily visit the huge theme park which now surrounds the spring, but few are aware that the river which carries away crystal-clear water is one of the most magical places in Florida. The only access to this river is from a county boat ramp just upstream from it’s confluence with the Ocklawaha River. Once paddlers have adjusted to the swift river run, you realize you’ve entered a beautiful river forest of cypress, tupelo, red maples, and ash with a lush sub-tropical undergrowth of myrtle, palmetto, and holly. “Cypress knees” line the bank and are home to a wonderful variety of animals such as river otters and reptiles. But, by far the most fascinating animals are Rhesus monkeys. These are completely wild bands of monkeys which escaped from the park back in the 1930s. The Silver and Today they range free along the entire 5 mile river. If you think you’ve never seen this river, you may be wrong. The first five Tarzan movies with Johnny Wesmuller were filmed along this river, as well as several James Bond movies, “The Creature From the Black Lagoon,” and over 100 “Sea Hunt” episodes. Ocklawaha Rivers by Lars Andersen The upper portion of the Ocklawaha is the river which Florida’s noted author, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, knew and loved. And it’s the Ocklawaha to which a couple of Florida’s most celebrated musical troubadours, the late, great Will McLean and Don Grooms, retreated when Naturalist, author and the press of civilization became unbearable. river guide Lars Andersen offers tours of over 40 North Florida The river flows for many miles under a high piney bluff formed by uplift fault activity and earthquakes millions of years ago. The bluff marks the western waterways. Adventure Outpost edge of Florida’s famous sand pine forest, the ‘scrub.’ History buffs can dream of Acuera warriors and steamboats which once plied these waters, birders and animal 386-454-0611 lovers will be getting a lot of use out of their binoculars and cameras. And if you, like myself, are fans of Marjorie Rawlings, this part of the rive will give you the chance to explore a remote section of Florida that remains much as it did when she stayed nearby at the Fiddia homestead, researching her book, The Yearling. As part of the never-completed Cross Florida Barge Canal, the George Kirkpatrick Dam was constructed and a straight channel dug across the Rodman Reservoir. Outside the channel forest trees were left standing and allowed to die on their own. The tree trunks above the water line  toppled into the water while the lower portions remained preserved by the tannic water. When reservoir water levels are lowered 6 or 7 feet every few years, the remarkably well-preserved half-century old forest is revealed - a silent, stone-grey monument to a once beautiful swamp forest. Continuing downstream old steamboat landings and a large Indian mound are reminders of the 12,000 year old relationship of humans with Florida’s environment. In the 1800s, writer Sydney Lanier called the Ocklawaha the “sweetest water-lane in the world, a lane which runs more than a hundred and fifty miles of pure delight betwixt hedgerows of oaks and cypresses and palms and bays and magnolias and mosses and manifold vine-growths...” Unlike so many early descriptions of wild Florida, which are merely frustrating glimpses into long lost worlds, this passage could have been written today. Aside from the fact that he was sitting on the deck of an Ocklawaha steamboat, Lanier’s instructions on assuming the “attitude of perfect rest” could just as easily be followed by the kickedback, modern day kayaker. His suggestion - hike your left leg onto the boat’s railing, “then tip your chair in a slight diagonal position back to the side of the cabin, so that your head will rest there against, your right arm will hang over the chair back, and your left arm will repose on the railing. I give no specific instruction for your right leg, because I am disposed to be liberal in this matter and to leave some gracious scope for personal idiosyncrasies, ... dispose your right leg, therefore, as your heart may suggest. Having secured this attitude, open wide the eyes of your body and your soul; repulse with a heavenly suavity the conversational advances...” of others, “then sail, sail, sail through the cypresses, through the vines, through the May day ... and so shall your heart forever afterwards interpret Ocklawaha to mean repose.”


15991 NE 243rd Place Road Ft. McCoy, FL 32134 352-546-5500 800-622-5550 Scenic location, upgraded amenities, and the magnificent Lake Oklawaha at your doorstep -- this is what awaits you in the Heart of Florida. In the heart of the 400,000 acre Ocala National Forest on a 100-foot bluff overlooking beautiful Lake Oklawaha, the park features 1,300 feet of waterfront and all that nature can provide. Recreational opportunities include trophy bass fishing, hiking trails, equestrian trails, 6,000-squarefoot recreation center and junior Olympic size pool are all available to make your stay memorable. After many years of operation, it is now possible for RV owners to purchase their own lot. Your space is waiting!



Florida’s Eden wishes to thank all of the many people and organizations who have contributed so generously to the creation of this guidebook. We thank our sponsors for their funding support and for contributing content toward the portrayal of our region: the Alachua County Visitors and Convention Bureau, Central Florida Community College, Cox Communications, Santa Fe College, Shands HealthCare, and the University of Florida Performing Arts. Additional funding for this project was provided in part by a Tourism Product Development grant from the City of Gainesville funded by the Alachua County Tourist Development Council, and a marketing grant from VisitFlorida. We would like to thank WUFT and WJUF, Public Broadcasting at the University of Florida for producing the accompanying CD and to our CD sponsor, Cox Communications. We salute our naturalists and culturalists whose work gives this guide its images and descriptions. We recognize each of you as our region’s ambassadors and we feel great pride in portraying this extraordinary place through your work. A massive effort like this owes much to the creativity, diligence and contributions of so many individuals. While we can only name a few; we thank all of you in every town and business for your participation. We recognize the expertise and generous support of our scientists, educators, community leaders and journalists for the content you’ll find in the Water Awareness and Conservation Section. In particular, we thank Cynthia Barnett, Ron Chandler, David Flagg, Jill Heinerth, Dr. Robert Knight, Annette Long, Wes Skiles, and the Suwannee River Water Management District. We salute the dedication of our partners in Fort White as we develop the Ichetucknee Classroom Model for national replication. Kimberly Jamerson, Kathy Viehe, J. Lewis Walton and the dedicated staff at Gainesville Regional Utilities provided us fascinating details of current sustainability projects. Roland Loog of the Alachua County Visitors and Convention Bureau provided support for portraying our small towns and downtowns. Liz Binford of Alachua Conservation Trust developed our map of the region. Thanks to Ludovica Weaver of the City of Gainesville Nature Operations Division for the map of Gainesville and to Heather Pence and Carol Sheppard of the Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection for maps and information on the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway. Finally, I want to appreciate the heroic efforts of our dream staff who contributed their talents on so many levels to bring you this unique guide to the heart of Florida’s Eden.

Heart of Florida Scenic Guide



Ocala “Horse Capital of the World,” left, and Silver Springs, at right, attract visitors from around the world. Photos by Sean Dowie.

Ocala has been welcoming tourists and businesses to Florida for over 150 years, from the time that visitors came up the St. Johns and Ocklawaha Rivers by steamboat, arriving at Silver Springs, largest artesian spring in the world. Glass-bottom boats still ply the waters. More recently Ocala has become known as “Horse Capital of the World” as hundreds of horse farms raise over 40 different breeds. The limestone of the Ocala Ridge acts as a sponge, providing calcium-rich water that benefits horse breeders. The areas around Reddick and Fairfield are well worth a scenic drive. For the ‘celebrity tour’ follow the loop from Martel to York on SW 95th Avenue Road and NW 110th Avenue. An amazing network of trails radiate from Ocala in all directions, providing the visitor with a wealth of choices, from a paddle down one of several rivers in the area, horseback riding or off-road biking on the Santos Trail, or camping in the Ocala National Forest. Ocala provides a wealth of cultural offerings, including the Appleton–one of Florida’s largest museums–theatre, music, galleries and a lovely collection of specialty shops downtown. Ocala flourished with the arrival of the railroads and the citrus boom and went bust with the great freezes of 1894-95. Tragedy struck when much of the town burned to the ground on Thanksgiving 1881. Rebuilt in brick and stone, Ocala features a more prominent and permanent look than most places in Florida. While the area has undergone enormous growth in the past decade, residents Christine L. Harter, P.A. have taken great care to preserve quality of life, and visitors are invited to appreciAttorney at Law ate the wonders of the springs, rivers, rolling hills, forests and historic districts Supreme Court of Florida Certified Circuit/County Mediator that make Ocala special. Middle District of Florida Federal Mediator Florida 5th District Court of Appeals Certified Mediator Arbitrator


522 S.W. 1st Avenue, Ocala, FL 34471

Events Calendar: Marion County Visitors and Convention Bureau 409 SE Ft. King Street, Ocala, FL 3447

1-888-FL-OCALA 352-438-2800

Ocala Marion County Chamber of Commerce 352-629-8051 310 SE 3rd Street, Ocala, FL 34471

Historic District Info and Walking Tours


FESTIVALS MARCH: Historic Homes & Secret Gardens Tour 352-352-1861 APRIL: Ocala Storytelling Festival APRIL: Festival of the Horse AUGUST: Ocali Fest OCTOBER: Ocala Arts Festival NOVEMBER: Ocali Days Silver River State Park, see p. 107

DISCOVER DOWNTOWN Ocala’s Historic Business District The Ocala Downtown Business Alliance invites you to experience the pleasures of Ocala’s historic downtown. Dine on the square, take in afternoon tea, shop for everything from gifts to Oriental carpets. Take a romantic evening carriage ride and enjoy a performance at Brick City. It’s all here on the square in downtown Ocala.

Business Directory & Events Listings Ocala Downtown Business Alliance P.O. Box 1971 Ocala, FL 34478-1971

Heart of Florida Scenic Guide


Central CentralFlorida Florida Community CommunityCollege College Promoting social andand cultural development of the community is part of the mission of Central Florida Promoting social cultural development of the community is part of the mission of Central Florida Community College. TheThe Fine Arts Auditorium andand thethe Webber Center Gallery at the CFCC Ocala Community College. Fine Arts Auditorium Webber Center Gallery at the CFCC Ocala Campus both serve thethe college andand community with a wide variety of performances andand finefine arts. TheThe Campus both serve college community with a wide variety of performances arts. college alsoalso hashas a large permanent art art collection thatthat is displayed throughout thethe campus, particularly in the college a large permanent collection is displayed throughout campus, particularly in the Ewers Century Center and the C. Farris Bryant Student Union. The Clifford B. Stearns Learning Resources Ewers Century Center and the C. Farris Bryant Student Union. The Clifford B. Stearns Learning Resources Center houses special collections including thethe Hartigan Equine Collection andand thethe Will McLean “Florida’s Center houses special collections including Hartigan Equine Collection Will McLean “Florida’s Troubadour” Collection. A short distance from thethe Ocala Campus is the CFCC Hampton Center (corner of of Troubadour” Collection. A short distance from Ocala Campus is the CFCC Hampton Center (corner SR40 andand Martin Luther King Blvd.) with a 300-foot, 28-panel mural wall created by by several local artists to to SR40 Martin Luther King Blvd.) with a 300-foot, 28-panel mural wall created several local artists depict thethe history of African-Americans in Marion County. depict history of African-Americans in Marion County. CFCC “Face of Asia: Steve McCurry Photographs” is one “Face of Asia: Steve McCurry Photographs” is one example of the touring exhibitions available to the example of the touring exhibitions available to the community in the Webber Center. “Afghan Girl” community in the Webber Center. “Afghan Girl” courtesy of Steve McCurry andand Magnum Photos. courtesy of Steve McCurry Magnum Photos.

TheThe CFCC Fine Arts Auditorium CFCC Fine Arts Auditorium (4)(4) provides public performances provides public performances by by guest artists, CFCC Theatre, guest artists, CFCC Theatre, music, dance andand thethe college’s music, dance college’s Performing Arts Series. Performing Arts Series.

TheThe Clifford B. Stearns Learning Resources Clifford B. Stearns Learning Resources Center (3) (3) is the home of the WillWill McLean Center is the home of the McLean “Florida’s Troubadour” Collection of of “Florida’s Troubadour” Collection manuscripts, letters andand recordings. TheThe latelate manuscripts, letters recordings. McLean holds a place as the most notable McLean holds a place as the most notable writer andand performer of Florida folkfolk music to to writer performer of Florida music date. date. 3001 S.W. College Road, Ocala, Florida. ForFor information callcall 352-873-5800 or visit 3001 S.W. College Road, Ocala, Florida. information 352-873-5800 or visit –an–an equal opportunity college– equal opportunity college–

104 104

CFCC’s Hampton Center at 1501 W. Silver Springs Blvd. features a 28-panel mural (above) depicting the African-American history of Ocala.

Central Florida Community College

is located on College Road in the Paddock Park area. CFCC partners with several other educational institutions in the state, providing extensive opportunities for the residents of Marion, Levy and Citrus counties. Its community partnering also strengthens local cultural entities, including the Appleton Museum of Art and the Will McLean Foundation. CFCC and Ocala have an excellent reputation for networking in this cultural community. The evidence is an enhanced experience for residents and visitors alike. Promoting social and cultural development of the community is part of the mission of Central Florida Community College. The Fine Arts Auditorium and the Webber Center Gallery at the CFCC Ocala Campus serve the college and community with a wide variety of performances and fine arts. The college also has a large permanent art collection that is displayed throughout the campus, particularly in the Ewers Century Center and the C. Farris Bryant Student Union. The Clifford B. Stearns Learning Resources Center houses special collections including the Hartigan Equine Collection and the Will McLean “Florida’s Troubadour” collection. A short distance from the Ocala Campus is the CFCC Hampton Center with a 300foot, 28-panel mural wall created by several local artists to depict the history of AfricanAmericans in Marion County.

Festivals Trains at the Holidays – The popular train exhibit at the Webber Center, CFCC Campus, is held each December. Information: 352-854-2322, ext. 1664 Taste of Ocala The annual food-lovers event will be at the CFCC Ocala Campus on Sunday, April 19, 2009. Information: 352-873-5808. Will McLean Music Festival The College is home to the archives of Will McLean, “The Father of Florida Folk Music.” The Will McLean Foundation hosts the festival:


6840 SW 80th Ave., Ocala, FL 34481 352-854-7435 Hours: 8 am - 5 pm Called Ocala’s best kept secret, Shalom Park was brought to life by the Horticultural Arts and Park Institute. Native plants are combined with ornamentals, perennials and annuals in a park that is designed to thrive with little or no watering. With trails, benches, a labyrinth and more than 20 reflection points, the garden invites contemplative, meditative and artistic fullness with nature.


4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd. 352-291-4455 Ocala, FL 34470 Hours: Sat 10 -5; Sun noon – 5 We are closed on Mondays, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day Built to house the collection of the late Arthur I. Appleton, the Appleton Museum has grown into one of the South’s premier art repositories and education centers. An architectural tour de force in Italian travertine marble, the Appleton has been a regional landmark for over 20 years, and a vibrant cultural center offering outstanding exhibitions, lectures, films, workshops, trips, tours, concerts, school-related programs and volunteer opportunities. With a permanent collection of more than 16,000 objects and 35,000 square feet of gallery space, the Appleton is one of the largest museums in Florida. Galleries arranged around an interior courtyard and fountain feature African, American, Asian, Contemporary European, Islamic and PreColumbian collections. A 4,000-square foot gallery hosts special exhibitions, which in recent years have showcased works of Picasso, Matisse, Monet, and Rembrandt, among others. Heart of Florida Scenic Guide


The Marion Cultural Alliance (MCA) is a non-profit organization (501c3) dedicated to enhancing and supporting all of the arts in Marion County. It does so through its cultural grants program which awards financial grants on a competitive basis annually. Factors considered in the awards include the number of persons served in the community, a program’s delivery system, the impact on the community, and cost effectiveness of the projects. A volunteer committee of individuals selects the organizations and projects to be funded. In addition to financial support, MCA provides technical assistance and marketing support for the cultural organizations throughout Marion County. Further, MCA operates the Brick City Center for the Arts in Ocala, and the MCA Circle Square Gallery at On Top of the World. Both galleries afford visual artists a venue to display their organizations art and MCA member artists host several shows per year. The Alliance is supported by its fundraising efforts including its signature events, the annual “Saluting the Arts” expo and “Artist Within” in which artists work with non-artists to explore the creative process and produce a work for auction at the gala event; and by the generosity of individuals in the community who donate their time, treasure, and talent on behalf of the arts. MCA operates under the direction of a volunteer Board of Directors and a full time executive director, and student interns. MCA is highly regarded for its public art projects including Horse Fever and Barkitecture.

Visit online for a complete list of cultural events and volunteer opportunities in Marion County BRICK CITY CENTER FOR THE ARTS

23 SW Broadway St., Ocala, FL 344471 352-369-1500 One Block West of the Downtown Historic Square Check the online calendar to discover the variety of events at Brick City Center for the Arts. Each month features a different exhibit and scheduled performing arts events. Enjoy concerts, theatre, and literary events in our gallery setting. Brick City is also available for rental as an events venue.


Gallery and Gift Shop

8405 SW 80th Street, Suite 10, Ocala, FL 34481 Located at the Circle Square Town Center at On Top of the World This new space, open in March 2010, features exhibits and unique artist-created items for that unique gift.

Marion Cultural Alliance Members and Community Links

3D Band African American Artfest Committee, Inc Appleton Museum of Art Artistic Eye: Fine Art Services Fine Arts for Ocala (FAFO) Gallery East Artist Cooperative Gulf Coast Choir Insomniac Theatre Company Kingdom of the Sun Concert Band Madison Street Academy of Visual and Performing Arts Marion Ballet Company Marion Chamber Music Society Marion Civic Chorale Marion County Center for Arts at West Port H.S. Marion Theatre Ocala Art Group Ocala Civic Theatre Ocala Storytelling Festival Ocala Symphony Performing Arts Conservancy (PAC) Random House Players Shop Downtown Ocala The Salon Group of MCA USA Dance, Ocala Regional Chapter Woodsongs Coffee House


1425 NE 58th Avenue, Ocala, FL 34470 352-236-7148 Directions: CR 35 one mile south of SR 40 Hours: 8 am - sunset daily Cabins & Camping: 800-326-3521 Located downstream from the famed Silver Springs headwaters, the State Park conserves 10 distinct natural communities, dozens of smaller springs and 15 miles of hiking and biking trails. The crystal clear water offers paddlers an extraordinarily beautiful and peaceful river experience. Wildlife includes coyotes, bobcats, black bear, fox, deer and a wide variety of birds within 5,000 acres of tranquility. For more on the Silver River, see description on p. 101.


Spacious RV and tent sites are available with electricity, water, picnic table, fire ring and barbecue grill. Ten luxury cabins each sleep up to six. Each cabin has a full dining area, two bedrooms, one bath, stove, refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher, gas fireplace, heating and air-conditioning, screened porch, dishes, pots and pans, silverware, linens, towels, picnic tables and rockers on the porch. All you need is food and your personal items. Please reserve as far in advance as possible. SILVER RIVER MUSEUM AND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTER 352-236-5401 Hours: Aug - June, weekends 9 - 5, July 9 - 5 daily Admission: $2.00 Located within the park, the Museum is operated jointly with the Marion County Public School system and provides all 4th and 7th graders with an exciting blend of natural and cultural hands-on education promoting good stewardship of the environment. The complex includes farm buildings, smithy, church, residence and a 1930s one-room schoolhouse used by African-American students during segregation. Museum exhibits highlight the environmental and geologic history of the area. FESTIVALS AND ACTIVITIES

“Ocali Days” is held the second weekend in November and includes cane grinding, exhibitors and demonstrations of Old Florida life in the 1800s. The Ocali Storytelling Guild puts the spook in Hallowe’en every October. Pancakes in the Park is held twice a year with “Sweetwater Bluegrass” playing in the background. Check with the park for the many ranger programs, including bird walks, stargazing with the Ocala Astronomy Club, guided cracker village tours, and more.


24 S. Magnolia Avenue Ocala, FL 34471 352-690-2262 Hours: M - F 11 am - 2 am Lunch served 11 am - 5 pm Sat - Sun 5 pm - 2 am

Centrally located in the downtown district, Ocala’s first Irish pub has been serving up lunch and brew since March 17, 1997. Live music is featured every night of the week except Monday. Heart of Florida Scenic Guide


The Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway

Ditch of Dreams: The Cross

Florida Barge Canal and the Struggle for Floridaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Future by Steven Noll and David Tegeder University Press of Florida, 2009

is the ironic result of a decades-long effort to build a canal across Florida and bypass the dangerous passage around the Florida Keys. For over 300 years, Floridians dreamed of cutting a waterway across the peninsula to connect the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico, placing the Sunshine State at the very center of American commerce and prosperity. Started twice, once in the 1930s and again in the 1960s, the canal was never completed. In the process, however, it became one of the most important political issues of twentieth century Florida. Reflecting competing visions of progress, economic growth, and environmental preservation, the history of the canal is not just a story of Floridaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s past, but a compelling lesson for its future. The history of the canal is brought to life in the recent book, Ditch of Dreams. Those who enjoy the Cross Florida Greenway can thank environmentalist Marjorie Harris Carr. Her tireless perseverance was instrumental in convincing the Federal and State governments that land acquisitions could be more profitably put to work as a recreational and environmental corridor. Now used by many constituencies, the 110 miles of this world-class greenway is made up of scores of interlocking hiking, biking, paddling and equestrian trails; connectors to state and national forests, county parks, riverways and other conservation and recreational lands.

Greenway Resources Detailed Trail Maps and Info:

Camping on the Greenway:

Equestrian Info:

Bicycle Info:

Florida Bicycle Association Ocala Mountain Bike Assoc.

Florida Trail Association

Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission:

Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Fl


More people travel to Florida to view wildlife than to any other state. Birding makes up one of the greatest wildlife attractions. Abundant wetlands, conserved lands, warm winters and proximity to major migration routes account for the hundreds of varieties of birds that can be seen. Rare Whooping and sandhill cranes, nesting eagles, abundant water birds and songbirds can all be seen throughout the Heart of Florida.

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THE GREAT FLORIDA BIRDING TRAIL The Great Florida Birding Trail is a program of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and includes 489 sites throughout Florida. This self-guided highway trail is designed to conserve and enhance Floridaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bird habitat by promoting bird-watching activities, conservation education and economic opportunity. The Great Florida Birding Trail makes it easy for all birdersâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;casual or expertâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;to enjoy a quality experience. Trail guide booklets describe what species to expect at each site, and what kind of experience to expect: a quick stop or an all day hike, a driving loop vs. a foot-access only property. The Trail website provides maps, publications, newsletter, search tools and a new interactive trip-planning tool using Googleâ&#x201E;˘ Maps. More people travel to Florida to see wildlife, particularly birds, than to any other state. The Birding Trail serves this constituency by making it easier to find places to enjoy this great hobby and builds support for further conservation efforts. 441

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Santos West Trails



Photos: The Santos trail system offers superlative off-road mountain biking with trails marked by level of difficulty. The Sharpes Ferry Bridge is an historic 1926 pivot bridge that crosses the Ocklawaha River on CR 314. It will become a pedestrian bridge on the Greenway when a new road bridge is completed. A unique â&#x20AC;&#x153;land bridgeâ&#x20AC;? carries the Greenway across I-75. A nearby facility allows unloading of horses and links to equestrian trails. The Cross Florida Greenway connects to adjacent lands, including Fish and Wildlife-managed properties, the Ocala National Forest, the excellent horse trails at Goethe National Forest, and more. Sandhill cranes are among the many birds that winter in Florida. All photos this spread by Sean Dowie.

Great Florida Birding Trail Heart of Florida Scenic Guide



Photos by Sean Dowie

“Treasure of the Nature Coast”

Dunnellon is the trail capital of Florida, with the Marjorie Harris Carr Greenway and Goethe State Forest providing two of the larger networks. Boaters have the choice of two beautiful rivers, the Rainbow and the Withlacoochee. Dunnellon is the ideal spot for watersports and trail activities: kayaking, horseback riding, cycling, hiking, swimming and more! Dunnellon’s historic district exudes a carefully preserved Old Florida character. Native Americans lived here for thousands of years. More recently, seven farming communities merged to create the present-day town in 1887. The population and economy of Dunnellon burgeoned quickly with the discovery of phosphate in 1889. The mining industry brought in a period of prosperity, playfulness and, at times, lawlessness. The Gay Nineties were boomtime for Dunnellon. Vestiges of this era have been preserved through the efforts of the Greater Dunnellon Historical Society and the many restored nineteenth-century homes. Just north of town is the pristine beauty of Rainbow Springs State Park, site of Florida’s fourth largest artesian spring. Downstream, where the Withlacoochee and Rainbow rivers meet, freshwater fishing excels, earning honors for Dunnellon as “best bass fishing capital of the world.”

20800 Walnut Street, Dunnellon, FL, 34431 Historic Village.html



FESTIVALS February: Cracker Days and Native Plant Sale Rainbow Springs State Park 352-465-8539 March: Withlacoochee Bluegrass Festival 352-465-1842 April: Boomtown Days: Arts, Crafts, Music and Pageants October: Jazz Up Dunnellon: Jazz bands, food & spirits November: Victorian Holiday Festival FARMER’S MARKET First Saturday of the Month GREEN MARKET Every Tuesday 2 - 6 pm at the Historic Village Shops, 20800 Walnut Street, Dunnellon

Enj Angler’s Resort has been known to generations for its famed bass fishing, and as it celebrates its 50th birthday, it is taking on new life. Under new ownership, many improvements have been made to the motel, bait and tackle shop, and the selection of rental boats. Angler’s Resort is on the banks of the Withlacoochee River, 3/4 of a mile from where it is joined by the Rainbow River in Dunnellon, Florida, long referred to as “The Bass Capital of the World.” Fishermen continuously pull trophy-size lunker bass from the dark waters of the Withlacoochee and the clear waters of the Rainbow River.

Angler’s Resort - Where the fishing is always great! During your visit to Angler’s Resort, you’ll have many opportunities for fun activities. In addition to bass, fish for crappie, gar, catfish and a variety of other pan fish. Swimming and snorkeling are always favorites (the underwater visibility on the Rainbow River is amazing!). Thousands of people each year float down the Rainbow in inner tubes. Canoeing and kayaking are a popular way to get up close and personal to the amazing variety of wildlife in the area. Rainbow Springs State Park often has weekend activities in addition to the beauty of the headsprings of the Rainbow River.

Angler’s Resort, 12189 S. Williams Street, Dunnellon, FL 34432 352-489-2397 Open 6 am - 6 pm daily Call for room reservations Several river tour companies depart from Angler’s Resort: Singing River Tours “Alive with nature and music!”

Take a trip on a 24’ pontoon boat and explore Florida’s fascinating ecosystem with Captain Jon Semmes. Capt. Jon is a U.S.C.G. licensed operator and a first class professional musician who will entertain you with songs and stories about wild Florida. Custom and group tours available. Bring your binoculars and cameras!

352-804-1573 Captain Bob’s Airboat Tours Custom Tours and Guide Service

Join Capt. Bob for a custom airboat tour on the Withlacoochee River and Lake Rousseau areas. We specialize in alligator airboat tours. Take advantage of the beautiful backwaters and abundant wildlife available for your viewing pleasure. Small, personal group of up to 6 passengers. Licensed and Insured.


Launch your own boat from the Dunnellon public boat dock, conveniently located across the street. Kayaks and canoes can be launched from Angler’s Resort itself. Explore the shops and great places to eat in Dunnellon’s Historic District -- all within walking distance of Angler’s Resort.

The Blue Gator Tiki Bar & Restaurant at Angler’s Resort

Enjoy the waterfront view at the Blue Gator. We offer great food, cold beer, live music and a fun place to hang out with your friends. Stop in while you’re boating, too, to pick up your order.

352-465-1635 Hours: Mon - Thurs 11 am - 10 pm, Fri - Sat 11 am - 12 am, Sun 11 am - 10 pm

Heart of Florida Scenic Guide


RAINBOW SPRINGS by Lars Andersen The water of this spring-run seems more clear and blue than most—probably because of the wide open canopy which allows plenty of sunshine, and the white sand bottom—so you’ll see lots of fish and plenty of healthy eel grass meadows. There are also many waterbirds (including an unusually large number of cormorants and wood ducks). A couple of families of otters make the odds pretty good for sightings. River Lore For well over a century, as adventurers and nature lovers beat a path to the shores of nearby Silver Spring, her sister spring, the Rainbow, went relatively unnoticed. This is surprising when you consider that it’s one of Florida’s largest springs, gushing an average of 763 cubic feet per second. Maybe it’s the name. The Indians called it Wekiwa, which simply meant “the spring of water.” This seemingly uninspired name was as common in the lexicon of Florida’s natives as the name “Blue Springs” is today. When white settlers displaced the Indians, they changed the name to…you guessed it, Blue Springs. In 1890, when the area became ground zero for Florida’s huge phosphate boom, a health resort with a large hotel was built on the high slope overlooking the spring basin. Among other things, the resort offered boat rentals and passenger steamboat service to Dunnellon a few miles downstream. In 1937 promoters decided to give this beautiful spring an identity of its own and renamed it Rainbow. But the change didn’t come easy. Even today, you’ll still find locals who call the river Blue Run. In 1950 the hotel was destroyed by fire. Ten years later, the spring caught the attention of two mega-corporations, S & H Greenstamps and Holiday Inn, who bought 55 acres around the head spring. The hotel was rebuilt and the property was developed into a full-scale tourist attraction, complete with river boat rides and log rafts. They even offered river tours in a small, air conditioned submarine! The park closed in 1974 and after sitting idle for 15 years, was bought by the state. Volunteers from the Friends of Rainbow Springs State Park helped clean the area for over a year, removing tons of debris left from theme park days. Rainbow Springs State Park opened in 1995. Paddling the River High, dry banks along most of the river bank have allowed property owners to build homes close to the water. But, with it’s exceptionally clear, blue waters and lots of birds and other wildlife, the Rainbow is still a beautiful paddle.


ADVENTURE OUTPOST 386-454-0611 Join naturalist, author and river guide Lars Andersen on one of his tours of over 40 North Florida waterways. Contact Adventure Outpost for kayaks and canoes, transportation back to your start point and Lars Andersen’s font of history and lore which pours forth as strong and clear as a Florida spring. Headwaters of the Rainbow River, kayaker at Rainbow River State Park, and background photo, all by Sean Dowie


19158 SW 81st Place Road 386-465-8555 352-465-8550 Camping Reservations: As with most Florida springs, water temperature is constant year round, offering swimmers a chance to immerse themselves into the crystal waters at any time. Rainbow also offers river kayaking (canoe and kayak rentals are available in the park), nature trails, gardens and plenty of birding opportunities. The newly renovated campground includes a camp store and a swimming pool. Archaeological evidence indicates that people have been using this spring for nearly 10,000 years. Rainbow Springs is Florida’s fourth largest spring and, from the 1930s through the 1970s, was the site of a popular, private-owned attraction. The Rainbow River is popular for swimming, snorkeling, canoeing, and kayaking For large gatherings, private pavilions can be reserved. Tubing is not allowed in the headsprings area of the park, but tubers can launch at nearby K.P. Hole County Park.


12039 North Florida Avenue 352-489-4708 Dunnellon, FL 34434 This unassuming family-run restaurant had its dream come true when Southern Living declared their pies the best in the south. That was some years ago, but the pies are still just as good. They also serve full meals, so be sure to eat before you have dessert!


12149 S. Williams Street (Hwy 41) 352-465-7887 Dunnellon, FL 34432 Hours: Tues - Sat 10 - 6, Sun 10 - 4 Simply Seafood calls itself “Your Hometown Fish Market.” For residents and visitors alike this shop goes above and beyond. Debra, who worked on a fishing boat for ten years, and John Galeazzi offer their customers daily specials, as well as trying to get in anything customers request. The store will clean and steam shrimp, and prepare large quantities for community organizations and fundraisers. In addition to fish, Simply Seafood offers ready-to-eat hushpuppies, homemade crab cakes, crab and shrimp salads, and a selection of groceries. They’ll also vacuum pack fish for customers on the go. Not sure how to prepare your fish? Not to worry, a full compilation of recipes is available in a book on the counter.


20709 W. Pennsylvania Avenue 352-489-3114 Dunnellon, FL 34431 Indulge yourself in a large selection of great Florida books on such subjects as Cracker tales, gardening, history, flora and fauna. The gallery features original Florida landscapes, prints and a fossil display.


352-489-9848 Guided equestrian rides with veteran horsewoman Roberta Cogswell. Enjoy the many trails near Dunnellon and in the Goethe State Forest


19773 East Pennsylvania Avenue, Dunnellon, Fl 34431 352-465-2881 Hours: Tues - Sat 11 am - 9 pm, Sun 11 am - 8 pm Gruffs offers casual waterfront dining right on the Rainbow River, with indoor and outdoor seating. Kayakers, tubers and boaters are welcome to arrive by water. Enjoy beer, wine and a full menu. Heart of Florida Scenic Guide


The Ichetucknee Classroom Model

From its inception, Florida’s Eden has stressed the connections between a healthy environment, a vibrant education system and a prosperous economy. North Florida has the opportunity to emerge as a national leader in conservation, innovation and sustainability, but to do so it is imperative that we address our chronic education problems. We must reframe our education system to be the bridge to a 21stcentury economy with skilled jobs and full prosperity.

A story worth a Hollywood movie! What began over a decade ago as a young assistant principal’s dream has blossomed into one of the country’s most innovative education models. This new model begins with a simple premise: curriculum engages students when it is most relevant. That young assistant is Keith Hatcher, now principal of Fort White High School, and his dream is becoming reality. Students at Fort White Middle and High Schools are filming a virtual tour of Ichetucknee Springs State Park; creating a student-to-student teaching website; presenting their work in elementary school classrooms; and helping build the Discovery Trail at the Park’s Education Center. They are taking samples, analyzing water and soil, documenting wildlife, filming, photographing, designing, writing and teaching.

The Ichetucknee Classroom What is happening at Fort White is the development of a place-based education curriculum centered in the community’s natural environment, in this case the ancient Ichetucknee Springs Basin. Classes are held at the Ichetucknee Springs State Park and students contribute service hours as they learn the importance of civics first hand. This new approach integrates the scientific method with the communication skills of the humanities. The program values students as community members and encourages them to develop their own advocate voice. The program is led by a partnership of Columbia County’s Fort White Middle and High Schools, The Ichetucknee Springs State Park and Florida’s Eden, with additional support from a broad range of institutions.† Against all odds and tackling the State’s monumental challenges such as attendance records, test scores, graduation numbers, writing skills and behavioral attitudes, this rural community in an economically distressed county is fast becoming one of America’s education epicenters.

Taking it National Florida’s Eden is committed to bringing this model forward for state and national replication. Every student deserves an educational system that prepares him or her for the challenges ahead. An educational system that values a students talents, ambitions and voice. We need your help to take the Ichetucknee Classroom Model to schools throughout north Florida and the nation.

† Program support provided by: Save Our Suwannee, The Ichetucknee Partnership, the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD), Suwannee American Cement, Lake City Community College and grants from the Office of EnvironGreat Egret, LIFE photo by Sean mental Education Program, Florida Dowie Learn and Serve Grant Program, and the Three Rivers Inc. Trust.



Students at Fort White are making history every day. This model comes from the people of Florida and is poised to reframe how we educate future generations. These next steps are still up to us. We need your help to take this historic Ichetucknee Classroom Model to schools throughout north Florida and the nation. Florida’s Eden is overseeing evaluation of the program, development of the replication procedure and introduction of the Ichetucknee Classroom Model to educators and policy-makers. We are reaching out for your donations at a critical time in this process. Please help us meet the costs of staff time, materials, travel and conference fees.


Your contributions impact our environment, our education system and our economy. To learn more about making a contribution, please contact: Annie Pais, Executive Director Florida’s Eden 352-377-0777 or




Reframing the Nature of Education • • • •

Education is exciting Kids want to engage in relevant learning experiences Schools are natural centers for community activity Students want a civic voice; advocating for their communities and the environment • There can be a bridge from campus and community, to higher education and jobs • Everyone benefits when curriculum is “place based” WE KNOW THIS IS POSSIBLE because it’s happening right here. At Fort White Middle and High School in Columbia County, a dynamic partnership is creating a national education model. Administrators, faculty and students at Fort White, the Ichetucknee Springs State Park and Florida’s Eden are partnering with county and state agencies, the local business community, and environmental, civic and cultural organizations, pooling collective resources to pioneer the Ichetucknee Classroom Model which is successfully tackling some of the greatest challenges of our time. Now in its fifth year, the outcomes are already amazing. When science students launch a canoe at the headwaters of the Ichetucknee to film the river for a virtual tour, or, when a math class meets to engineer a canoe-maran for the State Park, they aren’t thinking about making history or solving the country’s education dilemmas. They’re excited about the day ahead: being outdoors, working as a team, and just having fun. The river is their classroom—the Park their laboratory. It’s just an average day at school. Photos: top, left to right Fort White students on location at the Ichetucknee, longleaf pine forest (photos: FWHS), producing the first virtual tour of a Florida State park (photo: Annie Pais), center: FWHS students, top, and Sam Cole, Park biologist with students (photos: FWHS), bottom, left to right: gopher tortoise (photo: Lois Fletcher), student display, and research canoe built by Fort White students

Florida’s Eden is a non-profit 501c3 educational organization. All donations are tax-deductible as allowable by law.

(photos: Annie Pais).

Heart of Florida Scenic Guide





creative | krē’ātiv | noun

1. A resident of Florida’s Eden who contributes originality and innovation to community and profession 2. A species of human with multiple and original talents (found in unusually large numbers in thirty counties of North Florida) 3. An ambassador for North Florida’s heritage and environment


Atelier Ten Tails 674 Second Street 352-543-6127 Cedar Key, FL 32625 Hours: Saturdays, Noon - 5 p.m. This guide was produced by members of Florida’s Eden, who live here in North Florida. The writers, photographers, painters, and chefs who contributed material live The Journey Daybook, Inc. is and a non-work among the springs, rivers and forests of Florida’s Eden. What’s extraordinary profit corporation that is committed is that to teaching, learning, and sharing the these same creative people also explore our underground caves, calculate river flow practice of creating illustrated journals,levels, manage farms, and guide people along our wilderness waterways. The very called journey daybooks. This unique, life- folks are creating ground-breaking education systems, installing solar panels, same enhancing art form helps people of all ages and planting longleaf pines. Where can you find these incredible people? and situations find and develop personal They’re all in the Florida’s Eden SOURCE, Florida’s pre-eminent directory of voice, vision, story, and spirit. theareinnovation economy. The multi-layered journals that produced by artists and non-artists, alike, include elements of collage, design, drawing, painting, and writing. The Journey Daybook Process is taught and practiced during travel experiences, often in and around Cedar Key. SEARCH THE SOURCE BECOME A PART OF THE


Florida’s Eden Membership offers valuable benefits. In addition to your listing in the SOURCE, get your own web page, promotional tools, e-commerce, and tech support. Check our website to join or contact us. Jerry Benefield musician John Moran Photographer Adventure Outpost Guide & Outfitters

Herlong Mansion Bed & Breakfast Journey Daybook Arts Non-profit Ameena Khan Painter Calligrapher

Nancy Moskovitz Painter Don Geiger Woodworker Johnny Dame Artist & Musician

Diane Farris Photographer Cedar Keyhole Artists Cooperative Trish Beckham Painter

Steve Earl Author of Ichetucknee Jacquelyne Collett Glass Artist Patchwork Music Ensemble

Cookie Davis Sculptor Linda Blondheim Painter Crone’s Cradle Eco-Preserve & Farm

Kayak Cedar Keys Guides & Outfitters Lissa Friedman Painter Marion Hylton Painter

Levy County Quilt Museum Bettianne Ford Photographer Sam Saxon Painter

Florida's Eden Heart of Florida Scenic Guide  

Your inside guide to the urban cultural beat and small town treasures of Old Florida in Alachua, Columbia and Marion Counties.

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