Located in Okeechobee County, Florida, Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park is a great place for RV lovers looking for some off-the-beaten-path relaxation. Sitting on 54,000 acres of land, Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park is in a remote location and has a breathtaking stretch of enormous grassland dominated by the great blue sky. Famously recognized for its lack of light pollution, this park is recognized as Florida's first Dark Sky Park, and it also has the distinction of protecting the remaining trail of the famous Indian Prairie.
Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park offers a whole load of adventurous outdoor activities, including biking, hiking, stargazing, and wildlife viewing. The park gives animal and bird buffs a chance to set their eyes on alligators, ferocious hawks, deadly snakes, grasshopper sparrows while also helping to house over five federally threatened species. Its wide-open landscape ensures that photographers have ample opportunity to catch sight of this natural life or set up their camera rigs for some fantastic night sky photography. There are also 100 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails for you to explore.
If you decide to stay the night, the park has well-developed RV sites as well as equestrian, tent-only, and astronomy sites where you will have a chance to see planets, stars, and other celestial bodies directly over your RV or trailer. Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park is open all year, and peak season runs from April to October.
Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park is located about 31 miles north of Okeechobee, off US-441. The enormity of this landscape grips you on the five-mile drive from the entrance to the campground and Visitor Center. This drive can be difficult, depending on the road condition, since it is unsealed. Although the speed limit is 25 miles per hour, we don't recommend that you go over five miles per hour on this road if it is in bad condition. By going slower, you will limit your chances of damaging your RV on unseen potholes. Since the park is in a remote location, the best places to get any supplies that you may need are in Okeechobee (around 31 miles away) and Sebring (about 48 miles away).
Parking spaces for both RVs and vehicles are well laid out within the park to minimize congestion along the roads. There are dump stations and designated parking areas for buses and persons with disabilities. Look to find larger RV, campervan, and oversized vehicle parking at the Visitor Center and the Equestrian Center.
If you plan on bringing your horse with you during your visit, you will be pleased to know that there is an equestrian-friendly loop within the Kissimmee Prairie Preserve Campground. The loop contains 14 sites that have water, 50-amp electrical hookups, and a paddock for your horse. There are also composting toilets in this loop, but if you want to use more developed amenities, you will have to head to the main loop. The equestrian sites are also open to RV lovers who don't have a horse, so this is another site option to consider when booking your stay.
The Kissimmee Prairie Preserve Campground within Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park is the only place on-site that visitors can spend the night during their visit. Visitors note that RV camping in the Kissimmee Prairie Preserve Campground is wonderful because of its spacious and well-maintained sites, so you are in for a treat if you can stay here. There are 16 RV friendly sites for you to choose from, all of which are also suitable as tent sites. All of the sites are equipped with 30-amp electrical hookup capabilities and allow you to bring your furry friends. Site sizes vary, but rigs up to 65 feet in length will fit in at least one of the campsites. Further site-specific amenities include shady trees to protect you from the sunshine, a picnic table, and a fire ring. Other amenities of the campground include water collection points, restrooms, showers, and a laundry area. Since Kissimmee Prairie Preserve Campground is quite small, we recommend making a reservation well in advance of your visit. Reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance.
Since Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park is designated as a Dark Sky Park, it attracts many stargazes throughout the year. The campground at the park features a special section to the north of the main camping area that is perfect for stargazers to call home during their visit. You will have a choice of five different sites in this area that are suitable for tents or small RVs up to 17 feet in length. There are also no trees to disrupt your views of the night sky and some special restrictions in place to further aid astronomy lovers. These include only red spectrum lights allowed after dark and no campfires at all. Please note that if you reserve a site, you must also arrive at the campground before sunset before the campground closes.
If you are looking for an RV camping destination outside of the park, consider staying at the Okeechobee KOA. Situated between Tampa, Orlando, and Miami, there’s plenty to see and do in the area. The campground is massive and contains over 450 sites, most of which are big rig friendly, with some as large as 140 feet in length. You will be able to choose between many site types, including 50-amp electric only, electric and water sites, and full hookup sites.
Whether you prefer to adventure and hike, dive into water sports on Lake Okeechobee, enjoy some golf, or hit up the nightlife, the Okeechobee KOA has it all and is only 34 miles from the park. Some of the amenities within the campground include Wi-Fi, cable TV, a swimming pool, bike rentals, and a dog park. This KOA has it all!
If you wish to learn about the history of the Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, drive your camper to the Visitor Center and head inside for a host of facts and information about the park. The center contains many helpful and insightful displays and exhibits that will teach you about the natural history, geology, and cultural history of the park. You can ask any questions you may have to the friendly park staff, and they will try and give you tips that will help you get the most out of your visit.
If you are a passionate equestrian, you will be delighted by the chance to gallop down the trails at Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park. Around 100 miles of riding trails are waiting for you to explore; each path will take you through the picturesque grassland that will give you the chance to see some diverse flora and fauna along your ride. There are no horse tours available, so if you want to enjoy some time on the trails with your horse, you will have to bring your own riding equipment.
Since Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park is so large, one of the most popular ways to experience the sights and sounds of the park is to go on a tour with some of the park rangers. The tours are given in a buggy and will take a couple of hours to complete. During this time, you will get to see some of the most remote areas of the park, and you will have the chance to ask the ranger any questions you may have about the area. You can make your reservations 60 days before your visit. Buggy tours operate on weekends from the beginning of November through the end of March.
If you are a bike rider, you will be happy that you chose to visit the park, as there are 100 miles of hard trails suitable for biking. These trails are great for both novice and professional cyclers, so anyone can get out and go for a ride. Orange-tipped markers will lead you through the trails as you cycle through the dense prairie grasses, clumps of oaks, and the cabbage palms. If you don't have a bike, there are some available for rent from the park office, so nobody will miss out on a chance to explore the park on two wheels.
Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park boasts 116 miles of multi-use hiking, horseback riding, and biking trails. Most of these trails run along old ranch roads, so you will get a taste of what life could have been like back in the day. As you hike through its grasslands, you will realize how unique the park is by having a view of its awesome plant and animal combination. If you are a history lover, Military Trail will lead you to the place where two Army forts once stood. You should also go down the Peavine Trail as it follows an old railroad bed constructed in 1910. It's a history lesson and hike all in one!
Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park provides spectacular seasonal birding adventures for birders of all ages. The park plays host to rare and highly endangered bird species, with some highlights including the Florida grasshopper sparrow and the burrowing owl. Make sure you carry your phone or camera along with you to capture these amazing creatures. The park has numerous habitats like wetlands, hardwood hammocks, and dry prairie to offer bird watching to ensure that you get a whole day of relaxation and recreation.