Florida State Parks 75th Anniversary Logo
The Ranger Station welcomes visitors to Lake Kissimmee State Park. The boat launch on the Zipprer Canal leads out to Lake Kissimmee. Shady campsites are available to rent. Playgrounds, picnic areas and more.
Lake Kissimmee State Park
The Cow Camp at Lake Kissimmee State Park - where visitors can step back in time to 1876.

History and Culture

During the Civil War the area was used for raising cattle that were shipped to the Confederate Army or traded with Cuba for supplies. After the war, cattle became the main industry and this continues to the present day. In 1969, the state of Florida purchased 5,030 acres of land from the William Zipperer estate for use as a state park. Lake Kissimmee State Park was opened to the public in August 1977. An additional 900 acres was purchased in 1997 and added to the park's western boundary.

Ranger Station in 1987.

Ranger Station, 1987

The Ranger Station is the first place many visitors stop and meet park staff. Lake Kissimmee State Park's original Ranger Station, shown here in 1987, is still in use today. It has gone through a complete makeover, including inside remodeling.

Park visitors enjoying the marina area.


The marina has always been a favorite jumping-off spot for park visitors, shown here enjoying boating, fishing and canoeing in the mid-1980s. Twenty years later, the marina has a new look, but the fun is the same. Longer running docks have replaced the finger docks. Boardwalks allow for easier access and a fish cleaning station makes it easier to parepare the day's catch for pan-frying.

Playground and picnic area in the early 1980s.


Keeping up with the times helps a park stay in tune with its visitors - young and old. During the last few decades, the playground and picnic areas have been updated with a new playground and revamped pavilions, making the picnic area more user-friendly.

Cow Camp in the early 1980s.

Cow Camp

Visitors to Lake Kissimmee have enjoyed stepping back in time with the park's long-running living history program about 1876 Florida cow hunters. This picture shows the Cow Camp as it looked in the early 1980s, when the area on all sides of the cow camp was used as pasture land. Today, the pastures are located primarily to the east of the cow camp and the open areas seen in this photo are woods.

Aerial view of the park entrance.

Park Entrance, 1987

This aerial view shows the park entrance and Ranger Station in October 1987. There have been several changes to the park, but the opportunity to escape urban Florida for Florida as it used to be remains the same. Come see for yourself what keeps visitors coming to this park.