Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, near Gainesville

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With Bison Skat

The hike we took in Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park is my son’s favorite of all of Florida. We explored only a small part of this park, but we got a good idea of the expansiveness of this park and its prairie. Paynes Prairie State ParkWe walked out the 2.6 miles Bolen Buff Trail after a rainy night. Guess what that made for? I very muddy walk–most of the reason this was my son’s favorite hike. This is a very flat walk that starts out in the forest and then straight out the prairie onto a wooden platform. After a rain, the prairie part is very, very muddy. Our non-hiking shoes were ruined, but we didn’t turn back. The platform gives a nice overview, but it is a similar one to the wooden platform that is accessible from the road.

One of the special aspects of the park are the existence of bison. We didn’t see any, but we saw plenty of skat evidence (check the pictures closely). What we did see were 3 feral pigs rutting.