We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Paynes Prairie

Certificate of Excellence
Improve this listing
Sponsored by:
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Your filters are still active.
There are no pins in your viewport. Try moving the map or changing your filters.
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: Gainesville, FL
Phone Number: 352-466-3397
Website
Today
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Closed now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun - Sat 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Description: Nature area with woods and swamp as well as an information center...
Nature area with woods and swamp as well as an information center describing the wildlife in the area.
read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 107 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 59
    Excellent
  • 36
    Very good
  • 9
    Average
  • 1
    Poor
  • 2
    Terrible
State Park

I was here 5/23/2015. They have an observation tower that you can climb and at the top you can see for miles. There were wild horses that could be seen from this tower. They... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed May 24, 2015
ALICE W
Add Photo Write a Review

107 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2015 NEW

I was here 5/23/2015. They have an observation tower that you can climb and at the top you can see for miles. There were wild horses that could be seen from this tower. They also say there are wild bison, but I didn't see any. They also have camping, trail that you can hike on, and fishing.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Gainesville, Florida
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
3 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2015 NEW

Very good park for observing the local wildlife. I love seeing the little horses there.The gators are all over. Lots of different birds too. A very unique environment indeed.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Dunedin, Florida, United States
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
8 attraction reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2015

My first visit to this park was in early April. I camped in my tent for two nights. The mosquitoes were pretty bad but the dedicated tent-camping sites, which are somewhat separate from the RV sites, were very nice, as were the bath houses. This is a huge park (21,000 + acres) with great hiking/biking trails, a very nice visitor... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
St. Thomas
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
10 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2015

Certain the summer is the best time to view some Alligators but even the spring is great for The best for Gator Gazing. Whenever I'm in Gainesville, I always like to drop by da Prairie to see what Florida is all about... (and it freaks out your visitors) a MUST

Was this review helpful? Yes
Gainesville, Florida
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
21 attraction reviews
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2015

I went to La Chua Trail, part of the Paynes Prarie park system, at sunset on Thursday, and like every visit, it always delivers. I saw snakes, alligators, tons of birds, horses, various lizards, dragonflies, a bi-plane overhead, and the sunset. It's a fairly short hike -- maybe 3 miles or less, but it's definitely the place to bring out... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Gainesville, Florida
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2015

I know this says Paynes Prairie but Lachua Trail is a part of that system is AMAZING!! I like to call it real Florida! Get ready to be amazed att all of the wildlife and sheer immensity of it all. Free fresh air everywhere you smell. Tends to be really crowded on the weekends but go anyway.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Vero Beach, Florida
Top Contributor
175 reviews 175 reviews
53 attraction reviews
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2015

The bike trail through this park is our Florida favorite so far! And the walk out through the wetlands is fantastic. Who knew Florida was home to a bison herd? We loved watching the alligator hatchlings swimming around. And the potential for wildlife sightings is excellent! Visit this spot!

Was this review helpful? Yes
Frankford
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
11 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2015

Payne's Prairie has a happy mixture of hiking trails. If you like, you can attempt one of the longer trail walks (not so good with kids), or you can opt for a walk of shorter duration. You can still see alligators, birds and wild horses on the latter. There is something truly magical about seeing these creatures in their native... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Palm Harbor, Florida
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
9 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2015

We went there on a recommendation and we not disappointed. We were told to hike the La Chua Trail. The entrance to the La Chua trail is on the north end on the park, and not easy to find. We drove to the main entrance, and were given directions to find La Chua. We drove through the main entrance, and... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Miami, Florida
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2015

It is bizarre after being in Gainesville surrounded by oaks with Spanih moss to come out onto this completely different landscape. One can walk out over a raised wooden walkway and see for miles around. A type of Everglades but all flat, one can envision alligators, snakes , frogs, and more, all living down there.

Was this review helpful? Yes

Been to Paynes Prairie? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Register now for free — and start getting automatic notification of new reviews, responding to traveler feedback, adding new photos to your listing and much more.

Manage your listing

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Paynes Prairie staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?