Take A Walk On The “Wild Side”– In Gainesville’s City Limits–At Sweetwater Wetlands Park

Gainesville’s Sweetwater Wetlands Park is about more than 125 acres of protected land near the intersection of South Main Street and Williston Road.

The park is not only a place to connect with nature, it’s a way to protect our environment. Featuring wetlands and ponds, the park was created to improve the water quality of wetlands in Paynes Prairie and the Floridan Aquifer.

Now a thriving habitat, Sweetwater Wetlands Park is filled with vast numbers of plants and animals, including birds, butterflies, alligators and Florida cracker horses.

At the park, you can walk more than 3.5 miles of crushed gravel trails and boardwalks, experience the lush landscape from viewing platforms, and learn about the habitat through educational signs and tours.

In addition to your walking shoes, hat and sunscreen, be sure to bring your camera (with the “longest” telephoto lens), binoculars or spotting scope.  The park opens at 7AM, and that’s the best time to catch (photograph) the critters moving about!

Park Information


325 SW Williston Road

Gainesville, FL 32608

Hours:  7 a.m. to Sunset.
Monday–Sunday, including holidays.

Park closes at sunset.

Please plan accordingly.

Visitors in the park after closing may be fined.


 $5 per car

 $2 per person (bicyclists,        pedestrians, buses)

Annual Passes are available for $78/year. Military discounts are also available for those who qualify.

Parking: More than 40 parking spaces and two bus bays are located at the entrance. Two bike racks, each can comfortably lock 2 bikes, possibly more depending on size.

Restroom: A restroom is available in the covered pavilion near the entrance.

For special needs accommodations, please call 352-393-8437 or TDD 352-334-2069 or email to make arrangements at least 48 hours before your visit.

Park Rules

  • Activities such as horseback riding, biking, camping and driving cars on the trail are not allowed. Please park bikes at rack.
  • Fishing is not permitted.
  • Due to potential conflict with alligators, other wildlife, and livestock, pets are not allowed in the park.
  • Photography is permitted. Please, no drones.