Manager's Message

a man in protective gear stand sin front of a prescribed fire with a drip torch

Kevin Patton, Park Manager

The Palatka-to-Lake Butler State Trail has two sections that are currently paved. The largest of these extends from Roberts Lane ten miles west of Palatka on State Road 100 to two miles west of Keystone Heights. This section of pavement extends for more than 20 miles.

There are four main areas to park along this stretch of the trail. The largest of these is the Clay County Twin Lakes Recreation area located just east of Keystone Heights. Twin Lakes is the only parking area along this stretch of trail that provides restroom facilities. There is an additional trail parking area located at the entrance of the Forest Hills housing community located just west of Putnam Hall. Trail parking areas are also provided in the communities of Grandin and Florahome.

Putnam County has developed an additional trail head in Florahome. This area has a paved parking area as well as a waterless restroom.

On the western end of the trail is the Lake Butler Trail Head. The city of Lake Butler provides bathroom facilities at this area. Pavement starts at the trail head and extends four miles to the east. The unpaved portions of the trail are open for hiking. There are several bridges that are out and are not usable. Hikers must navigate around them on state and county roads. They are the Rice Creek Bridge located east of Palatka, the bridge near Sampson City in Bradford County, the New River Bridge located in Union County and a small bridge off County Road 18 near Hampton.

There are plans to pave the remaining sections, connecting the existing paved areas as well as repairing the bridges. The next area to be paved will be from Palataka to Roberts Lane. The Rice Creek bridge will be replaced during this process.