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  1. #1
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    Gainesville Area

    Hi everybody,

    I'm relatively new to the Gainesville, FL area and I was wondering if any of the other Florida natives knew of good herping spots. Anything is great, but snakes in particular is what I'm looking for. I've checked out many of the local state parks, and seen some cool things, but is there one sure fire location? As it is right now, it seems just more on chance than anything.

    Advice as to when (time of the day, or season) would be appreciated too!

    Things are sure different down here compared to my Midwestern home

  2. #2
    BPnet Veteran GoFride's Avatar
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    Re: Gainesville Area

    Paynes Prairie - excellent place! I always see cool stuff there - doesn't seem to matter what time of year.
    Last edited by GoFride; 02-06-2012 at 11:13 PM.

  3. #3
    BPnet Veteran John1982's Avatar
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    I second Paynes Prairie! One of my favorite treks out there is LaChua trail on the north end of the preserve. If you're not comfortable around gators, and during the wet season there will be MANY and they will be CLOSE, I'd avoid continuing on this trail once you reach the sink. The whole preserve is just loaded with wildlife and you can expect to find a multitude of herp species, birds galore, wild horses, bison and feral hogs amongst other creatures.

    Devil's Millhopper is another pretty cool spot. Though not nearly as vast as the prairie it's something you should visit at least once and be sure to take the boardwalk down to the bottom of the sinkhole.

    There are also plenty of creeks in the area that can be good for spotting wildlife, definitely worth checking out.

  4. #4
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    Welcome to Gainesville! Nice to know someone else in the area.

    I third Paynes Prairie. You also need to check out all the different springs including Ichitucknee when the weather warms up. It is a state park but still beautiful.

    I have heard a lot of people have luck driving the back roads soon after sun down in the summer to find snakes basking on the pavement.


    Angela

  5. #5
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    Thanks

    Thanks. I've been to LaChua trail a number times and other parts of the Prairie. Also been down to Ocala and up to San Felasco.

    I was wondering if anybody in the south had tips on time of the year and weather patterns.

    What I'm getting at as in the midwest, during the first warm rainy night, around march usually, the salamanders come out to breed in seasonal pools. Or you'll find frogs and toads best during rainy nights because they're more active.

    Florida doesn't seem to have the seasons like the midwest had, and I'm not in tune with the rhythms of the universe down here if that makes any sense.

    So for spring and summer herping, early morning, dusk, middle of the night, warm nights (and what is warm by Florida standards?) or cool wet nights, or dry or what usually gives the best combination for finding snakes?

  6. #6
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    Re: Gainesville Area

    So I emailed the Senior Biological Scientist, Division of Herpetology at the Florida Museum of Natural History about herping in Gainesville. He said this:


    To me, northern peninsular Florida is the dead sea for herping. If I go out around here and find something I feel lucky.
    So I don't feel to bad now that I haven't seen much

  7. #7
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