For my last night in Florida I headed north to Lake Okeechobee. This is the largest fresh water lake in the state of FLorida and the 7th largest freshwater lake in the United States. Thinking of little Lake Enola in Orlando I assumed there would be some scenic places to get sunset shots. Since I do not know the area at all I was left with just driving around to try to find someplace, a park or preserve or recreation area.
Because of the direction that I approached the lake from I found myself on the southern end. Along this the southern edge of the lake, the wetlands built up the layers of peat rapidly enough (reaching 4-to-4.3-metre (13 to 14.1 ft) thick) to form a dam, until the lake overflowed into the Everglades. At its capacity, the lake holds 1 trillion gallons of water and is the headwaters of the Everglades. But tonight with sunset approaching I wasn’t having much luck.
I followed one side road to a boat ramp. Although the road led up a steep embankment before dipping back down to a parking lot, there wasn’t much to see here. I kept seeing signs for trail heads but I couldn’t find a way to get to the trails. The guide-book says The 30 m wide (100 foot) dike surrounding Lake Okeechobee is a part of the Florida Trail, a 2,250 km (1,400-mile) long trail that is a National Scenic Trail. There is a well-maintained paved pathway along the majority of the perimeter. It is used by hikers and bicyclists, and is wide enough to accommodate authorized vehicles.
I didn’t find it. Eventually I headed back to the hotel to pack and prepare to leave in the morning. Although my flight wasn’t until 12:45 I was meeting my cousin at Lester’s Diner for breakfast and there’s no telling how much we’d get talking. I haven’t seen the Florida branch of the family in a long time so we had a lot of catching up to do.