The broad, flat Payne's Prairie basin provides a spectacular vista
of freshwater marshes and wet prairies. Pine flatwoods, oak
hammocks, and ponds rim the prairie.
Resident Florida sandhill cranes are joined by thousands of
migratory greater sandhill cranes in the winter. Look for great
horned owls, red-bellied woodpeckers, bald eagles, northern
harriers, and various songbirds as you hike on the Bolen's Bluff
loop trail (off U.S. 441) that takes you through a hardwood hammock
and then down into the prairie along a grassy berm. Other trails
can be accessed through the main park entrance, as well as
the visitor center observation tower and Lake Wauberg. From the
observation tower, you may be fortunate enough to see the bison
that have been reintroduced to the praire, as well as red-tailed
and red-shouldered hawks.
Department of Environmental Protection
From Gainesville, drive south on U.S. 441 across Paynes Prairie
basin. Parking for Bolen Bluff Trail is 3.5 miles south of Florida
Highway 331 on the east side of U.S. 441. The Lake Wauberg
Recreation Area is 4 miles further south.
Other North East
Florida Wildlife Sites