South Florida Sun Fun Guide [Home] [Parks]
North Central Florida
 Alachua County
  Micanopy

Payne's Prairie Preserve State Park

Payne's Prairie Preserve State Park Payne's Prairie Preserve State Park is HUGE, covering over 22,000 acres, and to be honest, we saw only the tiniest portion of the park, just along the first section of the LaChua Trail - the part with a boardwalk! We were actually in the area riding our bikes on the Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail, but we took a little detour when an entrance to the preserve presented itself right along the bicycle path.

Yes, we only saw a tiny bit of this preserve, but it was stunning, and teeming with wildlife. We saw countless birds and alligators, though we didn't see any of the park's famed bison - can you imagine seeing wild bison in Florida? Totally insane, but we didn't travel far enough down the LaChua Trail to get even close. What we did find was a beautiful flowing stream with an accompanying boardwalk with an observation pavilion at the end.

There aren't many outdoor activities NOT available at Payne's Prairie Preserve. There's biking (obviously!), hiking, fishing, canoeing & kayaking, and there's even a boat ramp into one of the lakes. The park is also quite equestrian-friendly, with trails as well as equestrian camping (along with regular full-facility camping and primitive camping).

A little bit of trivia: Payne's Prairie Preserve State Park was Florida's first state preserve, designated in 1971.

With the weather cooling down soon, I'm anxious to convince my husband that Payne's Prairie State Park should be one or our camping destinations for this winter - I'm anxious do do more biking and hiking in the preserve, and hoping to see some bison! The only difficult decision will be whether to bring the bikes or the boat...maybe the bikes will fit *in* the boat? I can hope!

The park is open from 8AM to sunset every day of the year. Admission fees range from $2 for pedestrians and bicyclists to $6 for vehicles with 2-8 passengers.

Price range: $2.00-$6.00 per person

Location:

100 Savannah Blvd
Micanopy FL
352-466-3397
22000 acres

Web site:

www.floridastateparks.org/paynesprairie/default.cfm


All content copyright 2004-2017 subcultural, LLC . Do not reproduce without permission.