Harney Pond Canal Recreation Area

Possibly the best view of Lake Okeechobee is near the town of Lakeport, in the Harney Pond Canal Recreation Area and Margaret Van De Velde Park.  This recreation area has boat ramps as well as several covered picnic pavilions, and public bathrooms. The lost Trail bike and hiking path ends just before a wooden boardwalk which leads across a small bridge, to an island peninsula with a wonderful elevated observation platform that sports, at the very least, one of the most beautiful views of Lake Okeechobee, the Indian Prairie and wetlands that stretch out to the East and West from the park.  I have found it an ideal location to photograph both the sometimes spectacular sunrises and sunsets over the lake.  Many water fowl can be observed and photographed here, the species depending upon the time of year, as well as other animals that frequent the lake area.  Each visit is different, but never disappoints.

Information

Location: Lakeport
Length: 0.3 mile
Lat-Long: 26.986658, -81.066144
Type: Round-trip
Fees / Permits: none
Difficulty: easy to moderate
Bug factor: moderate
Restroom: There are some closer to the highway, in case the ones at this end of the park are not working.

Directions

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.

 

Map Of The Area

(enlarge, for better view)

 

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