The William Bartram
Trailin Alachua County
A Car-Bicycle Self Guided Tour
In April, 1774, William Bartram accom-
panied traders from Spaldings Lower Store on
the St. Johns River to the indian village near
present day Micanopy and the area now
called Alachua County. This guide follows his
route on present day roads and indicates stops
at points he described in his book, Travels.
The River Styx
From Gainesville go east on SR 20, turn south on
CR 325 to CR 346 and go west to the bridge.
Bartram's trail in Alachua County began east of
Hawthorne and crossed Lochloosa Creek about a
mile above its mouth. He continued north of Watson
Prairie and reached the River Styx near the northwest
end of Orange Lake. "A very extensive and sedgy
marsh," he called it.
The marsh looks much the same today with
many of the plants and animals that Bartram
observed still abundant.
O Micanopy, Site of the
Indian Village of
Continue west on SR 346 to US 441. Turn left on US
441 for 2/10 of a mile then turn right on SR 25A to
The village of the Indian Chief Cowkeeper was
located 300 or 400 yards north of Lake Tuscawilla
where a stream enters the lake. There is a Bartram
marker located in the center of the main street of
Micanopy, named for a later Seminole chief. Cow-
keeper (or Ahya) and his people kept large herds of
cattle on the nearby prairie, which Bartram called
the Alachua Savannah. Cowkeeper gave Bartram
permission to explore the area and named him "Puc
Puggy," meaning Flower Hunter.
O Paynes Prairie
From Micanopy go northwest on US 441 to the
entrance to Paynes Prairie State Preserve and drive
into the Visitors Center. The park is open from 8:00
a.m. to sunset every day. Admission is 500.
Bartram explored the prairie and camped near
Chacala Pond. Exhibits, tours, and interpretive
programs at the Visitors Center discuss Bartram
and the natural history of the area. The Observation
Tower gives a spectacular view of what Bartram
called "the borders of a new world" the Alachua
Savannah. The live oaks he recorded still grow in
O Observation Ramp
Leaving Paynes Prairie Preserve go north on U.S.
441. There is a Bartram marker on the right. At this
marker there is a pull-off place at the Observation
Ramp. Walk out on the ramp and enjoy the vast
expanse of the Prairie as Bartram saw it, green with
the leaves of the American lotus and pickerel weed.
The cattle egrets that you might see were not
observed by William Bartram as they are not native
birds and came later.
O Alachua Sink
Paynes Prairie State Preserve
Continue north on U.S. 441, turn right (east) on SR
331 (Williston Rd.). At S.E. 4th St. (traffic light), turn
right onto S.E. 22nd Ave. to S.E. 15 St. Turn right (south)
to end of pavement, continue south on dirt road to
park entrance. Open 8-5 Mon. to Fri. Check in and
out at Ranger Station.
The sink is now covered with water hyacinths, a
plant introduced long after Bartram observed many
alligators there. In 1871 the sink became clogged,
creating Alachua Lake. The water drained suddenly
20 years later and the area was named Paynes
Prairie. Because of the network of sinkholes and
porous limestone, Bartram imagined an under-
ground system whereby fish could swim from one
lake to the next.
6 Colclough Hill
S.W. 1st Way
Return to SR 331 (Williston Rd.), turn left to S.W. 32
Way, turn right to S.W. 1 Way, turn right and go to end
of street. The Sanctuary entrance is always open.
The Sanctuary is on the west slope of Colclough
Hill, which overlooks Paynes Prairie, and was a
popular living site for prehistoric Indians. William
Bartram crossed Colclough Hill on his way around
the Prairie. He described a forest of oak, magnolia,
hickory, sugarberry, holly, basswood, dogwood and
other plants typical of a mesic hammock. The forest
was subsequently cleared for farmland but has now
come back with many live oaks, sweetgum and
loblolly pines. The 38-acre sanctuary is owned by the
Florida Audubon Society and maintained by the
Alachua Audubon Society.
O Bivens Arm
3650 S. Main St.
Return to S.R. 331, turn right and go west to S.R.
329 (S. Main St.) and turn right to the Park on the left.
Open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Forty-three acres of marsh and fourteen acres of
mesic hammock are home to many of the plants
and animals that Bartram described in his journey
around the rim of the Alachua Savannah. Mag-
nificent live oaks are a special feature of this city
park. Also of note are the quotation plaques along
the boardwalk and trails, written by many of the
great naturalists, including William and his father
1625 S.W. 63 Blvd.
Leaving Bivens Arm go north on S. Main St. to S.W.
16 Ave. and turn west (left), cross U.S. 441 and
continue to S.R. 24 (Archer Road). Continue west to
S.W. 63rd Blvd. and turn right to garden. Open Mon.,
Tues., Wed., Fri. 9-5, Sat. 9 to dusk, Sun. 1-5. Admission
$1.00 adults, 500 children.
En route from Spalding's Lower Store to the
Suwannee River, Bartram rejoined a party of traders.
They followed the "old Spanish Highway" from the
Alachua Savannah to the banks of Lake Kanapaha
where they camped "under a little grove of Live
Oaks just by a group of shelly rocks." Look for the
Bartram marker near the lake, and enjoy the dis-
plays of ornamental and medicinal plants, some of
which Bartram recorded.
This brochure is the collective effort of many
environmental and civic groups. In particular we
would like to acknowledge the contribution of the
Bingham Environmental Studies Center
Florida State Museum/Florida Endowment for
Alachua County Historical Commission
City of Gainesville, Nature Operations Division
P.K. Yonge Lab School
City Beautification Board
University of Florida/Florida Endowment for
Drawing by William Bartram A
This printing courtesy of Burger King KING
Enrich your understanding of our cultural and
natural heritage by following the travels of William
Bartram through this scenic and fascinating area of
Florida. For additional information on Bartram,
contact your local library.
ANONA PYGMFkA .