Florida Guide > Other Parks
Shingle Creek Nature Park
This is a new Park opened recently by Osceola County after they bought the land from the Babb family who owned it for many years. The County –with the help of other agencies acquired 100 acres of land that is so close to the urban areas of Kissimmee yet you will find it hard to even know you are stones throw from the busy 192.
Shingle Creek was a lifeline for early inhabitants including Native Americans, and is believed to be the head of the Everglades River. It was used for transportation in the early years and provided hunting grounds and camps for settlers. Now you can still see the original work sheds and garages-complete with old cars and machinery of the Babb family –although they are in desperate need of renovation and preservation –and this is one of the projects the County has in the pipeline. Unfortunately the house itself was destroyed by fire but there are plans to rebuild it and turn it into a museum in the future There are pictures of the homestead from 1915 on a notice board and they do not look any different in 2010 !
The Babb property includes parking, a restroom (although not primitive don’t expect high tech here-) 1. 25 miles of hiking trails, a children’s play area and a horseshoe pit.
We walked round the short and easy terrain trails keeping our eyes peeled for the eagle we were told was sat in an old dead tree but we didn’t spot him-but we did spot Armadillos, Herons and Egrets. Otters and deer have been reported as being seen there too There are still citrus trees growing on the open land and it seemed that picking the fruit was part of the trip so we did and enjoyed oranges , tangerines and grapefruit fresh from the tree-delicious .
There were not many people the day we went and those that were there were locals as this is a place not many tourists will know about as it has only been open a year and not that well signposted but it is so easy to get to and if you are staying at the east end of the 192then it is almost on your doorstep and you can pop there when on a trip to Wal Mart. To reach the park and the Babb property continue past Wal Mart and turn left at the light into Old Vineland Road. The park is at the north end of Babb Road
The opening of first stage of the park also includes the Steffee Landing, a historic cabin and boat landing near the U. S. Highway 192 Bridge at 4266 W. Vine St. in Kissimmee, where park-goers will be able to launch canoes and kayaks. From there they can canoe the Shingle Creek and see the beauty of the landscape from the clear waters.
The part of the park now accessible by the public is open from 8 a. m. to 5 p. m. October through March and for two extra hours in the evening during the rest of the year
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Page added on: 4 February 2010
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