Paynes Creek Historic State Park, Bowling Green

#174 of 277 in Nature in Florida
Paynes Creek Historic State Park is a Florida State Park located on Lake Branch Road one-half mile southeast of Bowling Green, Florida. On November 21, 1978, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, under the title of Payne's Creek Massacre-Fort Chokonikla Site (also known as "site of Chokonikla blockhouse and bridge" or "Military cemetery").HistoryAfter the Second Seminole WarWhen the Second Seminole War ended in 1842, the federal Armed Occupation Act was passed. It let Seminole War veterans apply for a 160acre homestead in Florida.At the same time, a reservation was created for the Seminoles in southwest Florida. Their ability to trade was limited by the government, so as to prevent them from obtaining weapons to cause further conflict. To compensate, white-run trading stores were permitted on the reservation's outskirts to the north and west, letting the Indians obtain supplies and luxuries unavailable within the reservation.Many of the trading posts were built by Kennedy and Darling, two army sutlers from Fort Brooke who had started their own trading company. One such was constructed in the late 1840s along the Charlo-popka-hatchee-chee (Little Trout-Eating Creek in Seminole), west of Peas Creek (later known as the Peace River), near present-day Bowling Green. The proprietors were Capt. George Payne and Dempsey Whidden.
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Paynes Creek Historic State Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
28 reviews
  • We spent a couple of hours taking pictures and hiking at this state park. It is very cheap to enter. There is a small visitor's center with an interesting film and some exhibits. We went around 9 am d...  more »
  • Paynes Creek Historic State Park is beautiful. You can walk trails along Payne Creek and the Peace River, even see the place where the creek empties into the river. There are open prairies and forests...  more »
  • Beautiful place! We didn't see another person while we were there exploring, so peaceful! The bathrooms are clean, the visitor center was very informative and the park and river are just so pretty. Definitely worth a visit if you enjoy hiking or history.
  • This park had a very nice Museum of pioneer and Seminole life in the early to mid 1800s. Admission is included with park entrance fee. There are some awesome hiking trails that go down to and along the peace river as well as a canoe / kayak launch on the river. The young ranger in charge was extraordinarily enthusiastic about his job and very helpful. I happened to be there for the reenactment of a trading Post massacre from the early 1800s. Except for a group camping area for Boy Scouts and such, it is primarily a day use only park. Most of the park is heavily wooded and well shaded. The surrounding area is authentic Old Florida. There is an excellent BBQ place very close by that is popular with locals.

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