Bell Ridge Longleaf Wildlife and Environmental Area
Located 23 miles northwest of Gainesville, the 720-acre Bell Ridge Longleaf Wildlife and Environmental Area (WEA) features mature rolling sandhills with an overstory of longleaf pine and turkey oak, and a wiregrass dominated groundcover. These well-managed upland habitats support a healthy gopher tortoise population and help protect the Floridan aquifer, a source of drinking water in the region.
Prior to its purchase by the state, Bell Ridge Longleaf WEA was known as Davidson Ranch. It was managed as a preserve by The Nature Conservancy and as a conservation property by the previous landowner. Today, visitors can hike the network of unpaved roads and enjoy wildlife viewing and spectacular displays of fall wildflowers that follow spring burns.