Paynes Prairie State Preserve

Micanopy, Florida

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Paynes Prairie State Preserve is more than 20,000 acres of prairie (or lake, depending on circumstances) just south of Gainesville. Because of its fluctuating water levels and the reintroduction of bison and wild horses, the prairie has become a prime wildlife viewing area. One of Florida’s resident flocks of sandhill cranes (and large winter migratory populations) stays here, as do some introduced whooping cranes. The preserve also enjoys large populations of ducks and reptiles. We wouldn’t recommend this park just for biking, but when combined with other activities in the area it could make for a pleasant late-fall, early-spring, or winter outing. Trails: Paved park entrance road, 2.6 miles; dirt double track, 18.0 miles (small number of single-track connectors). Location: Alachua County.
Rails To Trails: Florida

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Rails To Trails: Florida

by David Gluckman (The Globe Pequot Press)

Paynes Prairie State Preserve is more than 20,000 acres of prairie (or lake, depending on circumstances) just south of Gainesville. Because of its fluctuating water levels and the reintroduction of bison and wild horses, the prairie has become a prime wildlife viewing area.

One of Florida’s resident flocks of sandhill cranes (and large winter migratory populations) stays here, as do some introduced whooping cranes. The preserve also enjoys large populations of ducks and reptiles. We wouldn’t recommend this park just for biking, but when combined with other activities in the area it could make for a pleasant late-fall, early-spring, or winter outing. Trails: Paved park entrance road, 2.6 miles; dirt double track, 18.0 miles (small number of single-track connectors). Location: Alachua County.

©  David Gluckman/The Globe Pequot Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Birding, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking, Rail-Trails, Road Biking, Walking
Nearby City: Micanopy
Distance: 20.6
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Surface:
Skill Level: Easy
Best Times: Open all year
Driving Directions: Directions to Paynes Prairie State Preserve

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Apr 2018