Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park
Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park is the top attraction in the Gainesville area for naturalists and outdoor enthusiasts, from birders to hikers and bikers. Also a National Landmark, Paynes Prairie is biologically and historically, geologically, and historically unique.
The Great Alachua Savannah, as William Bartram called it during his visit to the prairie in 1774, is biologically, geologically, and historically unique. Now called Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, and a registered National Landmark, this park became Florida’s first state preserve in 1971. It contains more than 20 biological communities that provide a rich array of habitats for wildlife and livestock, including alligators, bison, horses, and more than 270 species of birds.
8 trails provide over 30 miles of hiking, bicycling and equestrian recreational opportunity, including a 15 mile paved rails-to-trails trail, the Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail. Enjoy 4 observation platforms, including a 50 foot tower near the Visitor Center, that provide an open vista rarely experienced in non-coastal Florida.
The Visitor Center is unique and beautiful in itself, and facilitates the interpretation of the area’s natural and cultural significance. Visitor Center is open from 9am to 4pm daily.