Paynes Prairie – La Chua Trail

Paynes Prairie is a beautiful Florida State Park spanning 21,000 acres and filled with awesome walking trails and tons of outdoor activities.  As soon as I arrived, I knew I was in for a treat.  Just look at this video!

If you want to hear the details about my first solo travel experience including Paynes Prairie, check out this post: My First Solo Adventure.


Things To Do

I was only able to visit one tiny part of Paynes Prairie during my visit, La Chua Trail.  The reserve is massive (21,000 acres) and has countless outdoor activities to take part in including, nature trails, hiking, bike riding, horseback riding, water sports, and so much more.  You can see a complete list of activities on the official website here, Paynes Prairie.

For me, the main reason to visit Paynes Prairie was to enjoy some of the beautiful nature trails, particularly the 3-mile La Chua Trail.  The trail provides views of wet-prairies and marsh habitat including Alachua Sink and Alachua Lake.

La Chua Trail Admission: $4 per vehicle

What to Wear / Bring

Dress according to the weather, as Gainesville can get cooler during some months.  However traditionally speaking, Florida is hot hot hot!  Wear light clothing, comfortable walking shoes, and prepare for warm temperatures.  Pack snacks, plenty of water, and do not forget your sunscreen!  La Chua Trail offers limited shade so plan ahead for at least 1-2 hours of sun exposure.


4801 Camp Ranch Road, Gainesville, FL 32608

*Approx. 15 minutes from the University of Florida Campus

When To Go

La Chua Trail Hours: Everyday, 8am – Sundown

*La Chua Trail gate closes at 5pm

My Advice: Go when the forecast is moderate and allows for comfortable walking / hiking temperatures light cloud coverage.  It is hot out there!  Cover up your shoulders and apply sunscreen.

Want more info?

Head on over to the Paynes Prairie website for more information.

Have you been?

What was your favorite part?  Do you have any tips?  Leave your favorite travel tips in the comments below!

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