Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park
The improved campground is now open; however, the tent-only sites are currently under renovation. Please call the ranger station for additional information at 352-466-3397.
Partial Trail Closures
La Chua Trail, Bolen Bluff Trail and Cones Dike Trail are partially closed due to high water levels. The La Chua Trail is open from the parking area to the end of the boardwalk.
Welcome to Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park
Not just found out west, herds of wild horses and bison roam the prairie in this surprisingly diverse preserve south of Gainesville.
Paynes Prairie is unique in many ways. Nowhere else in Florida can visitors experience wild-roaming bison and horses. Nearly 300 species of birds also frequent the park along with alligators, deer and many other animals.
The park’s eight trails, including the 16-mile paved Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail, allows one to explore the park’s interior and observe wildlife, while a 50-foot high observation tower provides for panoramic views.
Fishing and canoeing on Lake Wauberg is popular along with a shaded campground. During a visit to Paynes Prairie, one can easily understand why Seminole Indians once occupied a village along this vast savannah.
Plan Your Visit
Paynes Prairie Visitor Center
More than 20 distinct biological communities provide a rich array of habitats for wildlife and livestock, including alligators, bison, horses and nearly 300 species of birds.
Eight trails provide opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, and bicycling, including the 16 mile long, paved Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail.
Geology of Paynes Prairie
Wild Places of Paynes Prairie
Living History Program: William Bartram
Sun, Mar 24, 2019 11:00 am - 3:00 pm EDTMeet William Bartram in 1774, while he visits Paynes Prairie, and talk about his life and work as the first born American naturalist. This is a living history program, provided by a park volunteer, who will remain 'in character' throughout the duration of the program.
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