I recently discovered Lochloosa Lake while browsing the St. Johns River Water Management website. I’ve been researching places to visit within a reasonable distance from The University of Florida. I’m really glad to have found such a great location only a 30 minute drive away. (photo by Justin Tompkins)
The Lochloosa Wildlife Conservation Area is 10,338 acres in size and surrounds the Lochloosa Lake which resides within Alachua County. The conservation area is southeast of Gainesville and southwest of Hawthorne. Directions from the UF campus can be found here. (photo by Justin Tompkins)
It is amazing to see such a large park relatively untouched by the human footprint. There is a nice 4×4 trail that can bring you all around the property. There is a beautiful hammock located north of the Burnt Island Picnic Site provided by a trail map that can be found here. (photo by Justin Tompkins)
It’s a great place to go if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. I recommend getting some friends together for a camping retreat. The park is such a calm and quiet environment, perfect for a nice little get away. (photo by Justin Tompkins)
Besides being a nice retreat, this location is great for all sorts of filming. A minimal amount of visitors and little human-made noise results in a quiet and suitable filming location.
Lochloosa is perfect for a film involving camping or adventure. The lake adds to the environment and authenticity.
What is truly great about the location is the ambient and natural sounds. You don’t have to worry about recreating or finding sounds for you foley. All the natural sounds of animals, insects, wind and water can be easily recording on location.
“One feature really caught me off guard; how underdeveloped the park is,” Pete King, 25, of Lake City said. “I’ve never seen a lake this large with basically no private docks, home fronts or the sort … It makes you feel like you’ve traveled in time to the prehistoric age when you look out onto the flat, expansive waters.” (photo by Justin Tompkins)
I only spent a few hours exploring the Lochloosa Wildlife Conservation Area. I plan on going back to find what else is available to do within the area. Just be careful after a long rain if you decide to take your vehicle down trails. (photo by Justin Tompkins)
Lochloosa was much more exciting to see in person as compared to seeing it on Google Maps. You will want to come back and show friends and family. Seeing nature online just isn’t good enough once you experience nature’s beauty on your own two feet.
Scout the location and check for proper weather before deciding to spontaneously shoot here. Proper planning is everything. Have fun shooting!