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Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park

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Address: 100 Savannah Blvd., Micanopy, FL 32667
Phone Number: 352-466-3397
Website
Today
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Activities: Viewing foliage, Viewing wildlife
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

Read all 121 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 77
    Excellent
  • 33
    Very good
  • 5
    Average
  • 4
    Poor
  • 2
    Terrible
Stunning Prairie and Wildlife!

My wife and I visited Paynes Prairie as a side trip on a day trip to the Gainesville area. We were completely blown away! We had a lovely picnic lunch at on of the pavilions. At... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed April 27, 2015
newlymarriedman12
,
Lakeland, Florida
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121 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
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English first
Lakeland, Florida
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
6 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2015

My wife and I visited Paynes Prairie as a side trip on a day trip to the Gainesville area. We were completely blown away! We had a lovely picnic lunch at on of the pavilions. At the visitor's center, the ranger explained the extensive history of the park including the Spanish prescence. From the lookout tower, we were able to... More 

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Saint John New
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2015 via mobile

We wanted to see the Alligators unfortunately there is another location to the reserve that few people know about. We only went that way as my husband is originally from Florida. But we were so close to the alligators it was unbelievable! It's an experience I will never forget.

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Coral Springs, Florida
Top Contributor
618 reviews 618 reviews
228 attraction reviews
240 helpful votes 240 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2015

Wildlife is abundant throughout Florida, when on I 75 in Micanopy, you are driving through Paynes Prairie Preserve.Lots to do, photograph, birdwatching,biking, hiking, look for animals, look for alligator. Not the gators just north in Gainesville, nor the crocodile south.. The official state reptile, the alligator of Florida. The swampy areas are filled with the cold blooded creatures.

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Flushing, Michigan
Top Contributor
154 reviews 154 reviews
12 attraction reviews
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2015

Driving down I-75 just south of Gainsville, FL, you will come across a large open prairie, that's about two miles across, and many more miles wide. I've often wondered what it was, but driving up US-441 from Ocala, we came upon the entrance to this state park. Once we got to the visitor center, we were treated with a film... More 

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St. Petersburg, Florida
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
27 attraction reviews
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2015

Paynes Prairie is a park that has interstate 75 drive through it. Because of that it is easy to miss the beauty and wildlife that abounds in this park. Bison, birds, alligators and snakes all await you. You can hike or ride bikes. Paynes Prairie is worth visiting!

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Athens, Georgia
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2015

Paynes Prairie is a treasure trove for naturalists. We spent 3 days there hiking, biking, photographing, camping and encountered more wildlife that I've ever seen in one place - buffalo, wild horses, water birds, and of course - alligators! I counted 7 in one pond. The only drawback was that the campground is near the highway that runs through the... More 

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Lynchburg, Virginia
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
10 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2015

If you want to see alligators, or to take visitors to see a lot of typical Florida wildlife, the La Chua trail is the place to go. It can be pretty crowded at times, probably because it IS such a great hike, so don't go if you're seeking solitude. The south entrance to the park in Micanopy has some hiking... More 

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Palm Coast, FL
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2015

My daughter and I visited Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park on March 25th, 2015, in the afternoon. We hiked a short trail in the southern section (near Lake Wauberg) to a wooden tower, about 0.5 mile roundtrip. The ranger inside the visitor center was very helpful...he even let us borrow some binoculars to see the bison with! We had a... More 

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Gainesville, Florida
Top Contributor
179 reviews 179 reviews
101 attraction reviews
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2015

Thousands of acres, in "the bowl." Alachua is Indian name for the bowl like intention in the earth, which is Paynes Prairie (you can actually see this when traveling north on I-75.) There are many walking trails, an obersvation tower, wild horses, buffalo, egrets, and alligators. The Sand Hill cranes winter here and can be heard overhead, calling to one... More 

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New York City, New York
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2015

A MUST for nature lovers, hiking and being very close to observe Florida's wildlife. We were very impressed with the sheer beauty of this park .

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Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park and other visitors
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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?