Located along the beautiful Lake Wales Ridge, Catfish Creek Preserve State Park covers more than 8,000 acres of scrub, sandhill and flatwoods land, in addition to 65 acres of submerged land.
The preserve offers six miles of hiking trails, seven miles of equestrian trails, a covered pavilion, fishing and excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. The preserve is home to numerous rare plants, such as the scrub morning glory, scrub plum, pygmy fringe tree and cutthroat grass and several protected animal species including the Florida Scrub Jay, bald eagles, gopher tortoises and Florida scrub lizards.
When you visit the preserve, make sure you are prepared for the rugged conditions typical of the scrub habitat. Bring plenty of water and be prepared for the challenging trails at the park.
Enjoy your visit and bring back memories of one of the rarer habitats in Florida.
Primitive backpack camping sites are now available. Site 1 is approximately 1.7 miles from the parking lot & Site 2 is approximately 3.5 miles (see trail map). Pets are permitted in accordance with our Pet Policy.
Hammock camping is allowed in this camping area.
To get to Site 1, take the white blazed trail to the blue blazed trail to 22-21, then follow short trail.
To get to Site 2, take the white blazed trail heading south (staying on white blazed trail) to 25-26 to 27 (old gate), then continue south on unmarked trail about 0.7 miles to the site.
CAMPING BY RESERVATION ONLY! Please call Lake Kissimmee State Park at (863) 696-1112 for reservations or information.
Payment and Reservation info: Cash or check paid in person at Lake Kissismmee State Park or mailed in. Information needed: Name, telephone number, address (to send camp slip), e-mail, and number of people.
Campers should park in parking lot and place their camp slip in the vehicle window (or hang the tag) from the rear-view mirror.
Catfish Creek offers fishing from ponds within the park. There is an approximately 1 mile hike from the parking lot. All fishing within the park must conform to regulations concerning size, number, method of capture and season. A fishing license may be required. More information is available at the Florida Wildlife Commission’s Fishing in Florida.
Geocaching is an outdoor game using hand-held global positioning systems (GPS) devices. It's effectively an inexpensive, interactive, high-tech treasure hunt that's a great way to learn geography. Participants use location coordinates to find caches. Some caches are easy to find; others are more difficult. The biggest reward is the thrill of the search and the discovery of a place where you have never been. Geocaching should have minimal impact to the environment and conscientious land use ethics should be followed.
Operation Recreation GeoTour
Catfish Creek offers six miles of trails through and around the scrub, flatwoods and ponds. These trails are part of the Florida National Scenic Trail and are maintained by Florida Trail Association volunteers.
A small first-come, first-served picnic area is located near the parking lot.
Hikers will observe many plants and animals found in the rare Lake Wales Ridge habitat.
Horse Equestrian Trail
There are approximately eight miles of trails available for horseback riding. Proof of negative Coggins is required