FLORIDA’S FIRST STATE PRESERVE - BIOLOGICALLY, HISTORICALLY AND GEOLOGICALLY UNIQUE
Far from the Far 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, allow 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 are 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.