Visiting Florida's state parks and beyond in our Roadtrek. This is how we saw it all. Hopefully, the posts will give you some useful information. Questions and comments are welcome.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

A Visit to Florida's Lake Kissimmee State Park

Revisited this state park that lies in a large tract of land just east of Lake Wales, FL off Camp Mack Road. Way off the highway the park is real quiet during the week and only an occasional air boat reminds you there is a huge lake nearby that is great for fishing, skiing, kayaking, but swimming is not recommended. Gators. The campstore is not yet open as of this date.  But, Lake Wales is only about 15 miles west with plenty of stores, eateries, etc. And there is Bok Tower, a beautiful botanical garden with carillon music from the tower.

The campground has two loops, each with 30 campsites. All are back-in, level limerock/shell mix, and have full or partial shade with ample side privacy and/or space between sites. Each has 30/20 amp electric and water. No sewer. The bath houses are updated and clean.  Our site, 22, is short, but ample for us. There are varying lengths to accommodate long Class A's and 5th wheels.

All roads are paved making for miles of easy biking. The campground loop roads are narrow, but navigable by even the longest Class A or 5th wheel. Hopefully you won't meet someone driving the wrong direction.

One fancy root system in the day park. The day park is large with several large and small pavilions with grills, several stand alone picnic tables with grills, rest room, and playground.  See my 9/17 blog for more photos of the day area.


An Egret hunts the next meal in Zipperer Canal.


Fishermen return to the marina after a morning of fishing on the lake.

The cute wood caricatures are still around the park. This one at the marina.

 Critter at the marina. Watch out for the egret, dude.

 At the edge of the day park stands a 35' tower overlooking the marsh area and Lake Kissimmee.  This is the place to go on a clear night. Awesome view of the heavens with very little light pollution. Walking back to camp one night our flashlights hit a couple of glowing eyes in the near distance. Turned out to be two deer laying on the ground at the edge of the day park. Never know whose eyes you'll run across in the woods at night.

 Three couples camped with us this week. We were lucky to get four adjacent campsites.  Must be a discussion on who is cooking dinner tonight.

From the tower to the right is the marsh land and beyond is Lake Kissimmee. To the right is a wooded area that contains the day park, youth camp and straight forward is Gobbler Ridge Trail (2.8 mi).


Cross the bridge over Zipperer Canal and you have a choice.  Take the right fork and hike Buster Island Loop, a 6.7 mile equestrian trial, or take the left fork and visit Cow Camp. On weekends and holidays from Oct 1 to May 1 Cow Camp where living demonstrations depict life on a 1876-era Florida ranch. 

Welcome to the camp. Don't drink the water.

Looking into the corral.
The campsite.

Sit down around the campfire and listen to a "genuine cowboy" tell the tales of yore.

The shelter of many uses.

Stockade fence weaves an interesting path.

A denizen of the pasture. Horses and cattle fed off the grass.

Back at the camp site a visitor walks in about breakfast time. Wild life visiting your camp is a common thing at this park. Deer passed through one of the couples site early in the morning.

Morning tales around the campfire. Seem to be missing some of our party. Late risers?

Most all outside sites go off into the flatwoods area. Rangers have marked the official end of each of those sites. Inner sites are limited to the site due to the foliage between sites.


Along one of the paths to the bath house a cardinal had made a nest in a low branch of a bush.

Momma had left the nest briefly allowing us to see her three painted eggs.  Hope they remained undisturbed and eventually hatched.

Magnificent pines tower over our campsite.


At my house they are weeds. But, in the woods they are another pretty plant.

Some activity in the plant.

Some more of those characters along the North LoopTrail, a 6.0 mile loop trail.  Along the trail is Fallen Oak Campsite, a primitive campsite. Bring your water, food and non-electric gear, pitch your tent. and enjoy nature.

Along the quarter mile nature walk. All the trails are easy going. They are paths or dirt roads. Very little elevation change or roots to navigate. Just easy-going hiking and enjoying nature. Very nice campground and park. Family oriented.

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