Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens Professional Review and Guide
"A fine trail system has been developed on this 120-acre tract along Jones Creek. The paths takes advantage of the terrain, exploring wooded ravines, blackwater stream bottoms, an old excavation pond, and some incredible live oaks scattered in hilly woodland. Expect more from this natural preserve in the future.
The site of the Arboretum, located near SR 9A, has been through many incarnations before becoming one of Jacksonville’s up-and-coming natural preserves. At one time a railroad line ran through the property. Later, what was to become Lake Ray was the site of a mining operation, probably a phosphate mine. The land was purchased for a park in the 1970s but was not developed. The land was allowed to recover, obliterating many signs of the past. The lake created by the mining operation became an asset. The Arboretum’s grand opening was held in 2009, and things are only going to improve with time. Currently a parking area and trail comprise the Arboretum infrastructure."