Alfred A. Ring Park, Florida is a stunning and scenic park located in the heart of Gainesville, Florida. Visitors to this gorgeous park have the privilege of admiring its natural beauty and taking part in some of the many exciting activities that it has to offer.
With its plentiful wildlife, miles of trails, and various amenities, Alfred A. Ring Park is an ideal destination for anyone looking for an unforgettable outdoor experience.
Tracing the path of Hogtown Creek, more than a mile of trails ascend and descend through highland mixed woodland and slope forest.
You can witness the confluence of Glen Springs Run and Hogtown Creek from a picturesque viewpoint, where the tannic water of Hogtown Creek and the pure water of Glen Springs Run contrast sharply.
The park is teeming with birds, gray squirrels, and other urban wildlife. The trails are open for strolling or jogging, and guests are welcome to lunch there, play in the playground, or take a seat quietly.
This location is a joy to hike since it includes a section of deep slope forest with old-growth trees and unique wildflowers along Appalachian-style ravines along Hog town Creek.
Alfred Ring Park, Gainesville’s first linear park, was given to the city as a gift by a University of Florida college professor who loved the outdoors and gave the land to the county. He lived to be 101 years old and was present for the park’s opening ceremony.
Discovering Undiscovered Beauty in Alfred A. Ring Park
With its diverse collection of flora and fauna, this serene oasis offers something for everyone.
This stunning 42-acre park features lush gardens and walking trails that weave through wetlands and native plants like live oak trees and palmetto palms.
You can also find plenty of wildlife throughout the park – from birds such as herons and egrets to alligators lounging in the ponds!
Whether you want to take a relaxing stroll or explore new sights and sounds, Alfred A. Ring Park will not disappoint!
Trek and Explore Alfred A. Ring Park
As you walk away from the parking lot, you drop toward a large iron bridge that spans Hogtown Creek. On a pleasant, broad natural footpath, there is a climb into the upland forest. Loblolly pines are thin, and tower above.
You come upon an interpretative sign that reads, “Discover the Habitats of Ring Park” close to a trail that enters from the left. Search for these specific signs all across the park.
A clearing with restrooms, a playground, and a picnic shelter is reached by the trail. The path on the right leads to a neighborhood’s back entrance.
The Emily S. Ring wildflower garden is straight ahead. It has native species, such as silver-tinged saw palmetto, along with vibrant azalea and camellia. The trail leaves the landscaped wildflower garden and enters the highland woodland after a quarter mile.
Smooth Solomon’s seal, a wildflower associated with the southern Appalachians, covers the hillside in the spring. Continue straight ahead and downward into the slope forest after passing a trail intersection, where old Southern magnolias offer wide pools of shadow.
The trail comes to a T intersection with a trail that runs parallel to the creek after half a mile. To follow this path downstream, turn right.
Just before you begin strolling down a wide boardwalk, there is a seat that looks out over a charming horseshoe bend in Hogtown Creek. The creek basin is a profoundly folded landscape with views and a topography resembling a North Carolina mountain valley.
Numerous boardwalks are crossed by the route, and several off-track overlooks provide good views of the creek. You can learn more about how Hogtown Creek gets its natural water supply from shallow groundwater seeping through the sand by passing an interpretative monument titled “Seepage Streams.”
The walk’s turning point is immediately after it, at the pedestrian entry off NW 16th Avenue. Go back the same way you came to the bench you saw above the horseshoe bend.
After 1.2 miles, past the bench, go straight; a sign will warn you that this is the way to the observation deck and parking area. A water-filled sink can be seen to the right as the trail winds across a flatter floodplain.
According to the explanatory sign at the observation platform, Hogtown Creek is currently nourished by runoff from Gainesville, therefore despite being attractive, it is not very clean.
Turn right as you leave the deck and continue the path upward. Turn right to the parking lot after you get to the T intersection. After 1.5 miles, you will cross the bridge and arrive at the parking lot for the trailhead.
The park has abundant birds, gray squirrels, and other urban wildlife. Visitors may walk or jog the trails, picnic under the pavilion, romp in the playground, or rest on a quiet bench and take in the sights and sounds of this hidden gem.
The trail is relatively simple to follow, and many of the boardwalks offer beautiful views of Hogtown Creek as you bridge ravines.
I’ve also read that if you hike here in spring, you might be able to spot some unusual wildflowers like Solomon’s seal on the slopes of this valley with steep sides.
The loop makes a right bend at 0.4 miles. To hike the entire trail, keep going straight. The preserve’s area quickly becomes smaller as a community emerges to your right.
The trail keeps a tight watch on Hogtown Creek until it reaches NW 16th Avenue after 0.7 miles. The second entrance to the park is located here at the trail’s southern terminus.
To reach the loop junction, retrace your steps along Hogtown Creek. Turn left to continue the loop at 1.1 miles. You will climb up the hill where the garden is located after leaving the valley.
Reach the wildflower garden at 1.25 miles; then, at 1.3 miles, arrive at the playground to complete the loop. At 1.4 miles, turn left and return down to the large footbridge to complete the hike.
Navigating Policies at Alfred A. Ring Park
To ensure everyone enjoys their time and stays safe during their visit to Alfred A. Ring Park, we have put together some basic park rules and information to make sure your experience is as enjoyable as possible.
There are many activities and amenities in the park, but it is important to know all of the rules so everyone can have a safe and enjoyable time.
- The park is open daily from sunrise to dusk.
- All pets must be on a leash and their owners are responsible for picking up after them.
- Only fishing is permitted in certain areas, and only with a Florida fishing license.
- In any body of water, except the lake, swimming and wading are prohibited.
- It is illegal to use drones, hoverboards, or other similar devices.
- Smoking is prohibited in the park.
- Visitors are asked to bring their trash with them to the park, which is a carry-in, carry-out facility.
- Only designated paths are allowed for the use of bikes, skateboards, or rollerblades.
- It is not allowed to camp or stay overnight.
- It is a wildlife sanctuary. You are prohibited from feeding or disturbing wildlife.
- It is forbidden to hunt or trap.
- It is prohibited to use fireworks, explosives, or open fires.
- Anyone who breaks the park rules may be refused entry or expelled by the park.
These rules will allow visitors to enjoy the park while protecting wildlife and its natural beauty. For everyone to have a pleasant experience, it is essential that you respect the park’s rules.
Alfred A. Ring Park in Florida is a beautiful and scenic spot to enjoy the outdoors.
It’s a great place for outdoor activities like picnicking, jogging, biking, and fishing – all enjoyed by the stunning views of Florida’s natural landscape.
To ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience in the park, it is important to follow the park rules set by Alfred A. Ring Park.