kid friendly

hiking

walking

wildlife

Paynes Prairie is biologically, geologically and historically unique. This park became Floridas first state preserve in 1971 and is now designated as a National Natural Landmark. Noted artist and naturalist William Bartram called it the great Alachua Savannah when he wrote about his visit to the prairie in 1774. Over 20 distinct biological communities provide a rich array of habitats for wildlife, including alligators, bison, wild horses and over 270 species of birds. Exhibits and an audio-visual program at the visitor center explain the areas natural and cultural history. A 50-foot-high observation tower near the visitor center provides a panoramic view of the preserve. Eight trails provide opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, and bicycling. Ranger-led activities are offered on weekends, November through April. Fishing on Lake Wauberg is allowed and a boat ramp provides access for canoes and boats with electric motors. Gasoline powered boats are not allowed. Full-facility campsites are available for overnight visitors.

walking
1 month ago

cool place to watch the sunset. Amazing scenery. you aslo can find wildlife such as birds and wild horses and gators, etc...

Trail was very good. The yellow trail was well maintained in many parts. But the white trail was under water in most parts. Highly recommend not doing the trail after a large amounts of rain. Otherwise is it good trail, very beautiful.

Nearing the trail split heading towards Chacala Pond, the trails are flooded in both directions. Probably to be expected this time of year. I'll have to add this trail onto my winter hike list to revisit.

Nothing special during my hike. Not really much to see.

One of the best trails in Gainesville. Lots of different scenery.

Love this place! Awesome old growth forest with varying terrain/views. Does get flooded sometimes just bring boots. Would also definitely recommend the primitive camping available here.

Gets busy, floods. Worth going back to for quick day hikes

walking
5 months ago

Floods pretty often and you won’t be able to walk out to the lookout. Still worth visiting and making the attempt

hiking
5 months ago

very cute and very easy to hike! however the majority of it was flooded after heavy rains the few days before we went so we didn’t get to see all of it, only reason i did 4 stars and not 5, but i saw a gator so that’s cool! definitely want to go again when i can walk the whole thing!

Love running this trail. Always lots of wildlife! Can get flooded after heavy rain though.

Great place to see buffalo and wild horses!

hiking
9 months ago

The trail is very busy on weekends. One walks about 1.9 miles to and from the berm, which was flooded today.

The part of the trail that goes out into the prairie (most of the trail) is under water. Makes this a nice short walk, less than 1 mi.

walking
9 months ago

If you want to see alligators up close and in the wild, this is the place. Horses, mosquitoes, birds, and fish almost always are present, as well, and lucky walkers occasionally see deer and/or families of wild boar ambling across the trail into the grassy side foliage. Along with Devil’s Millhopper, this is a must-see for visitors and new residents.

walking
9 months ago

The trail passes through pretty changes at the edge of the hammock and is a great place to see a big variety of typical North Florida — turtles, deer, palms, pines, squirrels, sand, ants, mosquitoes, mosses, oaks, flowering plants, and vines. Then comes the tower and the view onto Paynes Prairie, which is a totally separate experience, including glimpses of horses. If you have the stamina (not hard at all for adults, but I do remember the heaviness of my two-year-old!), and if the passage is dry enough to let you through, add the walk along the berm onto the prairie to see a unique vista. Bring snacks, water, and bug spray.

10 months ago

Great for birding, wild horses, bison, and plenty of gators. Great photography opportunities.

Awesome hike and an over cast day which made it comfortable. We will do this one again. Great trails for the 4 legged babies too.

Great trail to see a lot of wildlife

It's a short but sweet hike. I recommend the left fork on the way in to stay on the Prairie rim.

walking
11 months ago

A great place to see some alligators.

hiking
Tuesday, September 05, 2017

I really wanted to get to the bluff tower before Irma possibly causes flooding. Boy was it still wet. Not sure i really like to wade through water. Saw deer, turtle, horses, alligator, herons, mocking birds and more. Slogging through calf deep water though.. thank goodness for trekking poles. It seemed like the water was deeper on the way back. I don't know hydrology or if that was my imagination. The tower was worth the water wading.

hiking
Thursday, August 31, 2017

Yes you will see the ponies pretty neat. Yes you'll see a lot of birds. And if you go down the trail part Marked basin you will see Deepwater. I didn't bring my trecking poles. Almost made it to the end, but chickened out. I'll be back

hiking
Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Nice
Cones dike trail is flooded probably about a mile or so in. But prior to that you'll see pigs, hear alligators, and see a lot of birds. I didn't have my trekking poles so I didn't want to wade in too deep. Plus when I heard a gator splash close by I turned around. Didn't do all of chacala pond. Next time
!!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

This is a must do Florida trail. We saw atleast 50 gators, bison, and wild horses. A very unique trail for Florida! It got 5/5 for experience but it is a very short trail.

hiking
Saturday, August 05, 2017

Bolen Bluff is amazing! I saw 5 wild horses, bison, deer, wild pigs, rabbits , a hawk, some egrets and a snake. A wild colt walked right up to me! (Please do not feed the wildlife!) Nice one mile loop and an out and back to the observation platform for 2.5 miles. Didn't get to climb the observation platform due to a large wasps nest on bottom step. Oh well, the Bison, horses and deer made up for it. Definitely will return!

walking
Sunday, July 16, 2017

Amazing Last time we went we saw bison and the wild horses as well as ton s of alligators. Previous times have seen deer as well

hiking
Saturday, July 15, 2017

Classic Florida Hike from uplands to wetlands.

hiking
Sunday, July 02, 2017

This so far has been our favorite trail this year. Lots of wildlife here! We saw rabbits,deer,snakes,frogs galore, wild horses and yes there are wild bison out in the prairie! The first leg of this journey starts out in the woods and the mosquitos are very thick so bring some good bug spray and spray well. Once you emerge from the woods it's all open land at the end of the trail is a nice watch tower with a lower level that provides shade. Looking out into the prairie you can see a very long distance. Look for the flocks of white birds and you will find the Bison and horses They clean the bugs off them. A good pair of binoculars is a must as there is plenty to see. We will definitely be visiting this place a few times a year.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Stunning wildlife! This place is one of my absolute favorites!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Pleasant, easy trail with a nice viewing deck at the end. Awesome for trail running!

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