Brochure of Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park in Florida - the largest remaining expanse of Florida dry prairie. Published by Florida State Parks.
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KISSIMMEE PRAIRIE PRESERVE STATE PARK HISTORY AND NATURE Given its immense scale and scenic beauty, Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park has a grandeur all its own. In many areas, prairie stretches to the horizon, uninterrupted by signs of civilization. Kissimmee Prairie was once a working cattle ranch, part of Florida’s historic cow hunter tradition. Crackers – cattlemen who made a cracking sound with their whips – drove herds to train depots or to the coasts then returned to their homes. During World War II, the U.S. military conducted training missions on the site. The 54,000-acre preserve is part of the Everglades headwaters and protects the largest remaining tract of Florida dry prairie. Growing-season fire and a wet season keep the prairie healthy by maintaining knee-high vegetation. Sweeping vistas of grasses, flowers and saw palmettos are coupled with an amazing array of wildlife and natural communities. With the arrival of each season, different colors of wildflowers explode onto the scene. A spectacular birding and wildlife watching experience awaits park visitors. Over 150 bird species have been sighted, including burrowing owls and crested caracara. Butterfly viewing is superb, with more than 85 recorded species. Internationally recognized for its lack of light pollution, the prairie’s night sky is inky black — campers can spot the Milky Way without using telescopes or binoculars. 33104 N.W. 192 Avenue Okeechobee, Florida 34972 863-462-5360 PARK GUIDELINES • Ranger station hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and state holidays. • An entrance fee is required. Additional user fees may apply. • Speed limit is 25 miles per hour. • All plants, animals and property are protected. Collection, destruction or disturbance is prohibited. • Pets are permitted in designated areas only. Pets must be kept on a hand-held leash no longer than six feet and be well-behaved at all times. • Fires are allowed in designated areas only. MORE INFORMATION • Become a volunteer. Inquire at the preserve office or online at www.floridastateparks.org/volunteers/. • For camping information, contact Reserve America at 800-326-3521 or visit ReserveAmerica.com. • Florida State Parks are committed to providing every visitor with equal access to all facilities and programs. Should you need assistance to enable your participation, please contact the preserve office at 863-462-5360. Visit us online at FloridaStateParks.org Follow us on social media FloridaStateParks.org #FLStateParks KISSIMMEE PRAIRIE PRESERVE STATE PARK Largest remaining expanse of Florida dry prairie Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park EXPERIENCES AND AMENITIES N W Florida National Scenic Trail (FNST) Osceola County Okeechobee County North Boundary Trail Pine Island Slough Trail High land s Co unty Another memorable way to explore the stretch of wild prairie is from an elevated seat on a ranger-led buggy tour. The tours of remote prairie backcountry run November through March. Kissimmee Prairie’s remote setting makes it a premier location for stargazing. On new-moon nights campers can relax under luminescent stars. Full moons illuminate the landscape, allowing campers to walk without a flashlight and explore the nighttime wonderland. Located 32 miles northwest of Okeechobee. Take U.S. 441 north from Okeechobee to County Road 724, turn west. Go to the end of County Road 724 and turn north on Northwest 192nd Avenue for five miles to the preserve entrance. The park office is five miles north of the entrance. S Look for wildflowers and white-tailed deer along the trails, and scan the skies for a bald eagle or swallowtailed kite. The park’s varied habitats offer a full day of bird-watching. The prairie also serves as a haven for migrating and resident butterflies. Four different camping choices are available. The family campground offers a full-service restroom with hot showers. The equestrian campground with hot showers has paddocks available. The primitive camping area offers a wilderness camping experience. The campsites are accessible only by foot, bicycle or horseback. The astronomy campground offers a camping experience free from the intrusion of campfires and bright lights. Directions E m Sl Gum Slough Prairie Trail McGuire Hammock Trail ou gh McGuire Prairie Trail Duck Slough Long Hammock Trail Duck Slough Prairie Trail Florida National Scenic Trail (FNST) Trailhead Corral Five Mile Prairie Trail West Pasture Trail South Pasture Trail Seven Mile Slough Prairie Loop Trail Grasshopper Sparrow Trail v Ri m im ss Ki ee Gu Military Trail Cow Camp Trail River Trail er Dead Pine Island Marsh CATTLE LEASE Raulerson PASTURE AREA Trail Kilpatrick Prairie Trail Peavine Road Visitors can find a deep connection to natural Florida at Kissimmee Prairie Preserve. More than 100 miles of multi-use trails beckon bicyclers, hikers and horseback riders. The trails roam through dry prairie, wetlands and cool, shady hammocks, offering views of the grasslands and its abundant wildlife. Double Trail Seven Mile OrdwaySlough Whittell Audubon Trail Trail Trail South Boundary Trail Equestrian Campground Family Campground N.W. 320th Street N.W. 192nd Avenue East Military Trail Bicycling Restrooms Birding Ranger Station Camping Showers Hiking Stargazing Horseback Riding Visitor Center Parking Wildlife Viewing Primitive Camping 00296 Rev_10.19 FreemanGray Trail Nature Trail Florida National Scenic Trail (FNST) Multi-use Trail (Biking, Hiking, Equestrians) Astronomy Pad Trailhead Chandler Trail Bob White Trail East Military Trail Park Entrance East Boundary Trail Peavine Trail Ozmore Trail Visitor Center and Office Hammock Trail Spotting Tower Trail