/ / / / Paynes Prairie – Gainesville, FL

Paynes Prairie – Gainesville, FL

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Several years ago, we were in the Gainesville, Florida area to visit family. We ended up getting to hike along the LaChua Trail, part of Paynes Praire in Micanopy, Florida.

Paynes Prairie – Gainesville, FL

The LaChua Trail is three miles round-trip from the North Rim of the Prairie to the observation tower. This trail provides scenic views of wet-prairie and marsh habitat including Alachua Sink and Alachua Lake.

More than 20 distinct biological communities provide a rich array of habitats for wildlife and livestock, including alligators, bison, horses and more than 270 species of birds. Exhibits and an audio-visual program at the visitor center explain the area´s natural and cultural history. A 50-foot-high observation tower near the visitor center provides a panoramic view of the preserve.

When we were there it was too hot for us to explore the whole Prairie. But we did enjoy going out and seeing the alligators swimming in the marsh and lake areas. I have to admit that it was a bit intimidating to be hiking and look over and see an alligator less than 6 feet away. But it was a really cool experience. We would love to get a chance to visit there again.

There is a really nice boardwalk area to walk on about half way out; then it just becomes a mowed grassy path along the water. We were able to see quite a few alligators off to the side.

Main Entrance Admission
$6.00 per vehicle, limit 2-8 people per vehicle
$4.00 Single Occupant Vehicle

LaChua Trail Admission
$2.00 per person

Have you ever been here? It’s an amazing place to see if you are in the area! I’d love to see your pictures or hear your stories! Mom, got any pictures you can send me to add to this? I’d love to see them!



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One Comment

  1. I grew up in Orlando and miss it so much! Although now that I live in AZ I can swim without the fear of the gators and water snakes!

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