Activities

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Bicycling icon

Paynes Creek - Bicycling

Visitors can enjoy a leisurely bicycling experience along the park main drive and through most of the parks nature trails. Bicycles are not available for rent from the park. Safe operation of bicycles in the park is encouraged.  Helmets are highly recommended for all cyclists and Florida law requires helmets for cyclists age 16 and under.

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Paynes Creek - Birding

The park is part of the Great Florida Birding Trail and home to many native and annual migratory bird species. The diversity of bird species is greatly enhanced by natural features such as ox bow lakes, Peace River, Payne Creek, and several native plant communities, all accessible by the park's nature trails. Visitors can expect to see numerous song birds, wading birds, and raptorial species during their visit to Paynes Creek. A park bird list and other birding information are available at the ranger station and visitor center. We encourage all birders to share their observations. For park birding news and updates call (863) 375-4717

Birding icon

Paynes Creek - Birding

Paynes Creek Historic State Park is part of the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail, a program of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.  The Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail consists of a network of 515 sites throughout Florida selected for their excellent birdwatching, wildlife viewing or educational opportunities. The Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail is a 2,000-mile, self-guided highway trail designed to conserve and enhance Florida's wildlife habitats by promoting birding and wildlife viewing activities, conservation education and economic opportunity.

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Paynes Creek - Camping, Primitive Grp

The primitive youth group camping area is located near Payne Creek and accommodates up to 30 tent campers. The campground includes a fire ring with benches, a portable toilet, a pavilion and picnic tables. No water or electric service is available. Reservations are required and tax exempt status, if applicable, should be provided at the time of the reservation. Call the park for reservations at (863) 375-4717.

Hammock camping is allowed in this camping area.

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Paynes Creek - Canoe Kayak Launch

Canoe and kayak launch area provides direct access to the Peace River. Launch access requires obtaining gate combination from ranger station.

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Paynes Creek - Fishing

Fishing is allowed in designated areas. We encourage safe and responsible fishing activities. Peace River will challenge the best angler. Fish commonly seen include largemouth bass, catfish, and migrating snook. We encourage the proper disposal of monofilament line and use of recycle containers when available.

All fishing within the park must conform to regulations concerning size, number, method of capture and season.  A fishing license may be required.  More information is available at the Florida Wildlife Commission’s Fishing in Florida.

 

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Paynes Creek - Hiking Nature Trail

Hiking trails are available. Park trails meander through several of Florida's natural plant communities and provide access to the park's historic sites.

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Paynes Creek - Historic Site

In 1978, Paynes Creek was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. The park offers viewing of the Fort Chokonikla site, Captain George S. Payne and Dempsey Whiddon Monument, and the Kennedy-Darling Trading Store Site where Captain Payne and Dempsey Whiddon were both killed by Seminoles.

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Paynes Creek - Interpretive Exhibit

The visitor center offers a self-guided tour of the park's cultural history with a video program depicting the historical events of 1849-50 and the exhibits provide each visitor with an intimate experience of the historical events that placed Paynes Creek Historic State Park on the National Registry of Historic Places.

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Paynes Creek - Pets

We allow pets and require they remain on leash. Pet waste disposal bags are available and we encourage their use.

Pets are not allowed in the Visitor Center. Service animals are allowed in all areas of the park.

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Paynes Creek - Picnic Pavilion

Three pavillions with grills and water with tables that seat up to 40 people can be rented for $30.00 plus tax. Electric is also available.

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Paynes Creek - Picnicking

Picnic tables with grills are available.

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Paynes Creek - Playground

Playground is located in the picnic offers slides and swings.

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Paynes Creek - Restroom Facilities

ADA accessible restrooms with an infant changing table for family accommodations are available at the Visitor Center.

Visitor center icon

Paynes Creek - Visitor Center

The visitor center offers a self-guided tour of the park's cultural history with a video program depicting the historical events of 1849-50 and the exhibits provide each visitor with an intimate experience of the historical events that placed Paynes Creek Historic State Park on the National Registry of Historic Places.

Ranger programs are available for both natural and cultural interpretive programs with reservation. Call the park office at (863) 375-4717 to plan a guided tour or schedule educational programs for school groups.

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Paynes Creek - Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife viewing is possible at this park. With several natural communities, deer, bobcats, various snakes and lizards, alligators, and beautiful butterflies can often be seen all year. Winter visitors can see numerous migratory bird species that make Paynes Creek their winter home. On rare ocassions, Florida black bear pass through and Florida panther sightings have been reported. We encourage visitors to share their wildlife sightings with park staff.