About this property
This property is part of a large group of publicly owned conservation lands within the Orange Creek Basin. These conservation lands include Austin Cary Memorial State Forest, Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, Lochloosa Wildlife Conservation Area, Orange Creek Restoration Area and several natural areas owned by the city of Gainesville. All of these areas protect extensive, diverse upland and wetland natural communities and provide important wildlife corridors.
Conservation of these properties helps protect and improve water quality within the Orange Creek and Ocklawaha River basins and ultimately the St. Johns River. This area encompasses nearly 2 miles of Newnans Lake shoreline and parts of its two major tributaries — Hatchet Creek and Little Hatchet Creek — protecting a large area of floodplain wetlands. The conservation area also includes numerous isolated wetlands such as depression marshes, dome swamps and a large basin swamp known locally as Gum Root Swamp.
One of the special highlights of this property is the numerous meandering creeks that flow through the property. There are several bald eagle nests not far off the trails of the North Tract. Some of the pines on the Hatchet Creek Tract are nearly 120 feet tall.
Please respect Florida’s wildlife and use caution while visiting district lands. These are wild animals. For your safety, do not approach or feed any wild animal. Common wildlife sightings include white-tailed deer, fox, otter and a variety of snakes. The Newnans Lake area is a popular wildlife viewing area. Common sightings include bald eagles, osprey, wild turkeys and several varieties of warblers, wading birds and shore birds.
- Hiking, bicycling, fishing, horseback riding, wildlife viewing, canoeing and picnicking.
- Limited hunting is allowed on the Hatchet Creek portion of the property.
- A boat ramp is located at the county’s Owens-Illinois Park near the South Tract.