Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park
Length: 20.8 miles (linear)
Leaving Starvation Slouth, you enter Kissimee Prairie Preserve State Park. This park was recognized in 2016 as Florida’s first Dark Sky location with incredible stargazing options. This region also hosts the largest remaining section of dry prairie in Florida. Wildlife is abundant in these preserved habitats In this area, you can see crested caracaras and Florida grasshopper sparrows. Florida grasshopper sparrows are one of the rarest birds in North America as so much of their habitat has been eliminated. A primitive campsite is available in the park and requires a reservation. Prepare for a very exposed hike through this section. A pitcher pump is available at the Cowboy Crossing campsite.
As you leave the park, you will use the pedestrian gates on S-65A Lock to enter the KICCO (pronounced kiss-oh) section of the trail. Managed by the South Florida Management District, this section gets its name from the Kissimmee Island Cattle Company that once operated on these lands. Now remnants of the town can be seen along the trail and at the primitive campsite there.
Photo credit: Chris A. Jones