By Kevin Mims

Just a warning to potential visitors: you will spend more time here than you might anticipate. At least, that’s what happened to me.

Spanning 1,000 acres over four locations, the Shingle Creek Regional Park corridor follows the historic headwaters of the Florida Everglades. Here, nature and history are preserved in urban Kissimmee, providing a connection to the past and a place to play.

Water flows from Shingle Creek down to Lake Toho and the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes, then onwards to the Florida Everglades and the Gulf of Mexico. All told, the water from upper Shingle Creek travels over 350 miles before reaching its final destination at Florida Bay.

There are several access points for Shingle Creek Regional Park. One of the most popular spots is Steffee Landing, where visitors can take part in a multitude of recreational opportunities. The paddling, hiking (several original pioneer structures are here), biking and wildlife watching at Steffee Landing are fantastic. Make sure to check out the historic Steffee Homestead while there, too.

At nearby Babb Landing, several options are available. Spend time exploring the trails in Florida. Be sure to bring paddlecraft and spend time on Shingle Creek, or hike on a couple of short trails.

Shingle Creek in Kissimmee requires lots of time to fully explore. If you are in the area, don’t miss out – it truly is a gem.

Shingle Creek Regional Park in Kissimmee

Kayaks on Shingle Creek at Babb Landing.

- Kevin Mims