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Natural Beauty: Exploring the Outdoors

Kissimmee has plenty of attractions and entertainment, but it also offers a wide variety of natural activities and outdoor adventures. The combination of almost perfect weather and natural preserves and conservation areas make Kissimmee an ideal destination for exploring the outdoors. Some of the many options include:

The Paddling Center at Shingle Creek. You can explore the headwaters of the Everglades at Shingle Creek, a protected stream that meanders for 23 miles before flowing into Lake Tohopekaliga (Toho to the locals). At the Paddling Center, you can rent kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards, or sign up for a wide variety of tours conducted by guides. One eco-tour takes you to the nature preserve on Mackinson Island in Lake Toho, and the package includes equipment rental, paddling instruction, and lunch/snack.

Enjoy exploring Shingle Creek.

Forever Florida. Take part in a number of outdoor adventures at Forever Florida, including camping, zip lining, horseback tours, and more. The Nature Tour Adventure takes you down trails and through water on a special open-air trail coach, elevated five feet above ground to offer you views of native Florida wilderness. You might see deer, turkeys, turtles, and alligators as you explore the 4700-acre Forever Florida ranch and adjoining wildlife conservation area.

Orlando Airboat Tours. You can combine exploration with the thrill of skimming along the water by taking an airboat tour. Operated by Marsh Landing Adventures, Orlando Airboat Tours let you spend up to four hours exploring Shingle Creek and looking for wildlife. Bald eagles, hawks, deer, herons, egrets, and of course alligators can be found during your airboat adventure.

The Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. You can explore a network of premier wildlife viewing stations by visiting the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. Florida's climate makes it an ideal home for a wide variety of rare and endangered birds and other wildlife. Bald eagles, whooping cranes, scrub jays, and many other species can be seen at nine different locations around Kissimmee, including Kissimmee Lakefront Park, Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area, and The Nature Conservancy's Disney Wilderness Preserve.

Explore a network of premier wildlife viewing stations.

Bok Tower Gardens. If you'd like a different view of Florida, visit the Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales. This historic garden was created by famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., who was known for his conservation efforts, and is also part of the Great Florida Birding Trail. The Gardens contain 126 species of birds, along with endangered animals like gopher tortoises and indigo snakes. You can hike along two walking trails, the 1.5-mile Preserve Trail and the .75-mile Pine Ridge Nature Trail. Finally, the centerpiece of the gardens is the Singing Tower, a 205-foot tower housing a 60-bell carillon. Carillon concerts are held at 1 and 3 p.m. daily.The centerpiece of the Bok Tower Gardens is the Singing Tower.

Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park. Challenge yourself at this aerial adventure attraction, with zip lines, swinging bridges, rope swings, nets, and more, set 10 to 60 feet above a pine tree forest. The color-coded courses become progressively more difficult as you work your way through the park. There are 97 games or challenges, including a breathtaking 425-foot zip line.

For other ways to explore Central Florida's natural wonders, visit experiencekissimmee.com and check out our listings under Things To Do. You can also order a copy of our free vacation planning magazine. We look forward to seeing you enjoying the fresh air and unique flora and fauna of Florida!

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