We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park

Certificate of Excellence
Features Animals
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
Address: 100 Savannah Blvd, Micanopy, FL 32667-3475
Phone Number:
+1 352-466-3397
09:00 - 16:00
Closed now
See all hours
Sun - Sat 09:00 - 16:00

Nature area with woods and swamp as well as an information center...

Nature area with woods and swamp as well as an information center describing the wildlife in the area.

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 203 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 127
  • 57
    Very good
  • 7
  • 5
  • 3
Amazing but be prepared!

Facebook drew me to this park because of the horse and gator incident. Wasn't sure what to expect ...nice cement path and boardwalk to the first viewing area about 1/2 mile...then... read more

Reviewed 4 days ago
Alexandria Bay, New York
Add Photo Write a Review

203 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Showing 199: English reviews
Alexandria Bay, New York
Level Contributor
176 reviews
110 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Facebook drew me to this park because of the horse and gator incident. Wasn't sure what to expect ...nice cement path and boardwalk to the first viewing area about 1/2 mile...then for one mile dirt path to the small observation deck. Bring water and a hat because it's in the open and hot. One gentleman didn't make it back...ambulance could... More 

Thank SusanRVer
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 days ago NEW via mobile

We stayed in site 2 over Easter weekend. This is a lovely campsite and the facilities are well laid out and clean. The hiking in the Preserve is fab! We saw wild horses, alligators and deer close up and the bison herd in the distance. The place is a gem!

Thank kimandandee
Level Contributor
24 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We went there with a 4 yr old and an 8 yr old. there are beautiful side walk paths as well as more natural trails. Some people we ran into had been on the trail and seen Bison, Horses and many Alligators. We went a sort distance, but didn't see anything (but we did have 2 small loud children). there... More 

Thank Suzette H
Fort Myers
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviewed 1 week ago

Little nervous with gators so close, but loved seeing the bison and wild horses. Anyone going by Gainesville should definitely make a point to stop. Make sure to have comfortable shoes, water and a good camera!

Thank meganlenore
Estero, Florida
Level Contributor
19 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Where to begin!?! There is so very much to do in this park, but your first stop should be the Visiter's Center. Dave Hartley, a former teacher, gave us an invaluable overview of the history and opportunities for adventure offered by the park. Then, after enjoying a lovely hammock walk (in florida that means a piece of high ground where... More 

Thank sharon p
Spartanburg, South Carolina
Level Contributor
186 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We were there initially for the annual Trail of Payne race - which is a great 10k race through the wooded area of the south part of the park. Hard work , as a lot of the trails are soft sand! We went around to the north entrance where the wildlife congregates and were amazed at the number of gators... More 

Thank Dave P
Live Oak, Florida
Level Contributor
28 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Wild horses, eagles, bison, gators. This is Florida the way it used to be. One of the best state parks that doesn't have diving. Lots of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, running. Lookout towers to see wildlife. This is a must if you are near Gainesville

Thank haleoak
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
74 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 March 2017

My friend and I wanted to go camping for a couple of days during our spring break at the last minute. As I searched for full facility camping locations close to home, I came across Payne's Prairie. We got the last spot and it was the only place with in 2 hours that was available. We did not regret it... More 

1 Thank Estelle W
Wildwood, Florida
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 March 2017

I was really interested in visiting this place because of the wild horses but it was the alligators that blew me away. We started at the visitor center in the Micanopy section of the park and from there pulled into the other trailhead areas for short hikes. But it was La Chua trail at the north entrance that really made... More 

2 Thank Cindy E
Bengaluru, India
Level Contributor
113 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 March 2017

best place to see alligators! while the reserve is wide and far spread, because of which it feels there is less wildlife, but you are actually walking amid wildlife - so you logically do not want many of them around you that close :P the alligators, on a lucky day, can be seen as a close as 2 ft far... More 

Thank Ritika J

Travellers who viewed Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park also viewed


Been to Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park and other visitors
9 questions
Ask a question
Emsdetten, Germany
Tampa, Florida
Orlando, Florida
over a year ago
4 months ago

See all questions (9)

Questions? Get answers from Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?