Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park

Flickr - Photo by Jim Whitney

Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park is a Florida state park, located approximately 25 miles north of Okeechobee, off US 441.

Kissimmee Prairie is a land dominated by the great blue sky, and thus makes it a popular stargazing spot.

The wide-open landscape allows birdwatchers and photographers to catch sight of rare species inhabiting this place.

You can even enjoy the breathtaking landscape views by walking, running, hiking, bicycling, or even horseback riding.

Surrounded by 54,000 acres of prairie, visitors can experience Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park camping with access to modern conveniences. Beside the regular camping, the preserve also offers equestrian camping and wilderness primitive camping.

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SIGHTSEEING

Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park is a land dominated by the great blue sky. The preserve, part of the Everglades headwaters, protects the largest remaining tract of Florida dry prairie, an ecosystem shaped by cycles of flooding and fire. Many rare, threatened and endangered species inhabit this place. that’s why it’s popular amongst photographers and birdwatchers to catch sight of various varieties of wildflower and wildlife.
Internationally recognized for its lack of light pollution, the night sky above the prairie is inky black—campers can spot the Milky Way without using telescopes or binoculars. If you want to observe the twinkling night sky, camping here is your best option.

ONE DAY TRIP IDEA

Whether you prefer walking, running, hiking, or bicycling, Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park becomes the perfect destination for your favorite outdoor activities. You can even enjoy the breathtaking landscape views by horseback riding.
Hard-shell roads suitable for biking, along with 100 miles of trails/service roads for off-road bicycling, are shared with hikers, horseback riders and park vehicles. Along the way, you’ll find wildflowers dotting the countryside, including yellow bachelors buttons, pipewort, blazing star, meadow beauty and the delicate alligator lily.
Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park offers excellent seasonal birding opportunities. The park offers refuge to six federally threatened and endangered species and an additional six species of special concern. Highlights of a birding trip to Kissimmee Prairie may include the Florida grasshopper sparrow, burrowing owls, crested caracaras and wood storks.
Picnicking and wildlife viewing are some other activities you can experience in the park. You can even savor the views and get to know more about the nature by going on tours. Ymost importantly, you should never miss Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park stargazing. You can either reserve a campsite or an astronomy pad site to be able to witness the amazing clear night sky.

Astronomy viewing pad

A very suitable place for camping in the open air.

The place itself is always clean and safe.

You can see stars at night and photograph them.

Address : Okeechobee, FL 34972, USA

CAMPING

Surrounded by 54,000 acres of prairie, campers at the Kilpatrick Hammock Campground can experience Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park camping with access to modern conveniences. Water and electricity are provided at all 35 campsites along with a spacious accessible restroom with showers and laundry. A water-filling and dump station is centrally located.
Beside the regular camping, Kilpatrick Hammock Campground also offers equestrian camping with 50-amp electrical service and water at each site. What’s more, the preserve offers three wilderness primitive campsites located 2.5 miles from the office.

HEALTH ADVISORY

Effective July 2, 2020 Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park is open from 8 a.m. until sundown. Due to local orders, facial coverings or masks are required inside buildings for staff and visitor safety. Restroom availability may be limited, all other park facilities are closed. Visitors are expected to maintain distances of at least six feet apart and practice good hygiene.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

The area is somewhat temperate—in the 50th percentile for pleasant weather—compared to tourist destinations worldwide. Weeks with ideal weather are listed above. If you're looking for the very warmest time to visit Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, the hottest months are August, July, and then June.

BEST HOTELS AND RESORTS

Flanked by trees and the Kissimmee River, Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo offers accommodations ranging from warm rooms with kitchenettes to upscale cottages offering wraparound porches and whirlpool tubs, as well as furnished teepees and permanent tents. All offer Wi-Fi access.
Parking is free. Amenities include a saloon, a general store, and a restaurant with river views, plus an outdoor pool, a gym and a marina. Activities like mini-golf, horseback riding and a petting farm are available. There's also a campground. Pets are welcome for a fee.
Overlooking Sebring International Raceway, Seven Sebring Raceway Hotel is another staying option you can choose. The straightforward rooms and suites have desks, free WiFi, TVs (with movies and video games), and tea and coffeemaking equipment. Some rooms have private balconies/patios and minifridges; some suites have whirlpool tubs.
Amenities include an outdoor pool, a 24-hour fitness center, a restaurant/lounge and a European-style spa offering treatments. There's also over 7,000 sq ft of meeting space.

Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo

It is an extraordinary simple building with very special amenities.

The place is very clean, and the rooms are uniquely designed to have very comfortable mattresses and pillows.

They also provide healthy and varied food for breakfast.

The owner and his staff are very friendly, and always do their best.

This is perfect for a traveler or a family.

Address : 3200 River Ranch Blvd, River Ranch, FL 33867, USA

Seven Sebring Raceway Hotel

An extraordinary hotel with all amenities and has the best view.

Excellent restaurant, comfortable pool, neat outdoor area with giant chess board and tables to sit at.

All rooms are designed very cool and have complete facilities, including a very clean bathroom.

They also provide a very varied breakfast, and snacks to accompany you while staying at this hotel.

All staff are very experienced in doing guests very well.

Address : 150 Midway Dr, Sebring, FL 33870, USA

BEST RESTAURANTS

Tin Fish Restaurant is a casual chain serving a range of seafood, from fish tacos to oyster po' boys, plus burgers and chicken. The food is really good, especially the appetizers. Fish tacos are stuffed full and delicious. Mahi on slaw and the Salted Carmel Cheesecake are both incredible. Drunken clams are great and very good smoked fish dip. Many restaurants serve alligator in Florida but very few can cook it correctly, and Tin Fish is one of the few. Best of all is the main lobster. The restaurant also serve delicious burger and sandwich.
Landing Strip Cafe is a straightforward restaurant specializing on breakfast and brunch menus. This American restaurant cooks fresh and hot and delicious! Many visitors find it fun to see the planes taking off and landing while they eat a great breakfast. They offer great service and good food: burger, sandwich, biscuits and gravy are top notch.

Tin Fish Restaurant

The coolest place to hang out and spend some time.

The owner is outstanding, and the servers are fun and accommodating.

They provide fresh food and serve it hot.

The shrimp are large/plump and tasty,the strips of whitefish are fried up crispy.

A nice wine list with reasonable prices for the premium wine.

Address : 301 N Parrott Ave, Okeechobee, FL 34972, USA

Landing Strip Cafe

Excellent spot to get lovely breakfast or brunch and nice to start your day.

Pricing is affordable and they serve generous portions.

The Eggs Benedict are top-notch and their service is quick.

Address : 2800 NW 20th Trail, Okeechobee, FL 34972, USA

BEST SOUVENIR SHOPS

While you're at the park's office, you can relax in rocking chairs on the office porch and view wildflowers in the spring and fall that sprinkle color in the midst of grasses and low-growing saw palmettos or even browse the gift shop and butterfly collection inside.