This was my first (and only) gator experience in Florida. A couple days after getting there, I finally stopped laying around and we went to the La Chua Trail in Paynes Prairie State Park. I was excited to finally see gators!
We set off on the short hike and I was immediately fascinated by the moss on the trees. Yes. The moss. I’ve never seen moss on trees like that before and I love it. Moss aside, the trail was really nice. We saw a fair number of other people, but nothing too crazy. The trail is 3 miles round-trip, but it’s flat, so it’s perfect for anyone and everyone.
This is a great place to see wildlife. We saw tons of gators, a deer, maybe some herons, wild horses, and a cottonmouth snake. All of that was just to the overlook at the end, and of course all of it on the way back, too. We even saw a super adorable baby gator!
I really enjoyed this trail and would definitely go back. There is other hiking to do in the park as well that would probably be just as awesome. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for an easy morning or afternoon hike.
- Park entrance is $4 for one person and $6 for 2-8.
- Be cautious of the alligators. They are wild and well, alligators.
- As always, bring water, especially in the hot and humid summer.
- Of course, bring a camera! There’s so much wildlife here, it’s crazy.
Have you hiked La Chua Trail? What did you think of it? What is your favorite thing to do in Paynes Prairie?