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Latest update: March 2018

Shingle Creek... Paddling Gem Near Disney World

The launch at Steffee Landing (Shingle Creek Regional Park) along the busy Disney tourist corridor on US192 in Kissimmee (mile marker 15) belies the tranquil world of Shingle Creek and Shingle Creek Regional Park. The paddling trail is one of the prettiest we've seen - with alligators, turtles, myriad water birds and a beautiful cypress forest; this is a great option for taking a break from the theme parks and visiting the "real" Florida. Now a Florida Designated Paddling Trail, work is underway to clear trees, logs, and brush from the center section. Until this work is completed, for most people the creek is best paddled as an out and back, from either of the two main landings. (Detailed map and photos)

paddle Shingle Creek, Kissimmee

Distance: 7 mile paddling trail; 20 miles total
Location: Osceola County
Difficulty: Easy to Difficult
Tidal: No
Launch points: Steffee Landing (W. Vine St./US192 in Kissimmee); The Docks (Marsh Landing, Marsh Rd., Kissimmee); Babb Park Landing (Babb Road, Kissimmee) (See map)
Nearby points of interest: Walt Disney World, Sea World, Universal Studios, Warbird Museum, Silver Spurs Rodeo, Gatorland

Rentals/Outfitters/Tours:

The Paddling Center at Shingle Creek  (rentals, tours)

The Docks at Shingle Creek  (rentals, tours)

Shingle Creek... Comments and Photos

The paddling trail runs from Babb Park at the north to Lake Toho at the south. Steffee Landing is a good launch point for the northern section. Marsh Landing is a good launch point for the south section. The heavily wooded (now mostly stumps and logs) rapids between the two launches is not recommended except for experienced paddlers. Expect portages here. Osceola County is slowly clearing this area and one day, the entire run between the two launches will be easily navigable for recreational paddlers. The downside is noise from air traffic at the nearby Kissimmee airport, and close to that, a gun range (law enforcement only) is occasionally in use.


Steffee Landing at Shingle Creek Regional Park

Steffee Landing at the 456-acre Shingle Creek Regional Park is the most popular launch point onto Shingle Creek. Here are a canoe and kayak launch (no motor boats are allowed!), fishing dock, hiking trails, picnicking, play area, and restrooms. The outfitter at The Paddling Center offers rentals and tours, plus group picnic facilities. Some old homes from the historic Shingle Creek community are within the park with others slated for restoration. The Shingle Creek Regional Trail (biking) also runs through the park (link below).


Paddling from Steffee Landing... South to Rapids Area

Heading south, the beautiful cypress swamp is a significant feature of the creek, more remote with narrow channels lined by palmetto palm and cypress and some wide areas. The twists and turns plus rapids are for more experienced paddlers. (Sadly, along one of the nicest portions of the trail, just before the rapids, someone went wild marking the trees with orange paint.)


 

From Rapids Area... South to Marsh Landing

Past the rapids is a section with ancient dunes and high banks, then the creek widens as it continues to Lake Toho with more homes along the banks. Marsh Landing is a good take-out. A wide drainage canal (enters from the west) just north of Old Tampa Highway can also be paddled. See more photos on our Facebook page .


 

Marsh Landing

Marsh Landing on Shingle Creek has a public kayak/canoe launch, plus parking, restrooms, and picnicking. From here, you can paddle upstream to the dunes and rapids area, or downstream to Lake Toho. The outfitter at The Docks (food, weekend music) offers rentals and tours.


 

Paddling from Steffee Landing... North to Babb Park

This is an easy 2-mile round trip. Heading north, the creek is wider and deeper with less current, a popular area for fishing. The designated trail ends about a mile upstream at Babb Park. This is a nicely wooded section, but at points we could see the condos and apartments through the trees. You may also see cyclists in the distance, as a section of the Shingle Creek Bike Trail runs near the Creek and eventually crosses under the bridge by the landing.


 

Babb Park

Babb Park is at the northern end of Shingle Creek Regional Park, and site of the old Babb family residence and orange groves. Picnic tables, hiking paths, and biking trail. A Pioneer Village has been constructed on the site using authentic structures, which once stood in different areas of Osceola County.


Wildlife along Shingle Creek

Wildlife include fish, alligators, bald eagles, wild turkey, great blue heron, turtles, white-tailed deer and a few river otters.

More about Shingle Creek

Shingle Creek was named in the late 19th century after the cypress trees that lined the bank, which were used to make wood shingles. Beginning in south Orange County, the creek is the major tributary of Lake Tohopekaliga (Lake Toho), the northernmost headwaters of the Everglades. It flows about 20 miles past the International Drive tourist area south to Kissimmee, and then to Lake Toho. The stream and surrounding area are protected wetlands due to their importance to Everglades restoration efforts.

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