Circling the shoreline of Newnan's Lake near Gainesville and dipping into the ancient passageway of Prairie Creek on the southwest side of the lake, the trail is named after the Potano, a Native American tribe that lived in the area through the 1600s. When the lake dried up during the 2000 drought, 138 early Native American dugout canoes were found in the lake bottom, the largest discovery of aboriginal vessels in North America. Many more were believed hidden beneath silt and muck. Numerous eagles and wading birds nest along the lake. In fact, so many eagles nest along the lake that eggs have been used to help repopulate eagles throughout the eastern United States. Due to its scenic qualities, the Potano Trail is a state-designated Florida paddling trail.