North End Hikes

Silver Springs, Florida

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The observation tower at the end offers a view of the vast prairie. Paynes Prairie is just as it looked centuries ago. This walk traverses both mixed forest and prairie habitat. About midway, however, is Bolen Bluff, an open, grassy hill that provides a good view of low-lying freshwater marsh, wet prairie, and Alachua Sink, once known as Alachua Lake. Paynes Prairie is located in the county of Alachua, an Indian word for “sinkhole,” and the Indians knew what they were talking about—although settlers obviously didn’t fully believe them. Continuing, a spur of the Bolen Bluff Trail passes through a hardwood forest dominated by live oaks and reaches a wildlife viewing deck. White-tailed deer, wild turkeys, bobcats, gray foxes, barred owls, and raccoons all live here. You can also make a shorter loop of about 1.4 miles by taking the return loop when you arrive at the junction of the spur trail leading to an elevated observation platform.

North End Hikes Professional Review and Guide

"The observation tower at the end offers a view of the vast prairie. Paynes Prairie is just as it looked centuries ago. This walk traverses both mixed forest and prairie habitat. About midway, however, is Bolen Bluff, an open, grassy hill that provides a good view of low-lying freshwater marsh, wet prairie, and Alachua Sink, once known as Alachua Lake. Paynes Prairie is located in the county of Alachua, an Indian word for “sinkhole,” and the Indians knew what they were talking about—although settlers obviously didn’t fully believe them.

Continuing, a spur of the Bolen Bluff Trail passes through a hardwood forest dominated by live oaks and reaches a wildlife viewing deck. White-tailed deer, wild turkeys, bobcats, gray foxes, barred owls, and raccoons all live here. You can also make a shorter loop of about 1.4 miles by taking the return loop when you arrive at the junction of the spur trail leading to an elevated observation platform."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Silver Springs
Distance: 2.8
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy to Moderate
Duration: 1.5 hours
Season: Year-round
Driving Directions: Directions to North End Hikes

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May 2018