Looking to get out into the great outdoors during your North Florida adventures? Great idea! Hampton Lake Bed & Breakfast is surrounded by a number of parks and recreation areas, such as Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park.
Florida is a natural wonderland, lush with unique and vibrant flora and fauna and Paynes Prairie Preserve is a great place to see some of it. The preserve is home to wide and sometimes surprising variety of species. Along with the expected alligators and deer, Paynes Prairie Preserve is also home to herds of wild horses and bison!
Birders, in particular, will find a lot to love at the preserve, with almost 300 different species of birds. Black cormorants, blue herons, white ibis, belted kingfisher, snail kites, anhinga, and many others. can be found here throughout the year.
4 observation platforms provide strategic viewpoints from which to observe the park’s wildlife. These platforms, especially the 50 foot tower near the Visitor Center, allow the park’s wildlife to remain undisturbed as they’re observed, giving you the truest experiences. It is especially exciting to watch the alligators hunting along the waterways. The park’s rare, flat terrain also provides for stunning sunsets.
Hiking, Biking, Horseback Riding, and Fishing
Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park offers more than just passive wildlife observation, however.
The park offers eight trails for a variety of experiences. The La Chua Trail boardwalk, for example, will take you out into the preserve’s open prairie. The Bolen Bluff trail, on the other hand, takes you through a stand of tall oak trees. Both it and the Cone’s Dike Trail offer excellent opportunities for spotting some of the preserve’s many bison.
Many of the trails can be used for biking or horseback riding. The paved and scenic, 16 mile long Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail is a favorite with bikers and runners. The peaceful, 6.5 mile Chacala Trail travels through many of the park’s habitats via a series of loops.
Fishing or canoeing are also options at Payne’s Prairie Preserve. Anglers can try their hand at catching bass, bream, and speckled perch.
Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park
100 Savannah Blvd, Micanopy, FL 32667
Open 365 days a year, 8am to sundown. Paynes Prairie Preserve Visitor Center is open daily from 9am to 4pm.
Learn more at: www.floridastateparks.org.
North Florida Lodging
Hampton Lake Bed & Breakfast is just a half an hour from Paynes Prairie Preserve. In fact, our contemporary, Florida lakeside inn is only 14 miles from Gainesville Regional Airport and just 20 miles from the UF Gators and Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Book your stay at Hampton Lake Bed & Breakfast today!