Sun shower
Spicebush Swallowtail
Sunset heron
American alligator
Sweetwater Wetlands
Juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk
Cracker horse
Tri-colored heron

Explore nature.

Sweetwater Wetlands Park is not only a place to connect with nature, it's a way to protect our environment. The park, which consists of more than 125 acres of wetlands and ponds, 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.

Please note: Sweetwater Wetlands Park will have updated hours beginning 4/22/20. The park will close at 7:30 p.m. daily until further notice. Opening time will remain the same, 7 am. Some park trails will be closed or re-routed in order to maintain social distancing. We are asking for the public to assist us in the effort to maintain a safe social distance so that the park can remain open.




Check out our Activities and Events, and follow us on Facebook to stay updated on what's going on in the park!

To learn more about this unique park, visit our About Us page and view our gallery of images.


Sweetwater Wetlands Park Bird Checklist

Download and print the form, and enter your data on When entering checklists on eBird please use the existing hotspot: Sweetwater Wetlands Park.

All Sweetwater Wetlands Park passholders who had a valid annual pass in March 2020, received a two-month extension. Passholders may receive the extra two months at their renewal time or display their pass two months after the original expiration date.

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.

Park Information


325 SW Williston Road

Gainesville, FL 32608

New hours beginning April 22, 2020:
Park Hours:
 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily until further notice. 
Monday–Sunday, including holidays.

Please plan accordingly.

Gate closes to entry at 7 p.m. Be aware that the main gate closes to new visitors a half hour before closing time. Visitors in the park after closing may be fined.

Starting September 5, patrons will have convenient park admission payment options:

  1. Insert cash into the payment box located at the entrance of the parking lot.

  2. Use Passport Parking app, select 32601 as the main lot zone number.

  3. Online payment at The patron will need to verify information by either text message or phone call. Select 32601 as the main lot zone number. The fee will cover the entire day the payment is made.

  4. Purchase an annual pass by calling 352-334-5067 (Mon.-Fri. 8a.m.-5p.m.)


 $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 352-554-5871 to make arrangements at least 48 hours before your visit.

Tri-colored heron

Barbara Woodmansee