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Paynes Prairie

Gainesville, FL
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Ranked #3 of 11 Activities in Gainesville
Type: State Parks
Description: Nature area with woods and swamp as well as an information center describing the wildlife in the area.
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80 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
15 attraction reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2014

This place is awesome if you want to see wild horses, bison, alligators, snakes, and lot of birds. I've traveled a lot of places in florida, and this is the best place to get wildlife photos I have found. The trail gets you down and close to the gators. Always watch where you step: I have found snakes hiding in... More

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Orange Park, Florida
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2014

Went to Paynes Prairie with my friend and his Dad, saw a few alligators and birds. Tried to walk out to the observation tower, but trail was flooded. Didn't see any horses or bison. I was a little scared about the alligators, because the flooded areas were right along the trail, but none came close. They said you see more... More

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Ocala, Florida, United States
19 reviews 19 reviews
9 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2014

if you really want to get a close encounter to some of Florida's most famous wildlife this is the place to go just read the signs these are wild animals all with different personality's and attitudes on that note it is a very nice walk plenty of birds reptiles even horses and bison it is open being a prairie so... More

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Gainesville, Florida
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
28 attraction reviews
12,618 helpful votes 12,618 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2014

One writer said that Payne's Prairie is not to be seen in the summer - my home backs up to it, so I am stuck. SO GLAD! GATOR NATION, take your family and friends there - anytime. We took our friends from India and Seattle there - on a couple of clear days. Be sure to have sunscreen (there is... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 172
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
29 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014

We originally started out at Payne's Prairie from the Micanopy, FL side and took a trail there where we did in fact spot a bald eagle, which was very cool. After walking that trail we decided to visit the La Chua trail from Gainesville, FL. Make sure you look up directions, this is not the easiest area to find but... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
Charlotte, North Carolina
Top Contributor
176 reviews 176 reviews
35 attraction reviews
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2014

Lachua trail is a 3 mile trail(RT) out to the prairie.The first part pf it is on boardwalk and the rest of it flat to a small tower viewing tower.We must of saw 80 to 90 gators all along the banks of a small lake seperated by the trail into a swamp on the other side . Most of the... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Lake City, Florida
Top Contributor
212 reviews 212 reviews
28 attraction reviews
144 helpful votes 144 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2014

We hiked the La Chua Trail and really enjoyed it. It is about 3 1/2 miles round trip and totally flat and easy to hike. There were lots alligators out, you are really close to some of them, but they seem uninterested in you. It was a beautiful, cool, sunny day and it brought lots of people out. The trail... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Gainesville, Florida
3 reviews 3 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2013

Recently visited this specific trail in December and it was fantastic. The trail itself is kept up well by the groundskeepers. What was most impressive were the gators of course. It was a warm day, the water was higher and there were hundreds of gators sunning themselves on the banks. They were very large and a little discombobulating to see... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
Tallahassee, Florida
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2013

Stayed at Paynes Prairie State Park for two days while on an extended Christmas camping trip. It was a wonderful surprise. I had driven over/through the prairie on I-75 many, many times and just thought it was a dry lake bed. Boy, was I wrong. The park itself is beautiful. The Visitor's Center on the edge of the prairie gives... More

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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2013

We had a wonderful time with all the wild and the beauty of this place, i loved it . i would come back for sure

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