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/ride is short, it’s long on scenery.
As of November 2017, the spoil island that hosted the popular boardwalk and overlook (which was looking shaky on our last visit) has been dredged and the bridge and boardwalk removed. You can still enjoy great views and birding along the paved bike path that extends towards the lake from SR 78 down the length of the recreation area, with the most sweeping views from the end of the peninsula.
Length: 1.5 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 the end of the park are permanently closed.
Park anywhere near the restrooms, out of the way of boat traffic, and walk down the paved path along the edge of Lake Okeechobee. There is a fishing platform and picnic pavilions at the far 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.