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 Park. While this walk is short, it’s long on scenery. Scrambling up two spoil banks to a boardwalk that’s pointed towards the stars, you’ll discover increasingly beautiful views of the Indian Prairie and marshlands around Fisheating Creek as you walk up, up, up. At the very top, take in the panorama of canals, marshes, and the ribbon of open water in the distance.
Length: 0.3 mile
Lat-Long: 26.986658, -81.066144
Fees / Permits: none
Difficulty: easy to moderate
Bug factor: moderate
Restroom: Use the ones closer to the highway, the ones at this end of the park seem derilict.
There is a fishing platform and picnic pavilions at this end of the park. Bring your camera!
From US 441 in Okeechobee, follow SR 78 west to Lakeport, or from US 27 in Moore Haven, follow SR 78 east to Lakeport. Look for the turnoff for “Harney Pond Canal” at the canal and commercial area with gas station and motel. Follow the road around to the recreation area, and drive down the narrow strip past the boat ramp to the very end of the pavement. A paved walkway starts here, leading to the boardwalk.