Experiences & Amenities
Closed section of the Florida National Scenic Trail
The section of the Florida National Scenic Trail to the north of the visitor center will be temporarily impassible due to culvert construction beginning March 11, 2019. All trails outside the construction area will remain open, but thru-hikers won’t be able to access the crossing at Pine Island Slough. Construction is estimated to last 2-3 weeks. We apologize for the inconvenience.
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. Bike rentals are available at the Preserve Office. Helmets are highly recommended for all cyclists and Florida law requires helmets for cyclists age 16 and under.
Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park offers excellent seasonal birding opportunities for the nature tourist. The Park offers refuge to six federally threatened and endangered species, and a further six species of special concern. Highlights of a birding trip to Kissimmee Prairie may include the Florida Grasshopper Sparrow, Burrowing Owl, Crested Caracara, Wood Stork and the seasonally sited White-Tail Kite with many other possibilities. The Park also has enough varied habitats, including wetlands, dry prairie, and hardwood hammocks, to offer the bird watching, nature tourist a full day of recreation.
The elusive White-Tailed Kites are back in Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park! There has been a pair of White-Tailed Kites frequenting a few oak snags just west of the Prairie Loop Trail, 60 meters north of the Primitive Campsite Hammock. There is no nest present in the oak snags as of yet but one of these snags historically has been home to a Swallow-Tailed Kite nest. There are also a few Swallow-Tailed Kites in the preserve. The Swallow-Tailed Kites are uncharacteristically early this year, they should be here in late Spring or early Summer. Come in to the office and let one of our preserve staff members point you in the right direction of either of these majestic birds.
Surrounded by 54,000 acres of prairie, campers at the Kilpatrick Hammock Campground can experience real Florida wilderness with access to modern conveniences. Water and electricity are provided at all 35 camp sites along with a spacious accessible restroom with showers and laundry. A water-filling and dump station is centrally located for campers. Trails are located near the campground to allow for exploration into the preserve. The park's remoteness makes Kissimmee Prairie an ideal location for star gazing. The park also offers the Bedtime Story Camper Lending Library of picture books for campers aged four to nine. Please come to the office to check out the books. Well behaved pets are allowed in the campground in accordance with our Pet Policy.
- Maximum recreational vehicle length is 65 feet.
- Reservations may be made up to 11 months in advance through ReserveAmerica. Book online or call (800) 326-3521 (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) or Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (888) 433-0287.
Kilpatrick Hammock Campground offers Equestrian Camping with 50 amp electrical service and water at each site. One paddock is provided for each campsite. Water is provided in the southwestern-most paddocks and a central community water source is located near the kiosk at the entry to this camp loop. A composting toilet is provided in this camp loop for campers' convenience. Equestrian campers also have access to the bathhouse in the family camp loop. Pets are permitted in accordance with our Pet Policy.
The Preserve offers three wilderness primitive campsites located 2.5 miles from the office. Since these sites can only be reached by hiking or biking, please check in at the office two hours before sunset. Sites have a picnic table and a fire ring. Everything must be backpacked in, including water, and packed out. The three sites are available to individuals or groups, with a maximum of four persons per site. Pets are permitted in accordance with our Pet Policy. Call the Park office for reservations at (863) 462-5360.
Hiking through the grasslands of Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park will find you in a place so unique, there is no other place on earth to see the same combination of plants and animals. You may startle white-tailed deer feeding on the tender grasses or send an Indigo Snake slithering off the trail to hide in the wiregrass. Scan the skies and see a Crested Caracara or Bald Eagle soaring overhead; listen carefully and you may hear endangered Florida Grasshopper Sparrows singing in their natural prairie habitat. Wildflowers dot the countryside including Yellow Bachelors Buttons, Pipewort, Blazing Star, Meadow Beauty and the delicate Alligator Lily. Enjoy the prairie by looking into it – not at it. Please be aware that trails are shared with horseback riders, bicyclists and park vehicles. Pets must be on a 6 foot hand held leash and well behaved at all times. Pets are allowed on the service roads. Pets are not allowed on the Hammock Trail (red markers).
It is difficult to find a location in Florida that is further removed from urban and suburban light pollution than Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park. In 2016, Kissimmee Prairie Preserve was recognized as Florida's first Dark Sky Park by the International Dark Sky Association.
All Florida State Parks close at sunset, however we offer several ways to gain afterhours access to the preserve to enjoy the dark skies:
- Reserve a campsite in either our family campground or equestrian campground online or by calling Reserve America.
- Reserve an astronomy pad site online or by calling Reserve America. There are special restrictions for the astronomy sites, after dark all lights must be red spectrum and no campfires are allowed on these sites. After an astronomy viewing pad is reserved, you would still need to arrive at the preserve prior to sunset and make contact with the ranger on duty to receive additional pertinent information
- If you are a Florida State Parks Family Annual Pass holder interested in gaining access to the preserve after sunset, please come into the office during our regular office hours and sign up for an after-hours permit, which would grant you access to the preserve's common day use areas after hours.
Star gazers have the chance to see stars, planets, and other celestial bodies in incomprehensible numbers and unforgettable brilliance. Jupiter and Saturn are both clearly visible in the night sky. You may be able to witness the International Space Station making its orbit around Earth. Rocket launches from the space centers on the east coast are also viewable. Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park offers the best viewing of the night sky in the region and now has the credentials to prove it!
- The entrance is closed daily 15 minutes after sunset, only registered campers or after hours pass holders are allowed entry after dark.
Take a ranger-led prairie buggy tour and see the remote areas of the park. From an elevated seat, one will see spectacular scenery and abundant wildlife. The ride lasts approximately 2 to 3 hours. Bring sunscreen, a hat, drinks and snacks. Tours are offered from the first weekend in November to the last weekend in March and only on weekends and state recognized holidays. Reservations are strongly suggested and can be made up to 60 days in advance by calling the park office at (863) 462-5360. $17 (plus tax) for adults, $9 (plus tax) for children 17 and under. Please note that tours are contingent on weather and the availability of the prairie buggy.
Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park offers excellent seasonal birding opportunities for the nature tourist. The Park offers refuge to six federally threatened and endangered species, and a further six species of special concern. Highlights of a birding trip to Kissimmee Prairie may include the Florida Grasshopper Sparrow, Burrowing Owl, Crested Caracara, Wood Stork and the recently sited White-Tail Kite with many other possibilities. The Park also has enough varied habitats, including wetlands, dry prairie, and hardwood hammocks, to offer the bird watching, nature tourist a full day of recreation.
Horse Equestrian Trail
Riding the trails at Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park on horseback is one of the best ways to see the real Florida. With more than 100 miles of two-trail roads, horseback riders are apt to see an abundance of wildlife. The trails take you through dry prairie, moist wetlands and cool, shady hammocks. Bring your own horses and enjoy a day's ride or stay overnight in our equestrian campground. Please be aware that trails are shared with hikers, bicyclists and park vehicles. Pets must be on a 6 foot hand held leash and well behaved at all times. Pets are allowed on the service roads. Pets are not allowed on the Hammock Trail (red markers).
Pets are allowed in the preserve. They must be kept on a six-foot, hand held leash and well behaved at all times. Pets may not be left unattended at any time. Pets are permitted on the multi-use trail system (which consists of park service roads), but are not permitted on the Hammock Trail (red markers). Pets are not allowed in the wilderness primitive campsites.
A small number of picnic tables are available near the park entrance and next to the park office.
All restroom facilities are ADA accessible. Clivus Multrums (large Port-o-lets), are provided at the entrance of the park and at the Equestrian Campground. Additional restrooms are located at the office. A full facility ADA accessible bathhouse is located at the family campground.
Restrooms are located at the park office, these are also ADA compliant. The park office and campgrounds are located 5 miles into the preserve from the front gate. A full facility ADA accessible bathhouse is located at the family campground. The closest bathroom to the equestrain (horse) campground is at the park office.