Shingle Creek Regional Park
Shingle Creek Regional Park is an urban oasis at the Headwaters of the Florida Everglades and is designated as one of "America’s Great Outdoors" by President Obama. Shingle Creek is comprised of multiple properties and parcels purchased through the conservation partnership efforts of Osceola County, City of Kissimmee, South Florida Water Management District, Trust for Public Land and Florida Communities Trust. Additional parcels have been purchased through the Osceola County Environmental Lands Program (formerly SAVE Osceola).
Shingle Creek has a rich history from a lifeline to the early inhabitants of Osceola County to the urban oasis present today. Referred to as the "Northernmost Headwaters of the Florida Everglades," Shingle Creek begins in Orlando and meanders 23 miles before flowing into Lake Tohopekaliga (Toho) in Osceola County. Water from Shingle Creek will make a 350 mile journey through the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes (KCOL), down the Kissimmee River and into Lake Okeechobee, before flowing out to the Everglades or the Gulf of Mexico.
The creek and its adjacent wetlands provided a safe haven and stronghold for the Seminoles during the Second Seminole War, who would use the wetlands for transportation, hunting and materials. After the Civil War, Shingle Creek became home to those seeking a new life in a warmer climate, establishing one of the earliest settlements in the area. Shingle Creek provided its residents with resources, such as wood from its abundant cypress trees, used for building materials and roof shingles, granting the creek its namesake. At the turn of the century, several area families, such as Yates, Bronson, Steffee and Babb raised families, and produced cattle, citrus and timber.
The creek served another role as a source for goods to be transported by vessel to Lake Toho, Lake Kissimmee and the KCOL. The Florida Midland Railroad crossed Shingle Creek in 1890 and remained in effect until 1950, just south of present day US192, remnants of which can be seen while paddling along the creek.
To learn more about the natural history and culture of Shingle Creek, visit the Osceola County Welcome Center and History Museum at 4155 W Irlo Bronson Highway, Kissimmee, FL 34746. (407) 396-8644
Today, Shingle Creek can be experienced by foot, bicycle or boat at multiple sites. The Shingle Creek Regional Trail is a multi-use trail through one of Florida's most traveled urban areas. When fully constructed, the 32 mile trail will extend from Kissimmee to Wekiva Springs State Park in Seminole County. Shingle Creek can be paddled for approximately 2 miles from Babb Landing in the north, with an alternative access point at Steffee Landing.
- Bird watching