You can be forgiven for thinking that the more than 125 acres of Florida wetlands that make up the park is all natural. It is, in fact, man made.
The park is one of the final steps in a program started in 2009 to improve the water quality of wetlands in Paynes Prairie and, ultimately, the Floridan Aquifer.
Sweetwater Wetlands Park isn’t just a great place to get out and see nature. It’s also a great way to protect it – and our own environment, too!
Of course, the main reason to visit the park is to see all the wonderful wildlife!
Visiting Sweetwater Wetlands
Viewing wildlife at the park is made easy by 4 miles of well maintained, boardwalks, viewing platforms, and crushed gravel trails that crisscross the wetlands.
Signs placed here and there along the trail educate you about your surroundings. The viewing platforms provide excellent vantage points from which to survey the surrounding wetlands and wildlife.
Sweetwater Wetlands Park has gained a reputation as one of the region’s best birding sites. More than 245 bird species have been spotted within the park. View the current tally on eBird!
Lepidopterists will be equally thrilled by the park’s diverse butterfly populations. Like the birds, the different species of butterflies seen at the park flow with the seasons.
Of course, the park is home to much larger wildlife as well! Alligators, bobcats, deer, turtle, bison, Florida cracker horses, and more can be seen here. You never know what kind of creatures you’ll spot.
Come walk the trails, take in the views, enjoy a picnic lunch, and soak up that gorgeous Florida wildlife. Just don’t forget your camera!
Sweetwater Wetlands Park
325 SW Williston Road, Gainesville, FL 32608
Open 7am to sunset, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The entry gate closes 30 minutes before sunset. Learn more at the Sweetwater Wetlands Park website. You can also follow the park on Facebook and Twitter.
North Central Florida Lodging
Sweetwater Wetlands Park is only half an hour from our North Central Florida inn, Hampton Lake Bed & Breakfast. In fact, our Florida lake front bed and breakfast is just 14 miles from Gainesville Regional Airport and only 20 from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and the all the exciting Gators games! Choose from among our comfortable selection of guest rooms then book your stay at Hampton Lake Bed & Breakfast!