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DO IT: Hiking - Gainesville Solar System Walking Tour

Gainesville Solar System Walking Tour - Gainesville

Spanning nearly two miles, you can visit a version of the entire solar system and even a few stars on the Gainesville Solar System Walking Tour. Each planet is represented with its own monument designed by artist Elizabeth Indianos and a bronze plaque designed by Tim Malles. The plaques display information about the planets such as diameter, orbital speed, surface, and more.

Enjoy picturesque Downtown Gainesville while learning about the solar system. Built to scale (1: 2,000,000,000), this community project offers a one-of-a-kind way to learn about the placement of the planets in relation to the Sun while touring beautiful Gainesville from Downtown to the banks of Lake Lanier.

The journey begins at the Sun, which is obviously the largest sculpture of the tour. The Sun sits on the southwest corner of the Downtown Square in Gainesville. The tour moves northeast across the square toward the opposite corner of the Square. Mercury and Venus preside in the pathway. Earth and its Moon reside on the northwest corner of the Square. Even if you stop the tour at Earth, you may walk away from the Solar System Walking Tour with a different perception of the universe.

Continuing northeast, the path crosses Main Street and runs into Mars, but don’t blink or you may miss it. As the trail moves on down Main Street, the Asteroid Belt can be found near the Hall County Library.

Next the tour crosses the street at the corner of Northside Drive and West Academy Street, on the edge of Rock Creek Veterans Park, and encounters Jupiter and the Galilean Moons. Here the walk links up with the Rock Creek Greenway and follows this canopied path through four parks and presents the final four planets, with Jupiter and Rock Creek Veterans Park being the first set.

Saturn can be found in Ivey Terrace Park and Uranus will appear near Wilshire Trails after crossing Ridgewood Terrace. The final true planet, Neptune, rests on the left as you enter the final park Longwood Park.

Longwood Parks borders the lovely Lake Lanier on the west side of Peral Nix Parkway. The tour ends with the dwarf planet of Pluto on the south end of the park.

During a walk f less than two miles, you can experience and approach the solar system, Downtown Gainesville, several area parks, the Rock Creek Greenway, and Lake Lanier in a most distinct way. Complete the trail in one trip or visit each planet at your convenience.

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