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Reported: Dec. 2016

Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail (LOST)

Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail (LOST), part of the Florida National Scenic Trail, circles Lake Okeechobee - the second largest freshwater lake in the U.S. - on top of the Herbert Hoover Dike, built for flood control in the 1930's. The trail is used for biking, hiking, fishing, and birdwatching, and there are 14 campgrounds on or adjacent to the trail. The surface consists of both paved and gravel portions. The trail is not continuous, but diverts onto roadways around locks. (Detailed map and photos below.)

Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail, South Florida Biking

Mileage: 110 miles paved and gravel; goes onto the road to get around locks
Location: Glades, Hendry, Martin, Okeechobee, and Palm Beach Counties (See map)
Nearby Cities: Belle Glade, Clewiston, Okeechobee, Pahokee, Moore Haven
Nearby points of interest: Okeechobee Battlefield Historic State Park

Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail... Comments and Photos

While there are numerous access points with parking, there is no food on the trail, and you can go long distances before finding a restroom so be prepared. Bring water and sunscreen, there is no shade - better as a cool weather ride - and it can get very windy on the dike. Watch the weather and get off the dike to avoid lightning strikes. Views from the dike can include broad vistas and excellent sunrises and sunsets, but will vary depending on weather and which side of the lake you're on. The lake can actually be seen on the north and east sides, while the west side is mostly marshland. Many waterfowl are seen, plus sugar fields, wetlands and the surrounding agricultural communities. Due to the long distance and repetitive views, the ride can get boring.

Note: At this writing about half the trail is closed due to construction projects - see the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website (link below) or call 863-983-8101 for the latest information on closures.

Trail at Port Mayaka - east side

Access point, parking only. Trail is paved as this point, lake view. Access also to Port Mayaka Lock and Dam complex. As at other locks, the trail trail ends and goes roadside, resuming on the other side of of the lock.

Trail at Moore Haven - west side

Alvin Ward Park has parking, restrooms, picnic shelters, boat ramp, fishing pier. Not a lake view but rather marsh at this location. Access also to Moore Haven Lock and Dam; trail goes roadside past the lock.

Trail at Lakeport - west side

On the west side of Lake Okeechobee from just north of Moore Haven to Lakeport, the trail runs along SR78. Approaching Lakeport it branches off again, just after a roadside boat launch. Marsh views here - the boat ramp goes out to a bay, not on the lake at this point.

Trail at Okeechobee - north side

Lake Okeechobee Park is at the northern tip of Lake Okeechobee in the City of Okeechobee. A nice facility with parking, restrooms, fishing pier, picnicking. The trail - paved in this section - runs on the dike overlooking the park and lake. A great bike ramp has been built to get to the trail.

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