Alligator Alley offers riders a short, yet immersive experience alongside Bivens Arm Lake in Gainesville. With moderate elevation changes and a few tricky root sections, the singletrack appeals mainly to intermediate-level riders. While the trail itself doesn't promise an extended ride, its charm lies in the scenic views and its function as a connector to other Gainesville trails.
The trail isn't particularly long, but what it lacks in distance, it makes up in small challenges and visual allure. Despite its brevity, Alligator Alley features some gnarly roots and small hills that demand a rider's full attention. Often, cyclists will spot alligators retreating into the lake, adding an adventurous twist to the ride.
To find Alligator Alley, head on Archer Road towards Shands and the VA hospital from 34th Street in Gainesville. Take the right fork onto SW 16th Ave, followed by the first right onto Shealy Drive. The trailhead awaits at the end of this street, behind the UF Vet College.
While the trail holds potential, poor drainage, overgrowth, and dilapidated wooden features are common complaints. Most notably, the bridge at the trail's end is in a state of disrepair. Frequent riders suggest that this trail could benefit substantially from regular maintenance.
Alligator Alley is best appreciated by local riders or those already in the Gainesville area. It functions excellently as a connector to longer trails, and despite its shortcomings in maintenance, it offers a delightful blend of small challenges and scenic vistas. Given its proximity to water bodies, riders should note that the trail tends to get muddy after rain. However, for those residing in Gainesville looking for a quick jaunt or a connecting route, Alligator Alley serves its purpose admirably.