Nestled in the northwestern most section of Gainesville, Blues Creek flows west through Blues Creek Ravine Preserve, residential and agricultural lands and the expansive San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park before it flows into Big Chert Swamp, and recharges the Floridan Aquifer at Big Otter Ravine. The tannin filled stream is 3.5 miles in length and originates in a large swamp dominated by cypress, red maple and swamp black gum trees.
Blues Creek is designated by the FDEP as exceeding Numeric Nutrient Standards for phosphorus, which likely originate from eroding soils, fertilizer and manure. Biological surveys show in 2003, 2009 and 2014 indicate that Blues Creek is “healthy” and that the greatest concern for the creek is its intermittent nature with occasional dry conditions. Habitat availability and water quality in Blues Creek is adequate for benthic macroinvertebrates.
Water quality monitoring information is available for Blues Creek. To access this data, please visit here and access the monitoring stations and data by clicking on the station on the interactive map. You can also learn more from the Blues Creek Fact Sheet.
Plan a Visit
You can this creek at the Blues Creek Ravine Preserve. The trailhead is located on NW 69th Avenue in Gainesville. Parking is available on the shoulders of NW 71st Street. The road to the preserve (NW 69th Avenue), says “Private Drive”, but the road is open to the public and you can access the trailhead. You can also visit the creek in San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park, which boasts some of Florida’s finest mountain bike, equestrian, and hiking trails, as well as open spaces where you can walk, hike or bike.
- Blues Creek runs through San Felasco Hammock Preserve which has one of the few remaining mature forests in Florida.
- The limestone outcrops and extreme changes in elevation provide ideal conditions for many species of hardwood trees, including several champion trees.
- Bobcats, white-tailed deer, gray foxes, turkeys, and many species of songbirds make their homes in the 18 natural communities found in the preserve which Blues Creek runs through.
- Blues Creek Ravine is home to the threatened crane-fly orchid and southern lady fern.
Blues Creek contains a variety of benthic macroinvertebrates, including dragonfly, damselfly, mayfly, fishfly, blackfly, cranefly, caddisfly, and midge larvae. Amphipods, worms, and beetles are also present.
Blues Creek is also home to little blue heron, snowy egrets, swallow-tailed kites, Florida box turtles, gopher tortoises and the American alligator.
Did you know?
Benthic macroinvertebrates are small animals living among stones, logs, sediments and aquatic plants on the bottom of streams, rivers and lakes. Also known as “benthos”, these animals are large enough to be seen and have no backbone thus “macro” + “invertebrates”. Benthos ranges from dragonflies to crayfish.