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

Gainesville, FL
Update attraction details
Ranked #3 of 10 activities in Gainesville
Certificate of Excellence 2013
Type: State Parks
Description: Nature area with woods and swamp as well as an information center describing the wildlife in the area.
Write a Review

76 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    35
    29
    9
    1
    2
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Largo
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
24 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014 NEW

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
Charlotte, North Carolina
Top Contributor
153 reviews 153 reviews
32 attraction reviews
52 helpful votes 52 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
Gainesville, Florida
Top Contributor
201 reviews 201 reviews
25 attraction reviews
127 helpful votes 127 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
Gainesville, Florida
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 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 2
Tallahassee, Florida
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 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

Was this review helpful? Yes
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

Was this review helpful? Yes
Gainesville, Florida
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

My favorite place to go in Gainesville is hiking in Paynes Prairie. There are numerous trails to hike, bike trails and lots of wildlife to see; horses, bison, alligators and birds galore. Sometimes you'll even see a bunny, deer, armadillo or wild hogs.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Gainesville, Florida
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

We have been visiting "The Prarie" since our youngest son graduated form the University of Florida, 1990 and each visit brings a new view. It could be the beautiful sunset, a bison standing his ground on the trail, or taking a moment to watch the dance between alligators and their habitat. Take a hike just before sunset and sit on... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013 via mobile

We stayed ONE night and we all got ticks! We didn't even hike trails...we stayed near camp site! We used deet repellent and still got ticks!! One of our group members came down with fever and headache when we returned home, and is on antibiotics in case of lyme. Stay away from this place. Horrible nightmare to get ticks!

Was this review helpful? Yes
Miami, Florida
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013

I had been going to Gainesville to visit for over 30 years, and it was only in May that I finally heard about it. While in Gainesville for a close friends coating ceremony, we went out to the Prairie. What an unexpected, wonderful surprise! Living in South Florida, the Everglades and Big Cypress are regular stops. The walk on the... More

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?

If you own or manage Paynes Prairie, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.

Manage your listing