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Paynes Creek Historic State Park

 About Paynes Creek Historic State Park

Large oak tree.


Jackson Mosley

Begin the Paynes Creek experience with a leisure stroll down any of the park's unique nature trails and take in the natural beauty as you meander through some of Florida's natural habitats. Whatever trail you decide to take to begin your journey will lead to countless opportunities to experience native birds and reptiles, deer and bobcats, and many butterfly species while immersed in the tranquility of the park's natural beauty. Don't forget to bring your canoe or kayak and enjoy a peaceful stroll on the Peace River or Payne Creek. To access the gated canoe launch visitors are required to check in at the ranger station to obtain the current gate combination. After that, enjoy your pass to experience  "The Real Florida."

The historic sites include the Fort Chokonikla site, Kennedy-Darling Trading Post site that can be viewed from the overlook on Payne Creek, and the Monument site erected in honor of Captain George S. Payne, for whom the park was named, and Dempsey Whiddon, a store clerk. The Visitor Center will provide a lasting interpretive experience of the park's historical events and their significance. Artifacts collected from archaeological investigations are now on display in the Visitor Center. Visitors are encouraged to sign the visitor log and please feel free to provide comments or suggestions.


The Great Florida Birding Trail Logo Trail of Florida's Indian Heritage Logo Greenways and Trails Designated Site Logo


Take U.S. 17 to Bowling Green and follow the signs at Main Street east to Lake Branch Road and the park.


  • Volunteer -

    The Paynes Creek Preservation Alliance, Inc. invites you to join the team of volunteers and concerned citizens in helping preserve the cultural and natural resources of the park. Members are part of the Florida Park Service Team, and help to raise funds for projects, provide staff for interpretive programs, assist with maintenance and administration, and perpetuate natural systems. Some of the Alliance goals are to replicate the fort and store sites, upgrade the museum, and establish an ongoing folk life program. For additional information you may contact the Alliance at or the park at (863) 375-4717.

  • For forms, information and benefits of volunteering visit Get Involved.