Florida Keys

Florida Keys
Florida Keys September 2014

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A hike at Paynes Prairie State Preserve–Chacala Trail

Location: Gainesville, Fl
GPS Coordinates: 29.526762, -82.287387
Date: 01/28/13

We wanted to find a hike somewhere near our home that we had not done before. Looking at Google maps, I noticed a Wikiloc icon within the Paynes Prairie park showing a hike that looked interesting. We did the 20 minute drive to the park and found the trail head at the horse trail area about a mile down the main park road. The Chacala trail is about a 6 mile loop that takes you through “several distinct biological communities including pine flatwoods, hardwood forest or hammock, baygall, open ponds and old fields” (borrowed from the park website!!).  We found this trail to be very enjoyable as it was wide enough for two to walk side by side and the trail had many different looks to it as it made its’ way around many ponds. Around these wet areas, the bird population definitely picked up in activity. At a little more than half way on the hike there is a short side spur that takes you to Chacala Lake (pond). This was a nice quiet lake with what looks like one house on the far side. There was not other signs of development. Whoever owned that one piece of property sure had a great location!!

A sign at the trail head showing the track of the hike
The hike was well marked and easy to follow
Chacala Pond
Chacala Pond with the one house on the far bank

Here is the GPS track of the hike

Paynes Prairie - Chacala Trail at EveryTrail

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