Alachua County High Point Trip Report

Date: October, 1999
Author: Fred Lobdell

There are four areas of 200-foot elevation in Alachua County. Three of these lie about a half mile east of I-75 on either side of county 232, and the fourth is about 5 miles east, just east of US 441. The first three areas are in San Felasco Hammock State Preserve, and are easily accessible. From the south, get off I-75 at Exit 77 (county 222) and go west almost 3 miles to a "T" intersection with county 241. Turn right (north) on 241 and go about 2 miles to county 232. Turn right (east) and go about 2.3 miles, passing over I-75 in the process. At the height of land on 232, there will be a parking area on the right (south) side of the road. Park here. This is a self-registration parking area.

This point may also be reached from the north by getting off I-75 at Exit 78 (county 241) and going south on 241 for about 2.5 miles to county 232, where you should turn left (east). Proceed to the parking area mentioned above.

Once you're there, there is apparently no restriction on where you may go. I wandered around in what appeared to be a high area a short distance east of the parking area, then crossed the highway in search of the other two areas. I walked down a trail (not shown on the topo) to its intersection with a woods road (which is shown). I then turned right on the road (which was also blazed as a trail) and walked to the stream crossing shown on the topo. I then backtracked, counting paces, to the height of land on the old road. As these are 5-foot contours, slopes are pretty subtle. This was the "ridge" along which the two remaining areas were supposed to lie. I bushwhacked (not especially difficult) pretty much due southwest, detouring to stand on this or that area that seemed a few inches higher than the surrounding terrain. I can't positively claim I stood on the precise high point, but I made the traditional good faith effort.

The fourth area is off US 441. From the above area continue east on 232, past where it shows as turning on the map, to its intersection with FL 121. (This distance is about 5 miles or a tad more.) Turn left on 121 and take it about a mile to its intersection with US 441. Turn left (northwest) on 441 and go about 2.5 miles or a little more. Pass a trailer park on the right and look for a road crossing the railroad tracks on the right. Turn right, cross the tracks, and turn left, parallel to the tracks, and go up to a gate to a sawmill. The sawmill operates, according to the sign, from 8 to 5 on 5 days/week. As it was a Saturday, the gate was closed and locked. However, the only sign forbade smoking on the premises, so I stepped through the gate and wandered toward the rear of the large yard.

I mounted a pile of sawdust to see better and spotted the goal towards the east edge of the yard. I went back there and got up on the hill, but it was obvious that it was manmade. It was pushed up by bulldozer when the yard was levelled for the stacks of cut trees that are all over the yard. In my opinion, this area need not be visited; it is obviously artificial, and only the three areas in the state preserve are natural surfaces.