Shingle Creek Regional Park at Steffee Landing recently opened a newly constructed kayak, canoe and paddle board rental facility called The Paddling Center at Shingle Creek. The creek and surrounding area, to include West Lake Tohopekaliga (Lake Toho for short), has a rich history and cultural heritage reaching back to the 1800s. Shortly after the United States Civil War, Shingle Creek became home to those seeking a new life in a warmer climate. With plenty of available resources such as food, water, and timber, as well as easy access to the trade hub that was West Lake Toho, Shingle Creek was among the earliest settlements in the greater Kissimmee area. At the turn of the 20th century, the creek’s abundant Bald Cypress trees provided timber for settlers’ houses, as well as shingles for their roofs, thus inspiring the creek’s name. Steffee Landing is uniquely situated at the confluence of the original “water highway” used by the Seminole Indians and the modern “land highway” (Hwy 192), which is a well-known tourist corridor linking Disney World to the City of Kissimmee, 10 miles away. Paddling Center visitors on canoes and kayaks passing under Highway 192 quickly become immersed in the ecological diversity and natural beauty that is Shingle Creek, experiencing what the Seminole Indians may have experienced 200 years ago.
With the opening of the new Pioneer Village this fall, we are happy to announce the ribbon cutting of The Paddling Center at Shingle Creek. This is a great step forward in recreational activities provided on Shingle Creek for visitors of the Pioneer Village, Welcome Center and beyond.
Nestled within the Cypress trees covered with Spanish moss, Shingle Creek is a local treasure and a natural remnant of Florida’s rich cultural history.
Shingle Creek has been a pivotal part of life in Osceola County for centuries. Long before pioneers moved to Osceola County, Native Americans used the Shingle Creek area to sustain life. The creek was utilized for transportation, hunting, fishing, gathering and protection. Waterways were very important for them, and Shingle Creek provided nearly everything for their day to day needs. During the Second Seminole War, Shingle Creek was a Native American stronghold.
Grab your sunscreen, big floppy hat and bottle of water to gear up for a hike on our Shingle Creek Regional Park Trail. The park is approximately 200 acres that allows visitors to experience vivid encounters with a wild and vanishing Florida while exploring the walking trails, conservation areas and miles of undeveloped land.
As with any outdoor adventure, there are some things to be cautious of when exploring. We’ve got a rundown of 5 plants to avoid when on the Shingle Creek Regional Park Trail to help you enjoy your experience to the fullest and keep you safe at the same time.