Florida Guide > State Parks
LAKE KISSIMMEE STATE PARK
Lake Kissimme State Park is a good choice if you are staying in the Disney area as you will not have that too far to drive. It is located east of Lake Wales, off the State Route 60. This park sits on 5930 all natural acres of the real old Florida.
There are signs of occupation here from the 16th century and later, in the 3rd Seminole War a fort was constructed. After this, the land was used for turps production and the lumber industry.
From the times of the Civil War to the present day it has been cattle grazing land.
It first became State Parks property in the 60s when they bought the land from the estate of William Zippers. The State Park opened to visitors in 1977.
There are several distinct eco systems in this park; among them pine flatwoods, flood plain forest and prairie hammock. This makes a good home for their 50 endangered species of flora and fauna.
One of the most impressive things about this park are the 13 miles of trails. Here you may catch a glimpse of a bob cat, crane, wild turkey and bald eagle. When we were there we saw an impressive snake sunning himself in the car park; a ranger identified it to us as harmless!
Unless you have arrived by boat, you will be fishing from the marina, dam or canal; you may catch crappie, chain pickerel, blue gill or the ubiquitous large mouth bass. You will need a licence
Do bring a packed lunch with you, there is a shady picnic area with a sun brella of oak trees. Nearby is an observation tower wher you can look out over part of Lake Kissimme. This tower is 40 feet high. Also in this area is a playground with swings and a slide for the smaller members of your group.
If you can, visit at the weekend since that is when they hold their cow camps. They provide a living history demonstration featuring a recreation of the 19th century cow hunters. They will serve you with an authentic old time coffee that is strong enough to stand a spoon in and you will see some original Florida Cracker Cattle that are descended fro original cattle brought here in the 1500s. These take place on saturdays, sundays and public holidays only from 9. 30 to 4. 30.
Lake Kissimmee State Park
14248 Camp Mack Road
Lake Wales, Florida 33853
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Page added on: 12 February 2008
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