Clewiston, the center of the sugar cane industry in South Florida, is perched along the rim of one of America’s largest lakes, Lake Okeechobee. Designed by famed city planner John Nolan and established as a company town by the U.S. Sugar Company, Clewiston, the “Sweetest Town in America,” sprung to life during the 1920s Florida land boom as the Atlantic Coast Line railroad pushed south.
Nearby: Big Cypress Seminole Reservation, LaBelle, Moore Haven, South Bay
Trails and Parks in Clewiston
- Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki - Set in a 60-acre cypress dome on the Big Cypress Seminole Reservation, the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki museum of Seminole culture provides an introduction to the tropical outdoors of natural South Florida's swamps in which the Seminole Tribe has lived for more than a century.
- Big Cypress National Preserve - Protecting the heart of the Big Cypress Swamp, Big Cypress National Preserve was established in 1974. Exploring its lush subtropical landscapes means wading through crystal-clear swamps or paddling its channelized rivers.
- Billie Swamp Safari - With airboat and swamp buggy rides as well as interpretation of native species, Billie Swamp Safari is an attraction providing immersion into the Big Cypress Swamp, ancestral home of the Seminole Tribe since the 1800s..
- Florida Trail, Clewiston to South Bay - One of the most accessible segments of the Big O - paralleling US 27 between Clewiston and South Bay - provides some of the best views of Lake Okeechobee from the dike.
- Florida Trail, Moore Haven to Clewiston - On the 11.9 mile stretch of the Florida Trail between Moore Haven and Clewiston, sunrises are spectacular and panoramic views stretch on for miles.
- Florida Trail, Okeechobee West - 56.0 miles. The preferred route for long distance hikers due to its solitude and wild spaces, the trail – entirely atop a 35-foot levee – offers expansive views of Lake Okeechobee, its western marshes, and vast open prairies turned to cattle ranches. Much of the trail, but not all, is paved and multi-use.
- Florida Trail, Pahokee to Port Mayaca - The sweep of Lake Okeechobee curves away from your perch on the Herbert Hoover Dike as you walk this section of the Florida Trail along the eastern side of the lake between Pahokee and Port Mayaca.
- Florida Trail, Seminole - 56.2 miles. Stretching from the Big Cypress Seminole Reservation to Lake Okeechobee, this is a vast agricultural region. These are the drained lands, the former Everglades, with a lonely feel and no shade. Hiking is on roads and levees.
- Fort Center - Explore Fort Center, a pre-Colombian village lost in Florida’s past – and uncovered again by archaeologists – by following this trail in Fisheating Creek WMA.
- Gatorama - Started in 1957 as a roadside attraction to show tourists one of the two Florida experiences they wanted - alligators! - Gatorama still has that funky Old Florida feel.
- LaBelle Nature Park - On this half mile loop in the city of LaBelle, explore a lush hammock along the Caloosahatchee River at the LaBelle Nature Park
- Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail - An overlay on the Florida Trail around Lake Okeechobee, the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail provides a mostly paved cycling and walking route around the second largest lake entirely within the borders of the United States.
- Ortona Mounds - While less than a mile long, the Ortona Mounds Trail in the ranchlands of Glades County takes you back to a time more than 3,000 years ago.
- A night in Clewiston (1/19/2013) - When you reach the turnoff to continue north on the Florida Trail around Lake Okeechobee, you don’t quite reach the town of Clewiston. After all the heat and bugs while camping and cooking outdoors, the group decided to enjoy real food and a night in an air-conditioned, bug-free motel room. The owner gave us a […]
- Big O: Everglades, Interrupted (11/26/2011) - Where the sunrise is best on Lake Okeechobee, the sun”s rays are directly in our faces. Southbound from Clewiston we stride on paved surface, rhythmic footfalls in tandem with hiking partners. It’s a windy, cloudy morning as the curtain rises over vast marshes with a ribbon of blue beyond, the sweep of open water defining […]