Length: 22.3 miles (linear)
Lake Okeechobee is one of the largest freshwater lakes in the United States, encompassing an area greater than 730 square miles. Only Lake Michigan is larger. It is a fisherman’s paradise and is easily accessible by both water and land.
This segment of the FNST follows the Herbert Hoover Dike along the east side of Lake Okeechobee. A major landmark encountered by hikers on this section is the Port Mayaca Lock and Dam, one of five lock and dams on the cross-state Okeechobee Waterway which extends from Stuart on the east coast to Ft. Myers on the west coast. It runs through the lake and accommodates commercial vessels, fishing boats, and pleasure craft.
Hikers along this section of the trail might want to consider a side trip to the nearby DuPuis Reserve which is south of the St. Lucie Canal about two and a half miles east of Port Mayaca. The reserve boasts excellent wildlife viewing opportunities and has an extensive system of trails available to day hikers and backpackers. Plans are in the works to connect the Florida Trail around Lake Okeechobee to DuPuis Reserve as part of the Ocean-to-Lake Trail.
Much of the Lake Okeechobee trail is closed for renovation of large sections of the Herbert Hoover Dike. Please refer to our Trail Closures and Notices webpage for updates and reroutes.