For those who enjoy the great outdoors, a trip to Lake Kissimmee State Park should be high on your bucket list.
Home to a dozen natural bodies and more than 30 species of flora and fauna, this Florida state park features a spectacular landscape of forest, prairie, flatwoods and floodplains. It also accommodates three scenic waterways in Lake Rosalie, Lake Kissimmee and Tiger Lake that adds even more beauty to it.
Situated in Central Florida, around a 90 minute drive from both Tampa and Orlando, the park is a haven for those who enjoy outdoor recreational activities like boating, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, hiking, picnicking, geocaching and birding.
It is also known for being an exceptional spot to see the stars, given how there is virtually no light pollution in the skies at night.
For the visitor, the park offers a plethora of ways to enjoy and connect with its gorgeous scenery.
Outlined below is just a small selection of some of the many activities you can see and do during your time there.
Boating at Lake Kissimmee State Park
With three lakes at their disposal, non-motorized boating along with canoeing and kayaking are very popular activities at the park.
There is a boat ramp on the northern side of the park near the Kissimmee River Canal, as well as one on the eastern side, close to the pavilions at Tiger Cove that will get you into the water.
Canoeists and kayakers can also launch their watercraft at Cow Camp Bridge.
If you did not bring any of these vessels with you, they can be hired at the park’s small convenience store.
While on the water you will be able to take in fantastic views of the shoreline, as well as the park’s other ecosystems.
Fishing at Lake Kissimmee State Park
As you might expect, given the prevalence of water within Lake Kissimmee State Park, fishing is a major drawcard.
Anglers from all over Florida visit it for the chance to catch a range of species including bluegill, catfish, chain pickerel crappie and largemouth bass.
Visitors with a boat can head out to the lake to cast a line, while those who do not have one can try their luck at the marina, along the canal or by the dam.
Depending on where you are from and what kind of fishing you are intending to do, you might need a license.
You will also have to abide by the regulations set out by the Florida Wildlife Commission for the size and number of fish you catch, as well as the season in which, and how, you do it.
Hiking at Lake Kissimmee State Park
For those who enjoy hiking there are four separate trails you can explore at the park. This includes two loop trails, a spur trail that guides you to the lake and a nature trail.
All of these begin by the trailhead and are very well marked. Collectively they take you through a terrain that varies from freshwater marshes and pine flatwoods to swamp and oak hammocks.
Along the way keep a look out for white-tailed deer, gray fox, gopher tortoises, turkeys, Sherman fox squirrels, bobcats and snakes.
For those who want to spend a night sleeping under the stars, there are a couple of backcountry campsites you can also stay at.
Geocaching at Lake Kissimmee State Park
The park is a popular destination for geocaching with many treasures being hidden within its 6,000 acres.
Providing you with an alternative way to enjoy the park’s landscape you can download the location coordinates of these caches on your handheld GPS device in order to find them.
Once you do, be sure to swap the loot with something of your own, to keep the fun going for everyone else.
Birding at Lake Kissimmee State Park
If you are into birding you’ll be pleased to discover that more than 200 species call Lake Kissimmee State Park home.
This is because it has a topography that includes plenty of water, wetlands and trees, which provides them with a natural habitat.
Some of these birds reside at the park all year round, while others stop by temporarily on their annual migration.
Throughout your time at the park you should see plenty of different waterfowl and birds of prey. Depending on the timing of your visit, you might be able to see Florida scrub-jays, which are endangered, as well as crested caracaras, sandhill cranes and snail kites.
Pets at Lake Kissimmee State Park
Visitors are allowed to bring their pets with them to the park, although they must be kept under control, cleaned up after and well behaved at all times.
Dogs must also be restrained on a hand-held leash that is no more than 6-feet in length. In addition, they may not be left unattended and are not permitted within the Cow Camp area.
Camping at Lake Kissimmee State Park
For those who want to stay overnight at the park, there are plenty of accommodation options available.
These include 60 sites that are set up for RVs and trailers. All of which come with connections for water and 30-amp electricity.
Situated within a picturesque oak hammock, they offer lots of privacy and shade. Amenities at this campground include restrooms with flushing toilets, warm showers and a dump station.
Many of the sites and some of the comfort stations are ADA accessible and even have ramps and concrete pathways that make it easier to reach them.
Guests are allowed to use generators, although not after sunset.
As well as these RV and trailer sites, the park also has primitive and group camping options available, in addition to an equestrian campsite.
Lake Kissimmee State Park
14248 Camp Mack Rd
Lake Wales, FL 33898
Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Lake Kissimmee State Park: