Lake Kissimmee State Park, Lake Wales FL
14248 Camp Mack Road
Lake Wales, FL 33898
RATES: $22 + tax
CHECK IN/OUT: Check in at 3 pm/Check out at 1 pm.
ACCESS: 7am to sunset
MAPS: At Entry Gate
PULL THRUS: Yes a few
PICNIC SHELTERS: Yes
SITE SURFACE: Sandy dirt
HOOK-UPS: Water & 30/50 Amp
WIFI: only at the marina
DUMP STATION: Yes
SHADE TREES: No
BOAT RAMP: Yes
FEATURES: trails, kayaking, fishing, 1876 Cow Camp,
6 miles open to equestrians, observation tower, propane
PET FRIENDLY: Yes
During the Civil War the Lake Wales area was used for raising cattle that were shipped to the Confederate Army or traded with Cuba for supplies. Cattle is still the main industry in this area.
In 1969, 5,030 acres of land from the William Zipperer estate was sold to the state of Florida to be used as a state park. Lake Kissimmee State Park was opened to the public in august 1977. In 1997 the state purchased an additional 900 acres and added to the park’s western boundary.
There are six miles of trails open to equestrians and thirteen miles of hiking and multi-use trails. The Gobbler Ridge Trail takes you out to the bank of Lake Kissimmee and is excellent for bird watching. This park is one of the best birding areas in Central Florida. There are two remote primitive backpacking sites located on the Buster Island Loop and North Loop trails.
The park is home to a living history Cow Camp that takes you back in time to 1876. There you will see a Florida Cow Hunter in a frontier camp cooking, making coffee and tending to the cattle. Local cattlemen were commonly referred to as Cracker Cowboys because of the cracking sound of the whip they used. The Cow Camp is open on weekends and holidays from the first weekend in October through May 1st.
We camped here in January 2020 and met up with our friends, Kathy and Bob from Wisconsin. The campground is set up in two loops plus a youth camping area that can accommodate up to 50 people. Primitive camping is also available. We rode our bikes, hiked and really enjoyed the Cow Camp.
DIRECTIONS FROM LAKE WALES FL:
15 miles east of Lake Wales off of state road 60
Take St Rd 60 to Boy Scout Road then to Camp Mack Road.
Take a right and the park is 5 miles on the right.