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Paynes Prairie

State Parks, Nature & Parks
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Address: Gainesville, FL
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.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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  • 40
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    Very good
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    Average
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Most recent review
Excellent, no cost nature trail. Gators, sand hill cranes and more!

One of the best nature hot spots in Gainesville. The Lachua Trail is easy to find a and 1.1 mile walk where you will pass many gators and cranes on your way to the tower. There... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed January 30, 2015
RhondaSamplesBelcher
,
Gainesville, Florida
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85 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
Gainesville, Florida
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
10 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2015 NEW

One of the best nature hot spots in Gainesville. The Lachua Trail is easy to find a and 1.1 mile walk where you will pass many gators and cranes on your way to the tower. There you can attempt to spot the wild horses and buffalo. Great for familes and friends.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Muskoka District, Canada
Top Contributor
128 reviews 128 reviews
14 attraction reviews
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2015 NEW

Spent a few hours here with friends. Excellent opportunity to see wildlife (lots of birds as well as plenty of gators). La Chua hiking trail is very easy to navigate and the raised boardwalk gives a great view of the swamp and marsh. WELL WORTH A VISIT.

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Minneapolis, MN
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
12 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2015

First off I need to tell you - this is not a zoo or a controlled area - this is a wild prairie. With that said, it is truly a spectacular place. We walked along the La Chua Trail and saw an incredible number of birds, herons, egrets, and most of all Alligators! The gators were sunning them selves along... More 

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Gainesville
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
8 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2015

We walked the La Chua Trail, 3 miles of North Florida nature at its finest. We saw alligators sunning themselves, wildflowers, horses, bison, waterbirds, egrets, herons and more. It was a perfect way to spend a winter's day in the Sunshine State.

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Orlando, Florida
Top Contributor
175 reviews 175 reviews
33 attraction reviews
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2014

Go to the North entrance and park ($4/carload). This is a very special place. The wooden walkway through the prairie lets you see the wildlife without disturbing them and the educational placards along the way explain the ecology/biology of the area. The 1 mile nature trail let's you get up close & personal with all sorts of wildlife. Most people... More 

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Seymour
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
15 attraction reviews
29 helpful votes 29 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
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
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 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Ocala, Florida, United States
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
13 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 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 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Gainesville, Florida
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
31 attraction reviews
14,648 helpful votes 14,648 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 173
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
29 attraction reviews
24 helpful votes 24 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

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