Okeechobee is the heart of Florida’s old frontier, surrounded by vast prairies with cattle ranches and the sweep of Lake Okeechobee, one of America’s largest lakes.
Hikes in this area treat you to the “Big Sky” that only this region of South Central Florida can offer. The Florida Trail both follows the curve of Lake Okeechobee and heads up north along the Kissimmee River, affording more than 100 miles of backpacking easily accessed from this community in Florida’s heartland.
Okeechobee is one of the central locations for camping during the annual Big O Hike around Lake Okeechobee.
Activities by Map
- 2014 Big O Hike cancelled (8/18/2014) - For the first time in 22 years, it's been necessary to cancel the annual Big O Hike around Lake Okeechobee, due to Army Corps of Engineers construction projects.
- Nine more nights in Primrose (4/1/2014) - With our first Primrose trip of 2014 behind us, we are starting to see how snowbird RVers live here in Florida. And it's a bit different than those of us who prefer to have a little outdoors with our camping.
- Prairie Reflections (2/20/2014) - Slipping into Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park in the early morning hours of our second day of backpacking, you could feel the distinct change from Starvation Slough. No more fenceline keeping us off a rancher’s property. Wide open spaces. And not a lot to go on. It was good Lori was with us. I kept […]
- Discovering Starvation Slough (2/20/2014) - Immersing in Starvation Slough might mean wet feet at first, but the beauty you find the deeper in you hike is well worth getting across that first stream!
- Still Life, with Cows (1/23/2014) - It started with a scattered moo or two. Cows, curious by nature and ever followers, not leaders, collected at the fence of the Basinger Ranch. Perhaps they could count four legs – two natural ones and two hiking sticks – in my stride. The mooing got more persistent as the herd turned to walk with […]
- Major Florida Trail Relocation along the Kissimmee River (12/8/2013) - After meetings with land managers during Thanksgiving week, the USDA Forest Service has approved a 43.9 mile route that relocates the Florida Trail along the Kissimmee River, shifting the trail from the oft-flooded western shore to the eastern side between Micco Landing off US 98 and the S-65A lock just north of Tick Island Slough. […]
- Up the Kissimmee (1/22/2013) - JK starts solo backpacking up the Kissimmee River, encountering cows, sandhill cranes, and an over-medicated driver who runs him off a roadwalk.
- Florida Trail at Fort Basinger (11/19/2012) - While our explorations this week focus on the Big O Hike around Lake Okeechobee, side trips to review changes in the Florida Trail are a part of the journey. A wander to the 4Es Trailhead in Fort Basinger surprised us with a new routing of the trail along the rim of the vast Kissimmee Prairie […]
- Simple Beauty (11/18/2012) - A moment of Deja vu: discovering a scene that Bart Smith had captured in Along the Florida Trail at the 4Es trailhead.
- Aloft (11/18/2012) - It isn’t rare for winds to streak across the surface of Lake Okeechobee, picking up speed as they travel, flowing across the dikes like waves. But some mornings are windier than others, and this was one of them. Clouds blanketed our views of the starry night as dawn grew close, bringing a sunrise with no […]
- Notes from a small space (11/17/2012) - We’ve spent the past half hour arranging the insides of our tiny TravLite camper, an early 80s vintage popup that’s a step up from a tent on wheels – with headroom. The floor is perhaps 4×6′ but we can stand up in it and enjoy cushioned seats, a table, and a bed. The entire interior […]