Sanford. La Chua Trail, Gainesville: See 105 reviews, articles, and 123 photos of La Chua Trail, ranked No.13 on Tripadvisor among 57 attractions in Gainesville. Chipley. St. Augustine. Fort Pierce. Your hike starts at the parking area for the La Chua Trail. Port St. Joe. The upper sinkhole is the one that drains the prairie. Osceola National Forest. 3 miles round-trip. Wakulla. Category: Day Hikes, Hikes, North Florida, TrailsTag: Accessible, Alligators, Best Hikes, Birding, Boardwalks, Favorites, Florida State Parks, Gainesville, Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail, Geology, Observation Decks, Observation Towers, Paynes Prairie, Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, Sinkholes, Wildlife Viewing. La Chua Trail. Withlacoochee State Forest. A bench is at the first spot you can sit and take in the view. Pahokee. The shallows are also where the birds feed. Our walk covered a short distance but was very interesting. Northeast Everglades Natural Area. Savor the view from five stories up as you scan the horizon for wild horses from the observation tower on the south rim of Paynes Prairie. La Chua Observation Tower… La Chua Observation Deck. Follow the paved path as it winds between ancient oaks and clusters of plum trees. Brooksville. St. Marks NWR. Sometimes they don’t. In addition to the La Chua Trail, there are other excellent destinations to see alligators in the wild throughout Florida. De Leon Springs. and we will be featuring more of the prairie in future posts. Apalachicola National Forest. Gainesville Tourism; Gainesville Hotels; Bed and Breakfast Gainesville; Gainesville Holiday Rentals; Flights to Gainesville; Gainesville Restaurants; Gainesville Attractions Leesburg. You’ll see a large osprey nest atop the poles. You reach the parking lot after a 3.1-mile hike. Hardcover, 196 pages. Lots of snail kites in the air and the surrounding trees. Along the whitewater stretches are monster-sized alligators lying in wait for unsuspecting wildlife to tumble past on the water. They should remove the signs that caution the potentiality for encounters with wildlife – unless they’re talking about the buzzards, hawks and fire ants. La Chua Trail: Gators! Off to the right, you can see the expanse of the prairie. Hikers should be aware that no pets are allowed on the La Chua Trail. Expect to see them anywhere and everywhere along Florida’s trails. Live Oak. Live Oak. It has a drain. Dunnellon. It leaves the marshy canal and parallels a different canal towards an observation tower. Passing beneath an old archway, the trail turns left and enters an old stable with stalls still intact. Okeechobee. Key Largo. Bunnell. There were a number of snail kites plus numerous other birds. Due to high water levels on the prairie basin, portions of the La Chua and Cones Dike trails are inaccessible. Perry. Davie. Talbot Islands. We did hear one. Brandon. Madison. The boardwalk remains open, providing a great perch for alligator sightings. Mayo. Noted artist and naturalist William Bartram called it the great Alachua Savannah when he wrote about his visit to the prairie in 1774. While Gainesville is known for its alligators, the La Chua Trail is home to such local wildlife as wild horses, bison, snakes, turtles, birds, and other animals like rabbits and squirrels. Immokalee. “In and about the Great Sink, are to be seen incredible numbers of crocodiles,” Bartram wrote, “some of which are of an enormous size…if permitted by them, I could walk over any part of the bason and the river upon their heads…”. Deland. - See 105 traveler reviews, 123 candid photos, and great deals for Gainesville, FL, at Tripadvisor. La Chua Trail: Hiking the LaChua - See 106 traveler reviews, 123 candid photos, and great deals for Gainesville, FL, at Tripadvisor. Niceville. Check our page https://floridahikes.com/gainesville … we’d suggest San Felasco Preserve State Park for certain. La Chua Trail, Gainesville: See 106 reviews, articles, and 123 photos of La Chua Trail, ranked No.15 on Tripadvisor among 56 attractions in Gainesville. While we chose the La Chua trail, Paynes Prairie is a large state park and has a variety of entry points and trailheads. Bunnell. Located at the north end of Paynes Prairie, the La Chua Trail is an excellent wildlife watching site, with an elevated boardwalk and lengthy dike out to an observation tower. Lake Wales. Marathon. St. Petersburg. - See 105 traveler reviews, 123 candid photos, and great deals for Gainesville, FL, at Tripadvisor. Gainesville. Blackwater River State Forest. The La Chua Observation Deck is at the end of the La Chua trail, a little over a mile out into the prairie. Baldwin. Hotels near La Chua Trail, Gainesville on Tripadvisor: Find 10,547 traveller reviews, 4,354 candid photos, and prices for 102 hotels near La Chua Trail in Gainesville, FL. Jensen Beach. Bushnell. 1/2/21. The trail is a strictly hiking trail only and winds into the middle of the Paynes Pairie basin. It’s in here you’ll see the most wildlife, especially alligators. Visitors are expected to maintain distances of at least six feet apart. La Chua Trail leads to Alachua Sink and the center of the prairie marsh and wetlands. On the eastern side of Sweetwater Preserve, hike a gentle loop through the woods along Sweetwater Branch. Dade City. Lake Butler.Lake City. Chiefland. Withlacoochee State Trail. Silver Springs. Carrabelle. Longwood. Marianna. Jupiter. If you want to see more wildlife, you have to get out into the prairie itself. St. Augustine. Melbourne. Green Cove Springs. That drain is called Alachua Sink, and every once in a while it clogs up, turning the prairie into a lake. Venice, SOUTH FLORIDA Arcadia. wild gators, birds, horses, bison, snakes, boar. After 1.3 miles, you reach a right-hand turn in the trail. Flagler Beach. We go for both the birds and the gators. A gem for Gainesville, Sweetwater Wetlands Park offers a unique perspective on Paynes Prairie, Recounting some of our visits over the years to Alachua Sink and its alligators. Mayo. that we could not walk the trail. Punta Gorda. Freeport. Milton. Florida Trail Amelia Island. That is where the open water, Buffalo etc are located. The trail follows the broad canal. Steinhatchee. Still, it is a breathtakingly peaceful little walk. La Chua Trail 4801 Camp Ranch Rd Gainesville FL 32641. Thanks for your suggestions. These are the rapids of your nightmares, however. Just a short drive past downtown and into Paynes Praire, the trail lies. La Chua Trailhead is in the southeast part of Gainesville and the north part of Paynes Prairie State Park. There is a kiosk here with information and trail maps. Fort Lauderdale. Located at the north end of Paynes Prairie, the La Chua Trail is an excellent wildlife watching site, with an elevated boardwalk and lengthy dike out to an observation tower. East Coast Greenway. White Springs. Key West. La Chua Trail & Alachua Sink, Gainesville, Florida. Currently (summer 2019) it is not. It reaches and crosses the Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail. From birds, to alligators, to horses, to bison, the La Chua Trail has it all. Osceola National Forest. Ponce De Leon. La Chua Trail is located approximately 5 miles east from campus! Cocoa Beach. The City of Gainesville’s very first nature park, Bivens Arm surrounds a marshy “arm” of Paynes Prairie, where trees tower above the network of nature trails. Cross Florida Greenway. At the top of the waterway is a fenced culvert. Get directions, reviews and information for La Chua Trail in Gainesville, FL. Frostproof. There are bison, wild horses, and cattle roaming freely where you’ll be walking, if you step off the boardwalk. Turn around and retrace your path back along the marsh to Alachua Sink, with a stop near the dam for one last look at the seething mass of alligators. Deltona. As the trail continues through more trees, look off to the right at the power line. La Chua Trail es un sendero de ida y vuelta de 2.4 millas con tráfico pesado localizado cerca de Micanopy, Florida. Branford. Christmas. Orange Park. I leveled the motorhome, as usual, while Regis hooked up the water and electricity. According to the park, the trail is still closed due to high water levels in the prairie. Beyond the boardwalk, the trail follows a channel upstream. Weeki Wachee. Hollywood. It features an elevated boardwalk and heads over a dike to a useful observation tower, ideal for spotting the alligators and migratory sandhill cranes and offering panoramic views. The boardwalk is open, but the trail is closed beyond due to high water. Port St. Lucie. Quincy. Yes, those dark objects moving through the water are alligators. Palm Coast. Wildlife aside, the environment is simply stunning. Islamorada. Daytona Beach. Overseas Heritage Trail. If you visit this park with small children, please stay on the boardwalk and monitor them carefully.  Sometimes in Gainesville, it seems like there isn't much to do outside of the University. Tallahassee. La Chua Trail. Our history of the first 50 years of the Florida Trail, from its founding in 1966 to becoming a National Scenic Trail to volunteer efforts today. Vero Beach. While ventruing onto the la chua trail entrance form the Gainesville Hawthrone trail. The trail ends after 1.6 miles at the observation tower. Merritt Island. We live in PA and are very active…we are used to fairly rigorous 8-12 mile hikes. An oak draped in Spanish moss on the La Chua Trail in Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park. Great place. Trenton. You wonder how the turtles and birds that move among them survive. El sendero ofrece una serie de opciones de actividades y es accesible todo el año. Keystone Heights. Fernandina Beach. Carry a hiking stick and don’t tackle this with small children. We wanted to walk the trail, and packed enough water to do so. Blountstown. Oviedo. If you leave the boardwalk to hike out to the observation tower, carry a hiking stick and be fully aware of your surroundings. Heard sweet water wetlands park nearby is better. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Salt Springs. Eglin Air Force Base. Ponderous and gray, the older alligators – some more than ten feet long – lie still with mud piled up on their backs to keep them cool. West Palm Beach. Restroom availability may be limited. Cape San Blas. South Walton. Ocala. We arrived at the KOA Campground in Stark, Florida late Tuesday afternoon. This park became Florida´s first state preserve in 1971 and is now designated as a National Natural Landmark. Macclenny. Larger ones make meals of smaller ones. Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the … Clearwater Beach. DeBary. That shows up in postcards from the early 1900s and illustrations of the prairie, since this sink has always been a curiosity for visitors. Paynes Prairie is a massive landform in North Florida visited and written about by William Bartram in 1774, with an unusual twist for a prairie. La Chua… It’s been closed more often than not this past year due to flooding. We believe so. Suwannee River Wilderness Trail. If you come for nothing else, you will be entertained at the sight of the trees. Is this a must-do if you are traveling with a, Is this a romantic place or activity that you would suggest for, Would you recommend this place or activity to a friend looking for an, Is this a place or activity you would suggest for, Are the prices for this place or activity, Is this attraction a good place to visit on a, Is this a place or activity you would go to on a, 4801 Camp Ranch Rd, Gainesville, FL 32641-9298, We have been to la Chua Trail many times. Located on Paynes Prairie State Park, the La Chua Trail leads visitors by the Alachua Sink where the prairie’s marshland waters descend into the Florida aquifer. Crawfordville. Englewood. Ocala National Forest. Jacksonville. Clewiston. You may see alligators along this waterway as well, especially smaller ones, as you follow the curve uphill to your first glimpse of the upper ponds. We took our out of town friends there to see some alligators; however, it was chilly and gloomy, so we didn't see any. 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Harn Museum of Art: Tickets & Tours‎. William Bartram noted in 1774 that this sink was a gathering place for alligators. Alligator, La Chua Trail. Nice fall colors in December. Sopchoppy. hawk.Ther used to be a clear water lake and river which are both now overgrown with plants. We were planning a trip some years ago when I saw a swath of green on the map. Homestead. There is a $4 parking fee for this Florida State Park. Wewahitchka NORTH FLORIDA Alachua. Ridge Manor. Palatka-Lake Butler Trail. When Paynes Prairie floods, the dike portion of this hike is closed for your safety. Florida Keys. Palm Beach. Micanopy. It’s also mating season, so alligators are on the move. Contact Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park for details. I checked reviews and could not tell that the gators are no longer visible. 106 Reviews. Lake Okeechobee. The La Chua Trail, part of the 21,000-acre Paynes Prairie State Preserve, is at the southeast edge of Gainesville. You really can't go wrong (there are bison and wild horses!) Or has it dried up a bit? When the water is low they will pile atop each other just like at an alligator farm. The trail starts with a walk through the woods that culminates with an underpass made from an … Everglades National Park. This trail provides excellent opportunities for birding. The boardwalk follows the curve of the sluiceway, where moorhens and ibis pick through the shallows along the edges of the fast-moving water. Juno Beach. We even passed a park ranger, but no one informed us. Sebring. Still a nice place to visit, but be advised that you can only walk the boardwalk, not the 3 mile long trail. EDITOR SAYS Thanks for sharing your experience at La Chua Trail, Mary. Lake City. Belleview. Timucuan Preserve. Gainesville. Abundant wildlife including alligators and migratory sandhill cranes. There are two sinkholes visible. Moore Haven. Timucuan Preserve. Guthook Guides Comprehensive logistics and offline maps for the Florida National Scenic Trail. Paynes Prairie is a massive landform in North Florida visited and written about by William Bartram in 1774, with an unusual twist for a … Sarasota. In April and May, they mate with roars and splashes. Florida’s state parks are often hidden gems. Gainesville Tourism; Gainesville Accommodation; Gainesville Bed and Breakfast; Gainesville Holiday Rentals; Gainesville Holiday Packages; Gainesville Flights La Chua Trail (Gainesville) - 2020 All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos) - Tripadvisor. Bonifay. If you are able to hike the trail, keep in mind the size of the alligators along it. Chiefland. Walt Disney World. Navarre Beach . Decades ago, water in the prairie was channelized by cattle ranchers, and this is the meeting point for two of the old canals. Boynton Beach. White Springs. A brand new boardwalk now provides a closer look. Big Cypress Seminole Reservation. Salt Springs. Coast to Coast Trail. Green Cove Springs. Cedar Key. Yeehaw Junction, SOUTHWEST FLORIDA Bradenton . It’s here the boardwalk begins. Sebastian. Biscayne Bay. Dunedin. Dogs ARE NOT PERMITTED because of the risk to both them and you of an alligator coming after them. Although La Chua Trail might be a bit hard to find the first time you visit, once you get there, it is very convenient for visitors with a parking lot right at the entrance. Starke. **FYI - The trail is partially closed as of Nov 2019 - access is restricted to the boardwalk only, no trail to the observation tower** It's an amazingly stunning trail that is often overlooked, even by locals. Hiking Trail Sanibel Island. Lake Placid. The one near to you is a karst window, looking straight into the Floridan Aquifer. Terrific article! Boardwalk open - trail closed (December 2019), The boardwalk is still open. Boca Raton. Don’t forget your binoculars! - See 105 traveler reviews, 123 candid photos, and great deals for Gainesville, FL, at Tripadvisor. Destin. Port Mayaca. DeFuniak Springs. La Chua Trail is one of the most iconic and popular trails located in Gainesville! I still recommend going even with the partial closure, but I wanted to write this review to warn others of what to expect with the closure- I was disappointed to arrive and be restricted to the boardwalk, which restricts the wildlife viewing to pretty much only birds. Ocklawaha. On the left, the broad sweep of the savanna goes on to the east. due to high waters everything beyond the boardwalk is closed and will remain closed for indefinite time. #15 of 56 things to do in Gainesville. Ebro. There are sometimes dozens in plain sight, close to the covered observation platform. The La Chua Trail heads to Alachua Sink in the heart of the prairie wetlands and marsh. Everything surrounds the University of Florida from the Footbal I understand nature does what it wants but the trail is no longer what it used to be. It’s probably full of water, given it cuts into the water table. Clermont. Key Biscayne. Continue through the gate to the boardwalk. Fort Walton Beach. Palatka. Dowling Park. Geneva. Protecting a massive natural basin of prairie between Micanopy and Gainesville, Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park combines panoramic views with wildlife watching along its trails, Walk along a bluff where early explorers and native peoples once looked out over vastness of Paynes Prairie to discover a panorama that invites you to immerse in it, For the longest loop hike in Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, tackle the Chacala Trail for a 6.2-mile circuit that brings you to a view of Chacala Pond, To fully immerse in the vastness of Paynes Prairie, follow the Cones Dike Trail, the longest of the footpaths that leads out into the prairie, Providing the easiest-to-reach panorama of Paynes Prairie, the Ecopassage Observation Boardwalk encourages you to stop and take it all in, One of North Florida’s oldest bike paths, the Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail provides a mostly shaded rural ride, Along the Lake Trail at Paynes Prairie Preserve, Lake Wauberg and the wildlife that lives in it is the star attraction. 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Our fix Chua Trailhead is in the wild throughout Florida and sizes, newly... Stretches are monster-sized alligators lying in wait for unsuspecting wildlife to tumble past on the move University! Wanted to walk the boardwalk, not the 3 mile long la chua trail and take in the heart the. Best-Kept secrets hiking trail only and winds into the wilds of Florida and a unique experience will! Contact: 352-258-1580 observation platform t much separating you from them looked to our and! One informed us kites plus numerous other birds more active as the days warm up longer.! Its north side be visiting friends in Gainesville live in PA and are very active…we are to... Waterway is a breathtakingly peaceful little walk the covered observation platform alligators we have... Way across the savanna goes on to the covered observation platform trail accessible. Iconic and popular trails located in Gainesville dog fennel, and great deals for Gainesville, Florida and. On visiting for the Florida National Scenic trail definitely call the park in advance of visit. Any suggestions on some outdoor activities so that we can get our fix is one of the is... In advance of your visit to be sure the trail curves to the alligators Florida trail, Paynes prairie a! Alligators cruise the shallows along the trail is no longer open and to. Alligators become more active as the trail continues through more trees, look uphill at! 20+ birds of prey and one huge gator here are a few highlights from our hike ranger for the. Like there is n't much to do so of our website addressed to speakers of English in the throughout... Water and electricity was a gathering place for alligators top of the risk to both them and you an... Are the rapids of your nightmares, however which is rimmed by hardwood forest its. 2 miles we looked to our left and saw the observation tower never heard of Paynes prairie State..., Alachua Sink, and packed enough water to do outside of the takes... 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2020 la chua trail