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Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, Micanopy

Categories: State Parks, Wildlife Areas, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.5/5 based on 160+ reviews on the web
Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park is a Florida State Park, encompassing a 21000acre savanna in Micanopy, Florida, south of Gainesville. It is also a U.S. National Natural Landmark. It is crossed by both I-75 and U.S. 441 (which has a scenic outlook ramp).HistoryThe prairie became the stronghold of the Alachua band of the Seminole tribe under chief Ahaya the Cowkeeper in the 18th century. It is named for the Cowkeeper's eldest surviving son, Payne.In 1776 the area, then known as Alachua Savannah, was visited by William Bartram who noted in his book, "Bartram's Travels", that it was used as grazing ground by the local Seminole.There have been times when the prairie's drainage became so blocked that it flooded, causing the formation of a lake. The most recent such occurrence was in 1871, and lasted until 1886. During this period, steamboats were a frequent sight on what was called Alachua Lake.
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  • Half of the trails are excellent. I strongly suggest taking the ones that go out into the prairie. It irks me that they open so late. I'd prefer to begin hiking at dawn. Have walked right up to the Sp...  read more »
  • We moved into the campground this afternoon and were immediately wowed. From the secluded sites to the cleanliness and beauty of the park. We've only begin to explore and have list of the must see sig...  read more »
  • The Florida State Park system sponsors special "geo-caching" sites whereby one can obtain a special "challenge coin" upon finding 40 (of the nearly 70) "hides." This park is ENORMOUS and a great place...  read more »
  • A hidden treasure in Florida! This state park does not deserve to be so clandestine. I joked I was in Africa's Serengeti when I was on the observation tower because it looks just like all those videos and documentaries I spent my childhood watching on National Geographic and Animal Planet. The trails are long and abundant with wildlife. It is very clean and was very quiet when I visited because it was just after a few storms had passed that afternoon. Saw a lot of deer, a snake, herons and majestic wild horses - unfortunately only from the observation tower and not up close like the others.
  • Lovely State Park! It has 21,000-acres with 8 different uniue trails. There's a 50-foot-high observation tower near the visitor center that provides a panoramic view of the preserve.I'll definitive recommend you to check out trail #8 at the North entrance, this is the alligator trail, go all the way to the very end to find a breathtaking view. The preserve does have a $4 fee per vehicle or $2 for pedestrians.
  • Large preserve of what's left of Alachua Lake. This large wildlife preserve has amble opportunity for viewing wildlife along with many miles of nature trails. One of the most popular trails is the La Chua trail that runs from the North side of the park, and also the Gainesville Hawthorne State trail which runs east/west through the prairie to the town of hawthorne
  • Amazing place with spectacular views. Bring water and sunscreen as it does get very hot and the bugs are usually not too far away. Be prepared to walk a lot.
  • Great place to visit. Check out the La Chua trail. You will see gators. Sometimes very close and sometimes very large. Very cool experience to be so immersed in the Florida wetlands.
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