On the west side of the Kissimmee River is KICCO, which is pronounced kiss-oh. It takes its name from the Kissimmee Island Cattle Company that operated here from 1915 through the late 20s. KICCO contributed to the development of central Florida towns such as Kissimmee and Sebring that depended on beef production and river trade. At one time, the KICCO settlement had homes, a bunkhouse, mess hall, company store, ice house, power plant, schoolhouse and even its own steamboat landing!
Even though nearly 100 years have passed, KICCO is a place where you can go to get the real feel of "old Florida." In this region you will enjoy a rich patchwork of habitat extremes from scrub to marsh.
Experience the ambience by camping at any of five primitive campsites equipped with picnic tables, bicycling a ten-mile dirt road, hiking 11 miles of the Florida National Scenic Trail, or riding your own horse. Remember your fishing pole. Bass lurk in the waters of the C-38 canal and the oxbows of the Old Kissimmee River.
Consider primitive waterfront camping on the opposite, east side of the river at Blanket Bay Slough. The sheltered campsite, accessible only by boat, is readily seen from the river. There are no hiking trails on Blanket Bay, as it is mainly marsh. But during the dry season from November through March, you can hike along the river and take in a refreshing view of the water.
Activities by site
- Blanket Bay Slough: airboating, boating, camping (tent), canoeing, fishing, kayaking, picnicking
- KICCO: bicycling, boating, boat ramp, camping (tent), canoeing, equestrian trails, fishing, hiking, hunting, kayaking, picnicking, wildflower viewing
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission manages hunting on SFWMD lands.
Please visit www.myfwc.com regarding current hunt dates, regulations and directions to check stations to ensure the most accurate and latest information.
KICCO: Access by foot, bicycle or horse
- Access provided from the public boat ramp off Highway 60 and at two trailhead/parking areas.
The first access point is on the east side of River Ranch Boulevard about three miles south of the junction with Highway 60.
The second access point is at the north end of KICCO Road which is about one quarter mile past the Westgate River Ranch Resort guard house at the south end of River Ranch Boulevard.
- From Lake Wales take Highway 60 east for 21.1 miles to Westgate River Ranch Resort.
- From Yeehaw Junction (junction of 441 and 60) go west 19 miles on Highway 60. Look for the Westgate River Ranch sign on the south side of the road.
Blanket Bay Slough:
- Access is by boat only from the boat launch on the west side of the C-38 canal, just west of the Disston Bridge that spans the junction of the extreme northerly section of the Kissimmee River and the south end of Lake Kissimmee at Highway 60. Take Highway 60 from Lake Wales, 21 miles to the east, and from Yeehaw Junction, 19 miles to the west.