Payne's Prairie Preserve State Park

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Payne's Prairie Preserve State Park

Map

Address:

100 Savannah Boulevard
Micanopy, FL 32667

Region:

Northeast

Phone:

352-466-3397

Website:

View Website

The area of Payne's Prairie is rich in Native American heritage as well as Colonial and more recent history.  The many archaeological sites within or adjacent to the prairie demonstrate that it was used by Native Americans at lease 7,000 years ago.  Rancho de La Chua, on the Prairie's north rim, is believed to be the site of Hacienda de La Chua, the largest cattle ranch in Spanish Florida. Established before 1637, La Chua was managed by the politically powerful Menendez Marquez family, reached its zenith of prosperity between 1672 and 1695, and operated until the early 18th century. Cattle and wild horses seen on the Prairie today are descendants of those brought over by the Spanish in the early 1500s and left to roam free.