Wild horses and bison roam the 20 biological communities that constitute 21,000-acre Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park. This slightly eerie preserve's wet prairie, swamp, hammock and pine flatwoods are crisscrossed by multiple trails which can easily eat up a day of wandering. The 3-mile La Chua Trail takes in the Alachua Sink and Alachua Lake, offering opportunities to spot alligators and sandhill cranes.
Just north of the visitor center, climb the 50ft observation tower for panoramas. Campsites cost $18, and include water and electricity.