Help keep our trails and parks open during COVID-19 by committing to social distancing. Some trails or park services may be closed this weekend so check with local authorities before heading out.
Learn more

La Chua Trail is a 2.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Micanopy, Florida that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 2.4 miles Elevation Gain: 0 feet Route Type: Out & Back

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

partially paved

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

LaChua Trail is 3 miles round-trip from the North Rim of the Prairie to an observation tower. This trail provides scenic views of wet-prairie and marsh habitat including Alachua Sink and Alachua Lake. It has been reported that the last bit of the trail is currently closed (05/27/2020).

hiking
muddy
no shade
10 days ago

hiking
13 days ago

Wonderful boardwalk trail that leads into the grass and takes you deep into Payne’s Prairie. You’ll definitely see different species of birds, probably gators, sometimes horses, boars and buffalo. It’s my favorite trail in Gainesville.

hiking
1 month ago

Last third closed

hiking
bugs
fee
flooded
no shade
1 month ago

hiking
fee
1 month ago

My son and I loved it. It was hot, and the last little bit of the trail was closed off, but it was beautiful and we got to see a ton of alligators. We'll definitely be going again.

bird watching
4 months ago

Great trail, easy access, unique birds including snail kites. Lots of alligators and many species of birds to I observe

hiking
fee
flooded
no shade
4 months ago

I had an amazing time. The trail was short due to it being particularly closed (flooding). It was still breath taking. Was also a nice and easy walk too. I would suggest going on a day that isn’t extreme hot because there isn’t much shade. We saw a lot of gators not far from the walking path so be careful if you bring dogs or small children. The big gator was less than two feet from the walking path. I really enjoyed my time here and would recommend it if you want to do a smarter walk.

7 months ago

This is the second time that we have tried to walk the trail. The La Chua is still flooded, but we were able to walk further out than we had before. The snail kites were very busy, and there were many other birds to see. We will keep coming back.

hiking
8 months ago

Love this trail. Yes, it closed at the end of the boardwalk, but on good day you can see lots of wildlife and the scenery is pretty. Early spring there are usually a TON of gators.

hiking
11 months ago

Trail is closed at the end of the boardwalk. We didn’t even see one gator. Such a disappointment as it was a pretty cool trail before closure.

recorded La Chua Trail

hiking
closed
11 months ago

hiking
no shade
Fri May 17 2019

Thu May 16 2019

very beautiful

hiking
Sat May 04 2019

Tremendous amount of wildlife. Saw gator, deer, wild pig family and variety of birds.

hiking
Sun Mar 31 2019

great for bird watching! half the trail is shut down still

Mon Mar 11 2019

Easy out-and-back hike with quintessential Florida wildlife. Trail segments: forest trail, quarry boardwalk, plains trail, two-story observation deck. As a starting point, you should know that portions of this trail are still closed due to hurricane flooding and will likely remain underwater for years to come. However, at the very least the initial portion of the trail through the end of the boardwalk will be open. While it is a better hike when the trail through the plains and up to the observation deck is open, the currently open section is still very much worth your time. This hike is incredibly popular with professional nature photographers and birders, and for good reason. There are many different species of birds that appear in droves here, particularly at active hours in the early morning. Additionally, there are countless alligators that line the flooded quarry over which the boardwalk passes. It's not uncommon to see turtles and snakes in the quarry as well. If you are very lucky, you will see the wild horses and bison out in the plains, often with their young. An interesting note: the bison were introduced to the area to help improve its ecological health. However, studies have shown that their presence has not had the intended effect, so the bison are being sterilized over time. So, in the future, bison will no longer inhabit this area. If you're visiting for the wildlife, you really need to arrive as early in the morning as possible. If not, you miss the peak wildlife activity, and lower your chance of spotting the elusive bison and horses. Plus, this can be a very popular trail during certain seasons, so you'll want to beat the crowds. The solitude is well worth the early start. Bring sunscreen, bugspray, water, and a camera. Enjoy!

Thu Dec 27 2018

I love this trail. However, the majority of the trail was closed apparently due to a high water level. In years past, the Hike out to the observatory took you right past huge alligators and an abundance of wildlife. You walked right past alligators laying out on the trail. Seeing the wild horses and bison at the end of the trail was really cool. Awesome photo opportunities and a lifetime of memories. Hopefully this isn’t a permanent closure.

walking
Tue Aug 28 2018

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

walking
Sun Apr 29 2018

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

hiking
Mon Apr 23 2018

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!

hiking
bugs
Sun Feb 11 2018

Easy out-and-back hike with quintessential Florida wildlife. Trail segments: forest trail, quarry boardwalk, plains trail, two-story observation deck. As a starting point, you should know that portions of this trail are still closed due to hurricane flooding and will likely remain underwater for years to come. However, at the very least the initial portion of the trail through the end of the boardwalk will be open. While it is a better hike when the trail through the plains and up to the observation deck is open, the currently open section is still very much worth your time. This hike is incredibly popular with professional nature photographers and birders, and for good reason. There are many different species of birds that appear in droves here, particularly at active hours in the early morning. Additionally, there are countless alligators that line the flooded quarry over which the boardwalk passes. It's not uncommon to see turtles and snakes in the quarry as well. If you are very lucky, you will see the wild horses and bison out in the plains, often with their young. An interesting note: the bison were introduced to the area to help improve its ecological health. However, studies have shown that their presence has not had the intended effect, so the bison are being sterilized over time. So, in the future, bison will no longer inhabit this area. If you're visiting for the wildlife, you really need to arrive as early in the morning as possible. If not, you miss the peak wildlife activity, and lower your chance of spotting the elusive bison and horses. Plus, this can be a very popular trail during certain seasons, so you'll want to beat the crowds. The solitude is well worth the early start. Bring sunscreen, bugspray, water, and a camera. Enjoy!

walking
Sun Dec 24 2017

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.

Sat Nov 25 2017

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

Tue Nov 07 2017

Great trail to see a lot of wildlife

Showing results 1 - 24 of 109