Best Alachua County Picnic Places
By Brooke Avedon
Summer means time off of work and school and the chance to relax and have fun with friends and family. Something to do is packing a picnic and having a great afternoon out to celebrate National Picnic Month and explore all North Central Florida’s natural parks have to offer.
Located in Downtown Gainesville, Depot Park was once on a contaminated site until 2000, when GRU came up with “The Big Dig” plan to remove all contaminated soil and treat and discharge contaminated water. Depot Park opened in the summer of 2016 and features a large outdoor playground, large waterfall splash pad, a waters-edge promenade, conservation area, train station general store and a picnic pavilion. Depot Park will provide loads of entertainment and picnicking.
Cellon Oak Park
Cellon Oak Park is known for just that: an oak tree. However, the oak tree at Cellon is the largest live oak tree in the state of Florida. Cellon Oak Park is primarily just about the tree, with no restrooms or picnic tables (so bring a blanket), but a great place for you to have some fun playing with little ones. Given the usually quiet and relaxing nature of this park, time here is rejuvenating for any tired parent or a great spot for the kids to have some fun running around.
Poe Springs Park
Poe Springs Park offers a swimming hole, pavilion with picnic tables for lunch and open play areas for the kids. Poe Springs has no entrance fee and includes water activities like swimming, snorkeling and kayaking. After having fun swimming, you can explore everything the park has with their nature trails and find the perfect shaded area to sit and enjoy a picnic lunch or opt for the covered pavilion.
Located on the Santa Fe River in High Springs Florida, Ginnie Springs is home to beautiful, crystal-clear springs. Grab your favorite inflatable and float down the river. Pack a lunch though because playing in the springs all day is sure to workup an appetite! You can either pack some sandwiches or take advantage of the grills in the park you can use to grill on!