(Last Updated On: December 24, 2022)
Open field at Okeechobee Battlefield Historic State Park

Open field at Okeechobee Battlefield Historic State Park. Photo: Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Love American war history? Then you will want to pay a visit to Okeechobee Battlefield Historic State Park.

Established in 1966, this consequential site was the scene for The Battle of Okeechobee. Taking place on Christmas Day in 1837, it proved to be one of the major and most significant conflicts within the Second Seminole War.

During it, more than 1000 American soldiers fought against hundreds of Miccosukee and Seminole warriors close to the northern shoreline of Lake Okeechobee.

Considered to be a catalytic moment in the war, it pretty much signified the end of full-scale attacks, while smaller skirmishes petered out shortly after.

Honoring and interpreting both of the sides that took place in the fighting, some 640 acres of the battlefield have been designated as the Okeechobee Battlefield State Historic Park.

Overall this Florida state park is a fascinating place to visit to get a feel for its sense of history. Particularly when battle reenactments take place in February. It is also a decent destination for birding. As well as a pleasant place for a picnic under a replica pavilion of a traditional Seminole chickee hut.

Activities

Okeechobee Battlefield Historic State Park is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. However it remains open from Wednesdays through Sundays between the hours of 8 am to 5 pm.

If you intend to visit the park, here is a brief overview of some of the things you can see and do during your time there.

Battle reenactments at Okeechobee Battlefield Historic State Park

Every February, a spectacular reenactment of the historic battle takes place at the park.

This involves people from a volunteer group dressing up as both US soldiers and Miccosukee and Seminole warriors and is quite a sight to see.

As you would imagine, the park receives plenty of visitors at this time. So be sure to get there early to secure a prime viewing spot for this event.

The reenactment serves as a fundraising activity for the park, so your attendance will support its preservation efforts.

Picnicking at Okeechobee Battlefield Historic State Park

The park has recently opened a new picnic pavilion which makes a terrific place to enjoy an al fresco meal.

Based on the traditional Seminole chickee huts that were prevalent at the turn of the 19th century, it takes the form of a palmetto thatch which has been placed over a log frame of cypress trees.

This structure lasts for about 10 years and typically needs to be re-thatched on a 5-yearly basis. It was made by current Floridian Seminoles and provides shade from the sun and a great view of the battlefield.

Birding at Okeechobee Battlefield Historic State Park

If you are into birding the park provides good opportunities to enjoy this recreational pastime.

Depending on the time of the year you visit the battlefield you may see several different species of birds. Some of which live in the park all year round while others stop by during their annual migration.

During your visit, keep an eye out for osprey, ibis, black-bellied whistling ducks, crested caracara, bald eagles, red-bellied woodpeckers, pileated woodpeckers and wood storks.

Fishing near Okeechobee Battlefield Historic State Park

While there is no fishing available directly at the park it is worth bringing your rods and reels with you to take advantage of the abundant opportunities at nearby Lake Okeechobee.

This huge 1,891 km² body of water is renowned for being a great place to catch crappie, bluegill and bass. It can be accessed from various points including fishing piers and boat ramps.

Should you want to cast a line here you may need a license to do so. You will also need to abide by the rules and regulations of the Florida Fishing and Wildlife Commission.

These pertain to the size, number, season and method of capture of the fish.

Pets at Okeechobee Battlefield Historic State Park

You are welcome to take your dog with you to the park, although they will have to remain on a leash at all times.

You will also need to make sure they are well behaved, not left unattended for more than half an hour and cleaned up afterwards.

Some other conditions with regards to their presence may also apply. So it is worth contacting the park’s main office should you require any further clarification.

Camping at Okeechobee Battlefield Historic State Park

There are no camping options available at the park.

However if you are planning to visit it in an RV or trailer and need a place to stay overnight, there are several very good campgrounds within a short driving distance of it.

Two of the closest are the Starlite RV Park and Okeechobee KOA Resort. Both of which offer a range of camping accommodation options including cabins, RV and trailer sites that have connections for water, electric and sewer and primitive campsites.

Depending on which one you stay at, amenities should include comfort stations with flush toilets and warm showers and a dump station. There may also be a swimming pool, convenience store, playground and laundrette.

Should you want to stay at a hotel, motel or Vrbo, there are plenty available in the towns and cities that are dotted around Lake Okeechobee.

Accessible Amenities at Okeechobee Battlefield Historic State Park

A lot of thought has been put into Okeechobee Battlefield Historic State Park to make it accessible.
Within it you will find fully accessible restroom facilities and car park spaces.

Likewise the picnic area by Chickee Hut Picnic Pavilion also has an accessible set up too. This includes an easy to reach water fountain to drink from.

Park Location

Okeechobee Battlefield Historic State Park
3500 SE 38th Ave
Okeechobee, FL 34974
Phone: 863.634.9587

Website

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Okeechobee Battlefield Historic State Park: