My camping equipment

My camping equipment
Campsite setup

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Spring Trip 2021, Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park

Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park

Located just south of Gainesville, FL this unique state park is highly diverse with an abundant variety of landscapes and wildlife. The best way to start your visit is by stopping by the visitors center with it's many displays and views of the prairie from the 50 foot high observation tower.

50 foot Observations Tower

Wild horses roaming the prairie

Exhibits on display at the visitors center

Trail to the Observation Tower from the visitors center

The campground is located in a forested highland hammock with lots of shade and good separation from the other sites.

My wife Barbara & our friend Diane at our campsite enjoying a lovely April day

Lake Wauberg is a short hike away. There is a boat ramp to launch your watercraft and picnic shelters for day visitors. There are trails to hike or ride your bike making for a full range of activities to enjoy.

Ranger interpretive center for visitors

Sail boat on Lake Wauberg

Picnic shelter near Lake Wauberg

Lake Wauberg

Fishing pier on Lake Wauberg

The Prairie was formed by a large sink hole that during wet periods floods the low lying areas creating a large lake. These cycles occur as the Florida aquifer fluctuates during extreme weather events. When the area is dry large herds of wild horses and buffalo can be seen wandering the prairie.

View of the prairie from the observation tower

The prairie is 50 miles in circumference 

Buffalo exhibit at the visitors center

A variety of plant life and animal life can be seen on the parks several hiking trails

Long tailed exotic lizard 

Hiking trail loop near the visitors center

Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park is a great place for a day visit or to camp out. We were pleasantly surprised and plan to go back during our travels in the future.



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