Sweetwater Preserve Temporary Parking Closure – West Trailhead

Press release from Alachua County

The Alachua County Forever Sweetwater Preserve – West Trailhead (S.E. 16th Avenue and Williston Road, Gainesville) will be temporarily closed for construction improvements beginning Monday, October 4, 2021, at 6 a.m.

The construction will provide official parking spaces, improved management and water quality treatment of stormwater runoff, erosion control in the preserve, and will be integrated into a larger public trail system within the City of Gainesville.
Vehicles, including semi-truck trailers, may not be parked on the spur road after 6 a.m. on Monday, October 4. For visitor safety, the public is expected to observe all closure and warning signs and not enter the construction area at any time during the construction.

View a map of the preserve with the upcoming closure.

This project is supported by funding from Alachua County, the City of Gainesville, and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to protect water quality in Sweetwater Branch, Paynes Prairie, and the Floridan Aquifer, as well as to improve public access to the Preserve and trails.

Pedestrians and cyclists may still access Sweetwater Preserve – West Trails via a temporary trailhead along the power line right-of-way south of the 16th Avenue spur road. However, there will be no parking available during the construction (as shown on the map). Visitors traveling by car may still access Sweetwater Preserve from the East Trailhead by parking at the City of Gainesville’s Boulware Springs Park (3300 S.E. 15th St, Gainesville) and walking a short distance up the Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail.

Construction is estimated to be complete in January 2022, but updates will be provided if that date changes. The preserve will still be opened from sunrise to sunset (Visitors on the preserve outside these hours are trespassing).

Updates will be posted on the Alachua County Parks and Open Spaces website.