Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Paynes Prairie State Park, Florida

Noted artist and naturalist William Bartram called it the great Alachua Savannah when he wrote about his visit to the prairie in 1774. The area has had significant change since then. Today, surrounded by the 21st century, this small pocket of wild is protected under the management of the Florida State Park System. I watched a nesting bald eagle preen, a reintroduced buffalo wallow and feed in belly-deep flooded prairie, Spanish wild horses gallop and play in the tall grass, and waterbirds prove time after time that beneath the surface the water teemed with fish. Bermed trails allow hiking out into the flooded prairie. The campground is located in the flat pine woods with trails leading out in many directions.

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