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Paynes Prairie

Features Animals
Closed Now: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Open today: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Review Highlights

This is a wonderful place to see alligators up close and personal and if you lucky enough you may... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Cindy Lou D
Great place

There is a great overlook off of I-75 over the prairie where you can see for quite some distance... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Vinny H
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  • Excellent69%
  • Very good25%
  • Average4%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
“bison”(117 reviews)
“la chua trail”(49 reviews)
Nature area with woods and swamp as well as an information center describing the wildlife in the area.
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Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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Gainesville, FL
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All reviews observation tower bison la chua trail wild horses sandhill cranes south entrance bluff trail state park visitor center hiking trails real florida bring binoculars high water within feet florida wildlife short hike their natural habitat
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1 - 10 of 439 reviews
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This is a wonderful place to see alligators up close and personal and if you lucky enough you may even see the wild horses that roam this area. The beauty of this place is well worth your visit. Peaceful and majestic.

Date of experience: June 2019
Thank Cindy Lou D
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

There is a great overlook off of I-75 over the prairie where you can see for quite some distance. Also, there is a dock off of US 441 where you can see different types of aquatic animals. The trails are relatively easy to hike anytime...More

Date of experience: June 2019
Thank Vinny H
Reviewed May 22, 2019

This place is always breathtaking. To see gators in their natural habitat is wonderful. Now that they have opened up part of it to fishing it has become interesting. The awesome birds that you see are breathtaking. There are birds that you have never seen...More

Date of experience: April 2019
Thank KEENA61
Reviewed April 10, 2019 via mobile

This was our 1st time at this state park, but we will be going back. The wildlife is awesome and such a wonderful campground. We can’t wait to return.

Date of experience: April 2019
Thank wayne1961
Reviewed March 31, 2019

not a destination spot, nothing to see. if you do stop on 441 to walk out on the dock, just give yourself 3-5 minutes to walk out on the super short dock and walk back to your car. not sure why they can't provide a...More

Date of experience: February 2019
Thank bamafutbal
Reviewed March 31, 2019 via mobile

Located just south of Gainesville - the area is Accessible from the North or South. This is a unique natural area. Depending on the time of year the flora and fauna vary. Wild horses, deer, alligators and myriad bird species populate the land and water....More

Date of experience: March 2019
Thank Gators-on-the-go
Reviewed March 28, 2019

I agree with another reviewer, the walk and boardwalk by the northern visitor center is not to be missed. We saw a momma owl and babies, big gators, baby gators, abundant birds and a picture perfect swamp setting. All that, and the majority of the...More

Date of experience: February 2019
Thank darwinmoore
Reviewed March 19, 2019

Paynes Prairie has an interesting cross section of Florida wildlife, living wild and free on the preserve. It depends of time of day and time of year as to what you may see on any given visit. CAUTION - the buffalo, horses, gators, and other...More

Date of experience: September 2018
1  Thank Sandi R
Reviewed March 19, 2019

Paynes Prairie is merely a swamp that I75 passes through. Nothing to see here. Was purchased by Mr. Payne to build a housing development. Government would not allow it so he gave up.

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank AtlantaBeachfreak
Reviewed March 11, 2019

We camped for a short get-away from the everyday norm. Though we live less than an hour away we wanted to take a short get away, and this was just the place. The park was fairly busy, but not crowded, the campground was pleasant, but...More

Date of experience: March 2019
Thank dboal
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Questions & Answers
Ask a question
January 13, 2019|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from Maha E | Reviewed this property |
Best approach is to keep a safe distance and wait until he moves away. if the situation retains for more than 30-45 mins you may need to call park patrol
August 31, 2018|
AnswerShow all 11 answers
Response from corvus0486 | Reviewed this property |
The La Chua Trail, the main way to the observation tower, is your best choice. But it will depend on how much water is on the prairie. Sometimes you don’t get very far because the gators are blocking the trail.
Alissa J
June 23, 2016|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from craig2190 | Reviewed this property |