Friday, December 1, 2023

Sweetwater Wetlands Park

Sweetwater Wetlands Park was created at the north end Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park where the Sweetwater Branch Creek flows into the preserve. It's purpose is to improve the water quality of wetlands in Paynes Prairie and the Floridan Aquifer by using a sediment basin to catch sand, debris, and trash; overflow channels to collect excess water during storms; and man-made wetlands that naturally reduce nitrogen in the water. 

Besides improving the environment the project created a beautiful park that's become a thriving habitat for native flora and fauna. Four miles of walking trails make two loops with boardwalks off of the western loop and a shortcut path through the middle of the eastern loop. 

The boardwalk is accessible but the high railing blocks views for anyone in a wheelchair or scooter. Part of the western loop is paved; the rest is hard packed gravel which is accessible however wheelchair users may need assistance in sections where the gravel is deep or loose.  Most of the overlooks are accessible but at least one has steps and one is on the top of a levee with a steep hill as the only access.

The parking lot has a section for oversize vehicles. There's also an overflow lot that may be opened. Park  29.62027, -82.32812




  1. We've spent some time in that area, and, you're right, the flora and fauna are a feast for the eyes -- you can see just about anything, except maybe camels. Thanks for a reminder of how neat this place is.

    1. We didn't get to Paynes Prairie. Have you been there? It looks like a good place to hike.

    2. Yes, we've walked a bit in Paynes Prairie. I'm pretty sure it was there that we saw more alligators than people! Expansive place to hike/walk/roll.