Shingle Creek Regional Park has really upped their game…and they’re not done yet! While this was a beautiful park when I first visited a year and a half ago, today awesome new facilities offer a whole new experience, including a paddling center and pioneer village.
Shingle Creek is still 2 distinct parks, with Babb Landing to the north and Steffee Landing to the south, separated by Hwy 192. The northernmost navigable point in the Everglades is at Babb Landing, homestead of the historic Babb family, and now home to a newly constructed Pioneer Village. For history buffs, this is an excellent place to step back in time. The grounds and trails are well kept and wonderfully scenic.
Steffee Landing actually spans Shingle Creek. The Steffee Homestead sits on the west side of the creek, while the Steffee Log Cabin rests along the east bank. A year and a half ago, I had to walk along Hwy 192 (one of the busiest roads in metro Orlando) to get from one side to the other. Today an impressive pedestrian bridge reaches across the creek amid a jungle of natural foliage.
The best addition to Shingle Creek, in my humble opinion? A sweet new paddling center placed just to the side of the original Steffee family log cabin. From here you can explore the origins of the world-renown Everglades, paddling both to the northernmost navigable point and south to Lake Tohopekaliga (Toho), the first lake in the 100 mile journey to Lake Okeechobee.
Improvements continue with trails being added, as well as another pedestrian bridge and remote campgrounds. You might think park entry would be pretty expensive, given the incredible entertainment value. Wrong. Park entry is FREE. No charge for parking, either. And the good people at The Paddling Center (www.PaddlingCenter.com) will hook you up at great rates…especially if you tell them Florida’s Natural Wonders sent you. 😉 Hey, it’s worth a try, right?
Know Before You Go! Check out our first visit to Shingle Creek Regional Park, Shingle Creek Photo Gallery and our Shingle Creek Update Gallery. Take a look at the videos and links. I think you’ll agree this is one awesome park. Are you still reading? Time to get out and experience Florida’s Natural Wonders!