Reasons to Visit Florida’s Lake Okeechobee

Image by Ernie A. Stephens from Pixabay 

Ah, Lake Okeechobee. What would we Floridians do without you? Indeed, the lake is more important to Florida than most people think. Not only is it a natural gem but just the sight of it is enough to heal your soul during difficult times. You can also use it to go fishing. The name Okeechobee comes from the Seminole Indian word for “big water.” Which is exactly what this lake is in the center of the Florida peninsula. 

The lake is known for being one of the best fishing spots in Florida with the exception of the Florida Keys.

Apart from offering a great fishing spot, Lake Okeechobee is essential to Florida for many other reasons, such as the enhancement of fish and wildlife along with relaxation and leisure. According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Lake Okeechobee is Congressionally authorized used for flood and storm risk management, navigation and supplies water for the following:

  • Salinity control in estuaries
  • Regional groundwater control
  • Agricultural irrigation
  • Municipalities and industry

The Kissimmee River, located directly north of Lake Okeechobee, is the lake’s primary water source. The Lake is divided between Glades, Okeechobee, Martin, Palm Beach and Hendry Counties. All five counties meet at one point near the center of the lake.

Beyond these facts, what makes this lake so wonderful is its natural beauty. Just take a look at the following pictures and you’ll see what we mean. 

Flickr/U.S. Department of Agriculture

The western shore of Lake Okeechobee. Flickr/Daniel Piraino

If you’d like to make a trip to the lake, make sure to walk through The Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail. The Trail is a 109-mile multi-use path that began as the Florida National Scenic Trail, a 1,000-mile trail that runs from Miami to Pensacola. 

Florida National Scenic Trail underwater near the Chuluota Wilderness Area. Photo taken by Caitlin Murphy, December 2014. Flickr/U.S. Forest Service-Southern Region