Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park
100 Savannah Blvd.
Prairie Preserve State Park is a Florida treasure, rich in human and
natural history. During his Florida travels, the noted 18th century
artist and naturalist, William Bartram, wrote of this area, calling it
the "great Alachua Savannah." Long before Bartram visited, the prairie
was home to its first known inhabitants, the Paleo-Indians who arrived
here around 10,000 B.C. Over the years, many groups have occupied the
land from Archaic and Timucuan Indians, to the Spanish and English
prior to Florida’s statehood. Within this national natural landmark,
twenty distinct biological communities such as wet prairie, pine
flatwoods, hammocks, and ponds provide a rich array of habitats for
animal life. The prairie is a prime wildlife viewing area. This park
offers opportunities for hikers, bikers and equestrians to explore its
natural and historical wonders.
Length/Surface: paved park road, 2.6 miles; unpaved trails,
nearly 20 miles
Fee: Park Admission
Nearby Towns: Gainesville, Micanopy
The park’s paved entrance road (Savannah Boulevard) provides
a nice walk or bike ride under a canopy of trees. Cone’s
Dike Trail is suitable for hikers and bikers, while Chacala
Trail is suitable for equestrians, hikers and bikers. La Chua
Trail (not shown on map) is suitable for hikers and is accessible
from the Gainesville-Hawthorne
Trail State Park
sure to visit the Park’s
Nature Trails web page for more information regarding
these and other trails.
Interstate 75, take Exit 73 (new Exit 374) to CR 234. Head
east on CR 234 through Micanopy for 1.4 miles until you reach
US 441. Take a left and proceed .6 miles until you reach the
Gainesville, take US 441 south to the main park entrance.