Gainesville is the larges city in North Central Florida. The heart of Gainesville is the University of Florida campus, where more than 50,000 students attend. Gainesville is known for its dense and rich tree canopy. There’s a nice mix of options for running in Gainesville, with several longer multi-use paths, nice parks, the University campus, and some scenic nature preserves not far from the city.
The anchor of running in Gainesville is the 17-mile Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail. It can also be used as a connector or add-on to several of our other Gainesville routes, such as the Sweetwater Wetlands Park — one of the most scenic places to run in Gainesville. Any runner must also do a jaunt around the scenic University of Florida campus, which has nice pedestrian paths, a track, and some park-like sections. Another nice route is to combine Depot Park with some other nearby trails. We also love the easy trail running in some of the nearby preserves: Morningside Nature Center and San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park.
Runners should note that Gainesville’s weather is hot and humid from May through September, with near daily thunderstorms.