We had the fabulous opportunity this winter of travelling from Ontario, Canada to Lake Okeechobee, Florida, USA with our 5th Wheel and what a fabulous experience it has been! The photo album is a great reminder of all the wonders of The Big O.
Lake Okeechobee has so much to offer; just a few highlights listed below:
- Fishing – Bass Capital of the World! Anglers Paradise
- Airboats & Boating – Lake O is the largest freshwater lake in Florida, Everglade tours are amazing
- Bicycling – Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail, 177 Km (110 Miles) loop
- Hiking – Day Hikes or loop hikes
- Bird Watching – Fantastic variety, especially in the winter season
- Festivals – Music, Art, Rodeos,… something for everyone
- RV Fans and Life-stylers – literally hundreds of RV parks surrounding the lake
- Retirees – laid back lifestyle, health services, many 55+ communities
Although we ventured out at times, our “stomping grounds” were basically the SR78 stretch from Lakeport to Okeechobee, west to NW side of The Big O (fond local term for Lake Okeechobee).
For Anglers, Fishermen, wannabe fishermen and those who simply like to try something new, Lake O is paradise. There is an abundance of guided tours, charters, commercial and sport fishing as well as boat rentals. Large mouthed bass, black crappie and catfish are the sought after catches. Some local Diner Restaurants will cook your catch for you, some serve their own wonderfully prepared fish. I can not resist the tasty fried catfish fingers with hushpuppies!
The Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail (LOST) loops around the lake on a 10 meter (35’) high raised dike, called the Herbert Hoover Dike; that means 177 KM of scenic paved and gravel trails. The trail is accessible to hikers, cyclers, horseback riders, and rollerbladers – fee free! Resting lean-tos and 14 camping areas can be found adjacent to the trail.
Birders / Birdwatchers and Wildlife Fans will appreciate the abundance of life in this unique ecosystem of the everglades.
Wildlife includes, but is not limited to, alligators, turtles, manatees, deer, bobcats, panthers, raccoons, snakes; birds such as egrets, osprey, spoonbills, herons, storks, vultures and the list goes on. Although I did not see bobcats, panthers or manatees, a beautiful show of nature greeted me every day!
There is no lack of things to do in the area, especially during the winter months. Every weekend offers up a smorgasbord of events. Festivals, midways, concerts, social dinners, fishing tournaments, re-enactments, movies; the list is as endless and versatile as your desires.
Due to the abundance of activities and the laid back pace of life, this area is a snowbird and retirement haven. Sunny weather, low cost of living and lots of local amenities contribute to the attractivity. Several clinics, a hospital, dentists, dialysis, chiropractors, etc. in Okeechobee give retirees peace of mind.
Did you know? Lake Okeechobee Facts:
- Average Depth: 2.7 meters (9’)
- Size: 1,900 km² (730 miles²)
- Name origin: Oki = water, Chubi = big (Hichiti language)
- Second largest body of freshwater in the USA
- Has been around for more than 6000 years
- Provides multi-use: reservoir for irrigation and potable water, flood control, fishing
Lake Okeechobee Photo Album
Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail Map
Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail
Current Lake Okeechobee Trail Closures
Crazy Guy on a Bike
US Army Corp of Engineers
Brighton Field Days Photo Album
Brighton Field Days Festival – Seminole Indians
Lake Okeechobee Rodeo
Sour Orange Festival, Lake Okeechobee
Lake Okeechobee – YouTube
Rodeo – YouTube
Seminole Indians – YouTube