Sunrise mists at Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park

With some 54,000 acres of land, Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park contains one of the last remaining large expanses of Florida dry prairie. Hidden in that dry prairie are a lot of endangered and threatened species of plants and animals. While driving the five-mile-long entrance road, you might see some of them. What you will definitely see, though, are sweeping vistas of Great Plains-like grasslands.

Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park offers more than 100 miles of dirt roads that allow hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians to explore the hammocks, wetlands and prairies. At times, park rangers lead prairie buggy tours to visit the more remote areas of the park. Prairie buggy tours are offered only on weekends and holidays between the beginning of November and the last weekend in March. There are two tours a day (8:30 am and 2 pm). If you are interested, you need to make reservations. The buggies hold up to eight passengers each. Buggy Fees: $15 per adult, $8 per child between 6 and 17, free for younger (as long as they sit in your lap). Click here for a copy of the Kissimmee Prairie Preserve trail map.

The campground is at Kilpatrick Hammock. There are 35 campsites, all with water and electric. Nearby is a central universally accessible restroom, shower and laundry facility. There is also a water filling station and RV dump station nearby. Maximum RV length: 50 feet. There is also a primitive equestrian campground nearby with one paddock for each campsite. The equestrian campground is close enough that campers can easily use the main restroom/shower facilities.

About 2.5 miles from the park office there are three wilderness/primitive campsites available. They can only be reached by hiking or on bike so users need to check in at least two hours before sunset (so you can get there and get set up before dark). These sites offer picnic tables and fire rings but nothing else. They can accommodate up to four people per site.

Picnickers will find a few picnic tables near the park entrance and next to the park office. There are also restrooms located near the park entrance and near the park office.

For day-users, Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park is open from 8 am to sunset, every day of the year. Entry Fees: $4 per vehicle to a maximum of eight occupants; $2 each for pedestrians, bicyclists and extra passengers. You'll want exact change as you'll probably be paying into an honor box. Camping Fees: $16 per site per night (plus tax). Primitive Camping: $5 per adult campsite, $1 per child campsite (plus tax).

To get there: From US Highway 441 go west on County Road 724 for about 13 miles to Peavine Trail. Turn north on Peavine Trail and go another five miles to the park entrance. The campground is another five miles beyond the entrance.