Adjacent to major tourist attractions and growth areas, the Shingle Creek Management Area is the last remaining natural area of its size in southwest Orange and northwest Osceola counties. The District has restored portions of the swamp with funding provided as mitigation to offset wetland impacts associated with construction of the Central Florida Beltway and other surrounding development projects. Shingle Creek is the major water source for Lake Tohopekaliga, which is part of the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes and forms the headwater of the Everglades. Because of the land's significance to the Everglades, the Shingle Creek Management Area is featured site along the Everglades Trail. Go to www.evergladestrail.org.
There are several ways to enjoy the property. You can hike the nature trail or paddle* the creek behind Hunter’s Creek Middle Creek School. Bicycling is another popular activity on the four miles of power line dirt roads linking the Middle School trail to the Hunter's Vista subdivision. An additional three miles of hiking trails are located within the east and west pine islands. A picnic shelter with tables is located at the east pine island. Finally, you can take a very short hike at the Marriott Trail. At this time, the Marriott Trail provides limited access to the management area and visitors are encouraged to use one of the other access sites.
Cypress, gum trees, and wet prairies that ring pine islands are evidence the land stays mostly wet. A variety of wildlife such as white-tailed deer, alligators, wild turkey and wading birds thrive in the Shingle Creek corridor. Bring your fishing pole, bicycle, binoculars, or canoe. Either way, you'll get a good look at the initial headwaters of the Everglades ecosystem.
NOTE: A primitive canoe launch is located at the Hunter's Creek Middle School access.
Hunter's Creek Middle School entrance: 13400 Town Loop Boulevard
Orlando, FL 32837. One-half mile west on South Town Loop Boulevard from John Young Parkway in Hunter's Creek. Enter the school property at the school bus access road. Parking is available behind the school along the chain-linked fence. The Middle School access is open only during non-school hours, weekends and holidays.
Power line entrance: where the power lines cross Tarragona Drive, Orlando, FL 32837. Parking is available at Vista Park in the Vistas Neighborhood of Hunter's Creek on Hunter's Vista Boulevard. Go west approximately two miles on Town Center Boulevard from John Young Parkway to Hunter's Vista Boulevard. Turn right onto Hunter's Vista Boulevard. Travel north approximately one mile to the parking area located on the left at Vista Park – just passed Flora Vista Way. To access the trailhead, follow the signs and walk north 1/3 mile along the power line easement to the management area.
The Marriott Trail entrance: 11501 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32821. The trail is about 1/2 mile south from Central Florida Parkway and three 3/4 miles north from State Road 417 on International Drive at the Marriott Grande Vista Resort. Enter the resort and parking is available at the tennis courts (third right). You will see the boardwalk leading to the trail.