Exploring Florida: Shingle Creek Regional Park

Last week while staying at my brother’s house in Kissimmee, we visited Shingle Creek Regional Trail and Park for the first time. It’s funny that in the four years that he lived there, we never knew this place existed.  We were amazed that this trail filled with nature and history was right in his backyard this whole time. 

View of shingle creek with trees and palmettos on each side, reflecting in the water.

We parked and started at the historic Steffee Homestead, which was rebuilt in 1911 after the family’s original home was burned down.  In this area, there is also the caretaker’s cabin, Steffee Landing, and other historical structures.  Kayak, canoe, paddleboard, and bike rentals are available at the paddling center, but it is currently closed due to Covid19. 

From here the trail goes in two directions. One way leads under Vine Street and to the Welcome Center and History Museum, where parking is also available.  The other direction is a bike trail that takes you toward the airport. The hiking trail is approximately 1 mile, but the bike trail branches out in different directions and is expected to be around 32 miles total once completed.  For those interested in paddling, there are two launch location at Babb Landing and Steffee Landing. We went ahead and followed the hiking trail, which eventually lead us to the Pioneer Village.

4 historic buildings on open field, surrounded by wooden fence
Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek

The Pioneer village has parking as well and can be visited for an admission fee of $8 adults/$4 children. Tours are also offered every Wednesday and live history events with re-enactors are hosted every Saturday.  Though we were happy to see the village from the trail. 

For anyone looking to avoid crowds, the trail is lightly trafficked during the week making it easy to socially distance.  With the weather starting to cool down in Central Florida, it’s the perfect time to get out and enjoy this place for yourself.

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