As the second largest lake entirely within the United States, Lake Okeechobee is a very unique hiking destination. I’ve walked around it several times on the Florida Trail as part of the annual Big O Hike held every Thanksgiving week.
In addition to the nine segments of the Florida Trail – also known as the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail – circling the lake, there are quite a few other hiking trails nearby, which you’ll find near the communities of Okeechobee, Lakeport, Moore Haven, Clewiston, South Bay, and Pahokee.
- Florida Trail, Chandler Slough West - Chandler Slough is a significant natural feature in the middle of the Okeechobee prairies. It’s especially noticeable as you’re hiking the Florida Trail, since from a distance it looks like a mountain ridge. In fact, […]
- Florida Trail, Clewiston to South Bay - As of May 1, 2013, the Army Corps of Engineers has closed this section and it will not reopen until sometime in 2014. Backpackers / thru-hikers / section hikers: please use the Okeechobee West route. […]
- Florida Trail, Henry Creek to Okeechobee - Arcing northward along the shoreline of Lake Okeechobee, this paved segment of the Florida Trail – known locally as the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail – offers spectacular sweeping views of the open water of one […]
- Florida Trail, Lakeport to Moore Haven - Along the western marshes of Lake Okeechobee, the segment of Florida Trail between Lakeport and Moore Haven offers something that no other portion of the trail around the lake does: several miles where the dike […]
- Florida Trail, Moore Haven to Clewiston - One of my favorite sections of the Florida Trail around Lake Okeechobee, the walk from Alvin Ward Park in Moore Haven to Clewiston Park offers up the best sunrises to be found anywhere along the […]
- Florida Trail, Okee-tantie to Platts Bluff - Following the Kissimmee River north from where it empties into Lake Okeechobee, the Florida Trail is atop a series of South Florida Water Management District dikes similar to those encountered south of the lake. The […]
- Florida Trail, Pahokee to Port Mayaca - *** Hiking south of Port Mayaca to Pahokee is currently prohibited due to reconstruction work on the dike. Thru-hikers should use the western route around Lake Okeechobee. *** The sweep of Lake Okeechobee curves away […]
- Florida Trail, Port Mayaca to Henry Creek - One of the segments of the Florida Trail that are paved around Lake Okeechobee, the 13.7-mile walk between Port Mayaca and Henry Creek offers unparalleled vistas of both open water and the marshes of Chauncey […]
- Fort Center - Explore a pre-Colombian village lost in Florida’s past – and uncovered again in modern times, thanks to the efforts of curious archaeologists – by following this trail in Fisheating Creek Wildlife Management Area. The Fort […]
- Harney Pond Canal Boardwalk - Where’s the best view of Lake Okeechobee? It’s hidden in plain sight in the town of Lakeport, in a park that’s alternately known as the Harney Pond Canal Recreation Area and Margaret Van De Velde […]
- Ortona Mounds - While less than a mile long, this walk in the woods in the ranchlands of Glades County takes you back to a time more than 3,000 years, well before the Calusa paddled the Caloosahatchee in […]
- The Big O, Differently - After a dozen years of attending bits and pieces and often the whole thing, the Big O Hike had become a welcome routine, a time to gather with friends. This year was very different. Being […]