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Lake Kissimmee State Park

Lake Wales, Florida

Contact Information
14248 Camp Mack Road
Lake Wales, 33853
(863) 696-1112

Reservation Information: 1-800-326-3521

Driving Directions
Lake Kissimmee State Park is located off S.R. 60, 15 miles east of Lake Wales.
Hours of Operation

Florida state parks are open from 8 a.m. until sundown 365 days a year.

The land that is now Lake Kissimmee State Park was once used by Native Americans because of the abundance of fish and game in the area, making it an ideal place to live for thousands of years. The park is named for Lake Kissimmee, the third largest lake in the state. The 5,930 acres of Lake Kissimmee State Park are teeming with plant and animal life. The park offers outstanding fishing, bird watching, picnicking, camping, boating and hiking on 13 miles of beautiful trails. For nature lovers and photographers few parks offer the variety of plant and animal life that Lake Kissimmee State Park has to offer.

Lake Kissimmee State Park is home to an 1876 cow camp. South central Florida was the heart of Florida's frontier cattle country and the life of early Florida cow hunters is interpreted at the parks living history demonstration. Walk down the dirt path and enter the year 1876 where you will find a cow hunter who is more than willing to talk about his life and times. Sample some of the camp coffee and view the herd of Florida scrub cattle, which were originally brought over by the Spanish in the early 1500's.

The operating hours of the cow camp are weekends and major holidays from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Park Activities

Boating, Boat Ramp, Full Camping, Primitive Camping, Youth Camping, Canoeing, Fishing, Horse Trails, Nature Trails, Picnicking, and Wildlife Viewing

Full Facility Camping
Surrounded by 54,000 acres of pristine land, campers at Kilpatrick Hammock Campground can experience wilderness camping with all the comforts of home. Water and electricity at each site and a spacious bathhouse with laundry facilities can be found at the family camping area. The horseback campground has large paddocks equipped with hayrack and running water. Over 110 miles of two-trail road for hiking, bicycle riding and horseback riding will take visitors through dry prairie, moist wetlands and cool, shady hammocks. Deer and turkey are often seen meandering through the campgrounds. Bring horses, bicycles and cameras to enjoy a truly unique camping experience.

Primitive Camping
For those who prefer primitive camping, there are two campsites located on the 13 miles of hiking trails within the park. Everything must be backpacked in including water. There are no facilities available at either of these campsites.

Youth Camping
A youth camping area is also available which can accommodate up to 50 youth and chaperones. Facilities available at the youth area include cold water showers.

Join one of our park rangers on a guided kayaking/canoe trip. Tour the waterways within the park and/or along the shores of Lakes Kissimmee, Rosalie, and Tiger. View some of the incredible birds and wildlife inhabiting the area known as the "headwaters" to the Everglades. Several different tours are available, depending on water levels and weather. Bring your own boat, as there are no rentals in the park. Please call for times and dates, (863) 696-1112.

Located on the shores of Lakes Kissimmee, Rosalie and Tiger, the park offers some of the best fishing opportunities in the state. A variety of fish that can be caught include the largemouth bass, crappie, catfish, chain pickerel and bluegill. A boat ramp in the park offers direct access to Lake Kissimmee. For those without boats fishing opportunities from the canal banks, marina and dam offer the same variety of fish.

Freshwater fishing in Florida requires a license for those who are 15 years or older. You do not have to have a license to fish with a cane pole as long as you are fishing in the county of your residence.

Horse Camping
Riding the trails in Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park on horseback is one of the best ways to see the real Florida. With more than 110 miles of two-trail roads horseback riders are apt to see an abundance of wildlife. In early spring its possible to hear the endangered Florida Grasshopper Sparrow singing in its dry prairie habitat. The trails take you through dry prairie, moist wetlands and cool, shady hammocks. Bring your own horses and enjoy a day’s ride or stay overnight in our beautiful horseback campground.

Nature Trails
Hiking through the grasslands of Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park will find you in a place so unique there is no other on earth to see the same combination of plants and animals. You may startle white-tailed deer feeding on the tender grasses or send an Indigo Snake slithering off the trail to hide in the wiregrass. Scan the skies and see a Crested Caracara or Bald Eagle soaring overhead; listen carefully and you may hear endangered Florida Grasshopper Sparrows singing in their natural prairie habitat. Wildflowers dot the countryside including Yellow Bachelors Buttons, Pipewort, Blazing Star, Meadow Beauty and the delicate Alligator Lily. Enjoy the prairie by looking into it – not at it.

There is a large picnic area located in an oak hammock near the bottom of the park. Large, sprawling live oak trees provide shade for those interested in picnicking at the park. There are numerous picnic tables and four pavilions available. At the edge of the picnic area is a 40 foot tall observation tower where you will be able to view the upper part of Lake Kissimmee. For further information on the availability and prices of renting the pavilions please call the park office.