Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail (LOST) Map

Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail (LOST) is one of my favorite places to ride. Here’s an unofficial map I put together to show which parts are paved, which parts require you to go on surface roads, trail heads and access points, and a few places to eat.

I plan to do a much more comprehensive piece on the LOST, but I’ve had enough recent requests for information that I thought I’d put this up as a stop-gap.

Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail (LOST)

View Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail in a larger map

I encourage you to click on the link to a larger map. It’s easier to see in a new window.

Blue = LOST; Red = Roads

The blue lines represent the paved portion of the trail. The red lines show where you have to exit the LOST and get on public highways.

The roads are good riding

If you are reasonably comfortable riding in traffic, then you should have no problems with the roads around Lake Okeechobee.

  • 78, on the west side of the Lake has wide shoulders and light (but fast) traffic. The rural drivers are friendly and almost always pull over into the other lane to pass, even when I’ve been on the shoulder.
  • 441 on the east side of the lake has been recently repaved. The shoulders aren’t as wide as 78, but they’re fine. I’ve ridden it when it was under construction and the shoulders were broken up and survived.Taylor Creek fishing cabins and shellrock road from LOST to 441
  • The short jog around the Taylor Creek Lock on the north side isn’t a problem if you time your bridge crossing to miss the few short bursts of traffic that come along. Take the lane when crossing the bridge. If you are west bound, plan to move to the left side of the lane as soon as you cross the bridge so you can make a left turn to get back on the dike. The stretch between the dike and the road on the east side of Taylor Creek is shell rock. It’s usually packed pretty solid, but you can hit some soft spots. Be careful if you have narrow tires.

You are isolated on the LOST

Sunset on the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail near Moore HavenOnce you’re up on the dike, you may have to ride seven or more miles to get to an access point because you have the lake on one side and the rim canal on the other.

There are no restrooms on the dike, no food, no services, so be prepared. There ARE primitive camp sites around. Before the authorities cut all the non-native trees and bushes, the campsites were relatively hidden. Now they are wide open.

What all all those blue markers?

I’ve tried to mark all the trail heads and access points I can remember. Some of them may not allow a motorized vehicle to pull in, but they are places where you could reach a road on your bike.

Don’t count on anyone recognizing the names I’ve given those access points. They are just what I call them, usually based on some geographical feature.

Places to eat

Gizmo's Pizza and Subs near Okeechobee, FL, just off the Lake Okeechobee Scenic TrailI’ve also marked a few places around the north and east side of the lake to eat. I highly recommend The Office bar at Nubbins Slough, Gizmo’s Pizza & Subs at Taylor Creek and the Golden Corral’s all-you-can eat buffet in Okeechobee. [Note Gizmo’s is no longer in business. I hated to see them close.]

I also mark the Scottish Inns in Okeechobee as an inexpensive, clean place to stay. Don’t expect a chocolate on your pillow, but the folks running it are nice and I’ve had a decent night’s sleep there. It’s not a place to park your spouse for the day while you’re out riding, though. The rooms are tiny by today’s standards.

Be careful out there

My riding partner, Mary, and I used to ride without helmets on the LOST because we thought we were more likely to have heat stroke than head injuries on a trail with no motorized vehicles and no obstructions to run into. Mary, for no apparent reason, crashed her bike about a mile north of the Chancey lock and wound up with five skull fractures. Help is a long way away when your partner is unconscious on the ground with head trauma.

Things to bring

  • Food and water
  • Sunscreen (there is no shade)
  • Gator on Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail (LOST)Bug repellant, especially for riding around dusk. Glasses or some form of eye cover keeps flying insects out of your eyes. Some evenings the gnats and other bugs are so thick I pull a bandanna over my nose and mouth to cut down on the amount of protein I ingest.
  • An awareness of the weather. You’re the highest object around for scores of miles. Heat lightning in the distance makes for a great light show, but you want to get off the dike if it starts moving in.
  • A camera. I’ve seen something interesting every time I’ve ridden the LOST.
  • Good sense. Do NOT pet the alligators.

97 Replies to “Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail (LOST) Map”

  1. Nice info. I’m still interested in riding this, though I may not actually ride all the way down to it from my house first. I might just drive down and ride the trail itself.

    A question on the route though, when you show portions that are surface roads is that because there is no available trail there or just that it isn’t paved?

  2. Todd,

    At one time before it had any paving, some of the local bike clubs would sponsor a full round-the-dike ride over a two-day period, so it was possible to go the distance on a mountain bike.

    The section between Pahokee and Port Mayaca on the east side is closed to repair the dike.

    During the 2004-2005 hurricanes there was significant erosion. Based on how much of the dike washed away, I think another six or eight hours of pounding could very well have caused the dike to fail, something that killed at least 2,500 people in 1928. (A hurricane in 1927 topped the dike and killed about 400 people near Moore Haven.)

    I’d rather ride the roads than beat myself up on rough, rutted shell rock, even on my Surly Long Haul Trucker.

    If you decide you only want to do part of it, let me know and we can talk about which part, based on what you like to see.

  3. Daniel,

    Like you, I don’t know the status of the rest of the paving.

    The section between Pahokee and Port Mayaca is closed for dike repair. They started the project once, discovered that it wasn’t being done right and had to re-start it.

    I don’t see it as a high-priority project, unfortunately.

    That’s a shame, because I can see a completely paved dike as a tremendous economic boon to the area.

    If folks up north had a place where they could train in the winter in a car-free environment, it would spur the growth of bike shops, B&Bs and the like all around the lake.

  4. I think that bike group still does the Thanksgiving Day ride up there — just fyi. Not sure whom to contact about it.
    Other notes: the Roland Martin motel and tiki bar on the south side of the lake just east of the put-in point at Clewiston is a good choice for food and lodging – except during bass fishing tourneys on the lake. Also a good spot to leave your car.
    If you do leave a car, the parking lots at Port Mayacca – on east side, South Bay on south east side and Okaheelee on the north west, are probably the safest (avoid Moorehaven). Don’t leave too many valuables in plain sight.
    Though lights are scarce at parking areas at all but Port Mayacca and Okaheelee – there’s a huge restaurant there and boat launch (even showers and a campground that would be a good place for camping if inclined – though the largest KOA campground in Fla is in Okeechobee proper on 441 going north from the Lake about 1/4 mile).
    Heed Steinhoff’s word: It’s remote along the dike itself; cell phone reception also can be sketchy in spots, so just be aware.
    Gators are rarely up on top of the dike, but snakes abound – and the moccaisins are poisonous. Don’t get cute with the wildlife and pay attention when you step off the dike trail proper.
    Best views of the big lake are all on the east and north side: the south and western trail runs the rim canal and you can’t see the lake – but plenty of wildlife on the southwest anyway.

  5. Jan and I have ridden together many miles and we frequently have differences of opinion.

    I’ve never been concerned about parking my car at the Moore Haven locks. South Bay is out of the way, which makes me feel like it’s a fairly safe parking spot. Crooks tend to go where they are likely to find stuff to steal, so they won’t fool with a place that rarely has a car parked at it.

    As far as snakes, there have been a couple of rides – and I don’t remember what time of year – that I encountered about two dozen snakes on the trail in a two-mile stretch. They were everything from tiny garter snakes to four-foot corn snakes to a water moccasin as big around as my wrist.

    I wouldn’t worry about snakes unless you are down near the water. I imagine the birds make short work of any snake that lingers on the paved trail for very long. I’ve seen wading birds fly off with three feet of snake hanging from their beaks.

    I DO take a look around under my car when I’m loading my bike at some spots to make sure no snakes or gators are hiding back near my rack.

    As far as scenery, I actually like the stretch between Clewiston and Moore Haven. It takes you far away from roads and through farm country.

    The stretch from South Bay to Clewiston runs alongside U.S. 27 and even though you are separated by a couple hundred yards, the traffic noise bugs me. At night, it’s worse. The car headlights are annoying.

    The seven-mile stretch between Port Mayaca and Chancy Bay are fairly boring for me, although you can usually spot some big gators cruising down the middle of the rim canal like they own it (they do).

  6. Gender differences too: I am uncomfortable with the folks who hang around Moorehaven (I was there photo’ing for a comprehensive piece on Lake O for the paper and was warned by the lockkeeper to keep a heads up on surroundings out there by myself – quite a few people living in cars on an alcohol diet.)
    Caution about snakes is more about not stepping on one near rocks around the water when you go down to photo the gators or answer nature’s call.

    We agree that the South Bay-Clewiston ride is most boring — I would rather get off the dike and ride the old Ghost US 27 there – but it’s not do-able at night whatsoever. The road was so torn up when Jimmy and I rode it a few months back, it was nearly impassable in many spots, and certainly not for those wanting speed or anything but scenery – plenty of that.

    Note that Jan-March is high “season” out there for fishermen and hunters – campgrounds, motels and boat launches are chockfull.
    There’s camping at Pahokee, too: forgot to mention it – and a GREAT restaurant there – Mr. Jellyroll’s – tell owner Ann we sent you.
    Traffic along roads includes, from Oct-April, a battery of cane trucks and orange trucks that tend to hog the lanes, more out of oblivion than rudeness. (But there’s a Little Debbie delivery guy who’s certifiably obnoxious.)

  7. @Ken – Sadly, such projects tend to take (way way) back-burner status in FL. A round-the-lake paved trail would be awesome.

    Seeing your other comments, though, I realize I’m such a city guy; I don’t know my bike would be up to that off-road environment.

  8. Daniel,

    If you can survive in Miami, you’ll have no problem riding the roads around the lake. On the west side, you’ll go 15 or 20 minutes without seeing a car.

    When one does come up behind you, they pull out into the other lane a couple hundred yards back. When they get closer, I give ’em a wave to let ’em know I appreciate the courtesy and another wave after they’ve passed. Usually they’re looking in their rearview mirror and return the wave.

    Completely different and very refreshing difference from riding along the coast.

    That stretch of highway passes my low road kill count standard. I figure if they bother to dodge coons and possums, then they’ll probably swerve for a biker, too.

    Don’t write off the LOST.

  9. Ghost 27? I’m intrigued… There are a lot of old/abandoned/historic buildings in my area and I like to explore them. One of these days I’ll actually remember to bring my camera along.

    This ghost road sounds neat. Is is just an abandoned stretch of 27?

  10. Ghost Road 27, as I’ve named it, is mostly abandoned stretch of U.S. between South Bay and Clewiston.

    It has a special meaning for me because that’s the road we came down in 1959 on the Great Family Vacation to Florida.

    Here’s a sample of what it looks like.

    You can ride it on road tires, but you have to watch out for cracks. There are about five gates blocking the road, but the locals cut the locks or there are easy ways to go around them or you can lift your bike over the barriers.

    I’ll drop down on it to get out of the wind or as an alternative to the boring section of the LOST.

  11. Interesting place. I think I’d like to explore behind that abandoned (and for sale) gate that read “Tropical”. The abandoned house with the perfectly manicured yard was amusing as well.

    Was the lady on the golf cart warning you of some strange goings-on up ahead? Odd lights in the sky, perhaps? That’d be perfect :)

  12. My partner and I rode Old 27 back in April, and the road was so bad, we walked a couple of patches — there was no road and the sides were too mucky to navigate. You can’t build up a head of steam anyway, so you aren’t going to be thrown.
    No skinny tires, though; we ride hybrids.
    There’s virtually no traffic on it; just an occasional car or pickup going very slowly and pulling in the back of their house. A dog might chase you.
    There are pig and goat farms along it, and old abandoned houses, but some that are occupied and you kinda wonder about.
    A canal runs along one side of it most of the way — you may see gators in it, too, much closer than on the dike but still not on the trail. There’s a wide metal barrier toward the end that says, Road Closed but you can hop over it; we got off at that point, but it reconnects further west to the current 27.

  13. The Tropical Garden was an old tourist trap with animals and exotic plants. I happened to stumble onto it in the early 80s after it was closed.

    I met the woman who owned it and spent an interesting afternoon talking with her.

    It must have been sold because I saw a crew of workmen there. They had already ripped out the cool old gate and put up a cyclone fence one. They didn’t speak English, so I couldn’t get any details.

    The woman in the golf cart was another fascinating character. Her family has lived there since the 28 Hurricane. Her dad told her stories of hearing people screaming in the night.

    The house with the nice yard was blown off its foundation in the 2004-05 hurricanes. There was a lot of damage in that area. Most of it has been cleaned up by now.

  14. If you’re into the history side of things, you’ll want to ride 700 off Port Mayaca toward Indiantown, where the graveyard of the ’28 hurricane sits. There’s a memorial there and more…I have art of it, but am not sure I can put my hands on it.
    The ’28 hurricane, as you likely know (not sure where you are) is the reason there’s a dike on Lake O – it was sanctioned by Herbert Hoover and has a placque I think in the park at Pahokee – not sure – dedicating it.

  15. I enjoy Florida history quite a bit and try to ride out to interesting locations in my area often. I did a bit of it this past weekend but I was pretty sick and had to cut it short. The high temperature/humidity and relentless sun were sapping my energy quickly on Saturday.

    I live in Polk county, by the way. When and if I get down to the lake I’ll be taking a stop by the cemetery as well as the “ghost road”.

  16. Todd,

    I scouted some rides up in Polk County when I had to go through there several years ago, but I haven’t done any riding up there.

    Some of the back roads looked pretty neat.

    I was considering the ACA link from outside Ft. Meyers headed up to Orlando and then to St. Augustine. My kid lived in Orlando at the time, so it would have been a good place to stop.

  17. Hi Ken, I’ve really enjoyed your website. I was thinking about doing a South Florida tour (on my new LHT) including a route around the Lake. Any idea what Hwy 98/700 is like from Wellington area up to Canal Point? Is it suitable for riding or should I find another route?

  18. North-west bound 98 from SR 80 has a wide shoulder on the right-hand side of the road next to the canal.

    I’ve thought about riding it because it would be neat to see all the gators in the canal. I’ve seen as many as two dozen in a couple of mile stretch up closer to Canal Point (and that’s cruising at 70 mph in my car).

    The shoulder doesn’t seem as wide on the other side for your return trip.

    The biggest drawback at this time of year is the heavy cane truck traffic going to and from the sugar mills.

    There’s enough shoulder that there is plenty of passing distance, but if one of those guys is a little sleepy….

    Once you hit 441, there’s decent enough shoulder to carry you north on up to Port Mayaca to catch the dike.

    I’d be more worried about riding SR80 to get to 98/700.

    Let me know if you want more info.

  19. Thanks for posting this information. My husband and I hope to cycle LOST (which we’ve never done before) at a relaxed touring pace this winter. Some questions: What is the approximate mileage between Okeechobee and Pahokee, between Pahokee and Clewiston, and between Clewiston and Okeechobee (using the road option, rather than cycling the unpaved portion)? What are the advantages to cycling clockwise vs. counter-clockwise? Appreciate your thoughts.

  20. Winne,

    I usually don’t ride the LOST in those segments, so I’m going to be doing so guessing.

    The whole lake is somewhere between 115 and 130 miles, depending on detours.

    Okee Pier (441 & 78 intersection) to Clewiston around the west side of the lake on the road – 40 miles.

    Clewiston to Pahokee – 24 miles. (There is construction on the dike south of Pahokee that may force you to ride more of the road.)

    Pahokee to the Okeechobee Pier – 35 miles

    You’ll notice that the the totals don’t add up to 115 to 130 miles. Some parts were based on direct line measurements and didn’t take into account the curvature of the lake.

    When you get closer to your departure date, let me know and I’ll work it a little closer.

    I generally ride it counterclockwise for no particularly good reason. My riding direction is generally based on wind direction, when possible.

    Are you planning to camp or to stay in motels? Okeechobee has the most motels. Moore Haven, the least. Clewiston has several. Mobile home-type facilities are rented at the Pahokee campgrounds right on the lake.

    Again, check with me before you take off.

  21. I am planning on doing the loop the first week of March. I plan on riding from Jupiter and taking about 4 days. Is there a good way to get there from Jupiter? Also how regular are motels/sleeping accommodations and places to eat around the lake? Thanks, Thad

  22. Ken,

    I live in Clewiston and I was out for two yrs. I’m back and I would like to know how good is the LOST from Clewiston to MoreHeaven. What is better to use, a road or mounting bike for that piece?

    Years ago I remember when they started with the LOST project and I was always thinking about it but busy to explore it. Now I am unemployed, so, it is time to begin with.

    I need to know about Road bike or Mountain one? That’s the main thing for me. Road bike is easier because I will bike all the way from home.

    Also where do you take the Trail, on the fishing spot close to the parking (restrooms) spot, or passing the Roland Marine motel?


  23. Al,

    You’re in a great place. The LOST is paved from Clewiston west to Moore Haven. A road bike is perfect for the ride.

    I like that section about as well as any I’ve ridden because you’re well away from the sights and sounds of traffic. My least favorite section is South Bay to Clewiston, where the LOST parallels 27 and you have traffic sounds during the night and headlights in your eyes at night.

    You get on the trail westbound at the Clewiston Marina (past the restrooms you mentioned).

    Go for it. It’s a nice ride.

  24. Ken, following your advice, I decided to go and kike on the trail today, early in the morning.

    From my home to the Lake is like 4 miles probable; then I went to Moore Haven with such a strong wind that practically I did not need to pedal almost; so, do your own math at the time of return. I should be then close to MH when I decided to return against the wind, and that was like pedaling in a slow motion movie.

    The wind was so strong that once moved me out of the road, and I took advantage to stop a few times in order to take some pictures of birds and a couple of boats that had the courage to get out today.

    I took some pictures in the Roland Marine as well; as I want to write an article about Lake Okeechobee in one of the Spanish Language blogs I own; so friends I have in other countries could read how is around here.

    I remember yrs ago that when it was windy like this you could find some alligators outside taking a good nap, but I saw no one today. It is a kind of cold also; maybe that’s the reason.

    Also in summer there are plenty of boats and people around. Today I have not seen much, probable because the strong wind we had.

    I will place a visit to Clewiston museum and see if they allow me to take a few pictures as well. It is a small place, but it is been yrs I do not visit it; that way it completes the pictures of the area.


  25. Al,

    You picked a windy day for a ride. It’s blowing 19mph, gusting to 31 here on the east coast. There’s nowhere to hide when you’re on the dike.

    I usually don’t see as many alligators on the southwest side of the lake as I do on the NE side. Choppy water makes them harder to spot, too.

    I didn’t know there was a museum in Clewiston. I’ll have to look for it next time I’m there.

  26. I recommend taking a can of fix-a-flat with you when you ride. Last week my family and I were riding the trail between Lock 7 and Okee-Tantie when we came across a man with a flat tire. Luckily he was riding with a friend who rode on to get the mans wife. That same day I got a flat tire from riding to close to the side after the trail had been mowed and sandspurs were thrown onto the pavement.

  27. Aug. 15 2010 is when 2 boyscouts (Kurt and Timothy)and there scout counselors (Peter an Alan) With the help of a support vehicle and the suppot team of Nancy,Emily,Jana and Darla set out to finish up the cycling merit badge with the 50 mile ride. We started on the south side of the Kissimmee river and rode to Port Myaca and back. Total trip was 54 miles. WE had to do this in 8 hours or less. With stopping for lunch at port myaca aand rest stops on the way we did it in 6.5 hours. The weather was a little hot but was a great ride.when we all got done we went to KFC for dinner and the A/C.

    Thanks forall the info on this site. It made it easyer to Plan this trip. We all live in Lehigh labelle an Alva


    1. Glad you found the info helpful. I rode support for a bunch of Scouts doing their 50-mile ride back in 2004. The picked the NE corner of the lake for their trek.

      When we started out, I figured at least a third of the boys would drop out before the 50 miles were up, but I’m proud to say that they all made it well within the time limit.

      We did our ride in the middle of June. I give you props for doing it in the middle of THIS August. Well done.

  28. I’ve never been to the Lake Okeechobee area before, and I want to ride the LOST trail solo in a couple of weeks. I plan to leave my car at a friend’s house in Wellington and ride to the lake (on Nov 4), spending the first night in Clewiston, and then continuing clockwise. What’s your recommendation to get to the lake? Google bicycle map directions directs you on mostly smaller roads through Belle Glade, picking up the dike at South Bay. Alternatively, an earlier post suggested riding northwest on 98/700 from Wellington to Canal Point. If that’s the better route, I may want to ride the lake counter-clockwise. (I don’t have a strong opinion on my direction of travel.) Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

    1. Sorry for not getting back with you sooner. I’m out in MO and I’ve let things stack up a bit.

      I’ve always thought riding to Canal Point would be fun because there is a good shoulder with the canal on your right that would offer good alligator-watching possibilities. On one drive out there, we spotted two dozen gators in a two-mile stretch (and that was when we were driving pretty darned fast). You’d probably see a zillion of them at bike speeds.

      I let the wind determine which direction I ride Lake O. I prefer to ride into the wind on the way out, hoping to pick up a tailwind on the way back.

      One thing to check is road construction. The last time I was other there a couple of months ago, the road to Canal Point was closed. The detour was good bike riding, but it was a little out of the way.

      Take plenty of sunscreen. No matter which way you go – and on the dike – the only shade is what you provide, and it’s hard to take shelter under your own shadow.

  29. Hello, I am planning a 2 day bike trip around the big o starting 12/22 or 12/23. Day one, starting in Okeechobee and biking counter clockwise to clewiston. day two from clewiston back to Okeechobee.

    My questions are, 1)how bad are the non-paved sections. I have a Raleigh Venture comfort bike with good size tires(26 X 1.95), will I be OK? .2)Are there any dike repair going on now?

    Thanks Bill

    1. Bill,

      1. I’ll let you watch this video and decide for yourself. I was riding on a Surly Long Haul Trucker with tires that were inflated a little too much. Another rider who dropped her psi down to 35 or 40 had a much better ride.

      All things considered, though, I’d take the road rather than the unpaved sections. I thought I’d see lots of wildlife on the more isolated sections, but I was so intend on dodging the biggest rocks that I never got my eyes off the trail in front of me.

      2. I don’t have any first-hand information about dike repair. It’s been months since I was on the LOST. It’s a safe bet to say that construction is ongoing between Port Mayaca and Pahokee. The good news is that stretch of highway has been repaved recently and you’ll have adequate shoulders to ride.

      Good luck. Let me know what you find in the way of construction so I can pass it on.

  30. I did it! Rode all the way around the BigO. I started Thursday morning at 8AM and finished Friday at 2PM. I drove to Clewiston and parked at the boat ramp on the west side of Industrial canal. This looked to be a good choice with cars and boat trailers parked there.
    I rode back to the Rt 80/27, crossed the canal and got on the dike to ride counter clock wise. The riding was wonderful with the wind to my back until about Belle Glade where the wind switched into my face and made peddling harder.
    I made it to Pahokee where the I had to leave the dike because of contraction. The ride along Rt 440/98 was good. The road has a good shoulder. I continued on the road until Port Mayaca where I rode back onto the dike. The wind was blowing into my face so bad I got off the dike 7 miles north at Chancy bay creek. I stayed on the road for the rest of the day.
    I made it to Okeechobee at around 4PM. I stayed the night at the Flamingo Inn which is about ½ mile north on 441. They gave me a corporate rate when I told them I was biking around the lake. I recommend this motel.
    Friday morning I started out around 7:45AM and rode on the dike to kissimmee river. So far I had only ridden on the paved sections of the dike and wanted to see how bad the unpaved sections were. So after leaving the dike and crossing the river on the road I got back on the dike and rode the 9.9 mile section south of the river. The dike was very bumpy with fist size rocks. Someone wrote (above, and was right) you will spend all the time looking out for the rock and not able to take in the views. I got off the dike at Indian prairie creek and rode the rest of the way to Moore Haven on Rt 78. The shoulders is wide and the ride good with the wind to my back pushing me to Moore Haven. I had a good and cheap breakfast at a restaurant in Lakeport along the way.
    I got back on the dike in Moore Haven at about 12pm. The wind changed and picked up and was in my face making it hard peddling. When I got to Liberty port the wind shifted again and I had a nice ride back to Clewiston. There was some hard peddling up on the dike when the wind is in your face. What a great trip.

    1. Bill,

      Glad you had a good experience. You’re right about the wind. When you’re 30 feet above the surrounding terrain and there’s nothing between you and Europe to block the wind, it can be brutal. On days like that, you’re better off to drop down to the road.

      I’m the one who has the video of my (short) ride on the unpaved portion of the dike. Some folks like that kind of riding, but I’m not one of them.

  31. I am planning to ride the big O. It looks like one long day of riding or two half days. I have a touring bike so it has 700 cm tires, the unpaved areas are probably a bit much for it especially since I will be carrying gear in my panniers for an unsupported ride. I would appreciate any suggestions of a route. I am thinking about following the same route Bill F. above followed. Do you have any suggestions? I would also appreciate any strategy for dealing with the wind.

    1. You can do it in one day, but you’ll enjoy it more if you break it into two days so you have time to look at the wildlife and not just hammer, hammer, hammer.

      I would ride the dike where it’s paved, then drop down to the road where it’s not, particularly if you’re riding with narrow tires.

      If the wind is too much, you can drop down to the road and hope for a little more shelter. Other than, you drop a gear, turn up the music and learn to live with it. There’s absolutely no place to hide from the wind (or lightning) up on the dike.

  32. Dave, here are my times.
    Day one
    Start Clewiston 7:47 am
    Miami canal 8:51 am
    South Bay 9:24 am
    Panokee 11:11 am
    Port Mayaca 12:56 pm
    Okeechobee 4:08 pm

    Day Two
    Start Okeechobee 7:42 am
    Lakeport 10:34 am
    Moore Haven 12:21 pm
    Back to Clewiston 2:00 pm

  33. David: You’ll have to get down on the road at some points anyway for bathrooms or food breaks. Nice bathrooms at RV park at South Bay, and at Clewiston’s dike. Also good ones at Okeetantie campground on the north side of Okeechobee proper and KOA campground (w/showers) a few blocks in from the Lake O main pier north on 441.
    Ken’s got more info on Moorehaven and the western side of dike down below.
    He’s hard and fast right about that wind. You’re a pedaling kite up there if you have a billowy shirt on, either being let out on the string, or fighting the pull to come in. Don’t get too used to any tailwind.

  34. made 1 day trip in 2009. is there a way to find out where the dike is closed? hope to ride again in late Feb or early March. any changes in this time period.

    1. Dave,

      Because so many different entities handle different aspects of Lake O, it’s hard to get that information. I’ve left a message for a guy who works for one of the agencies and who rides the dike almost every morning.

      I’ll let you know what I find out.

    2. Dave,

      Here’s the official unofficial answer from my buddy who rides pieces of the LOST almost daily:

      “It’s really difficult to get in touch with the COE [Corps of Engineers] folks. The trail is closed from Pahokee to Port Myaca. From Pahokee south is iffy. If you start at Pahokee and ride south there is a chance someone will be there to stop you. However, there is no construction from that point to Paul Rardin Park in Belle Glade. From Rardin Park to John Stretch Park in South Bay, most of the construction is complete. A portion is still unpaved, but smooth. There are signs at that point to stay off but on the weekend there was no one policing it. The signs would also be on the other end at the Belle Glade Golf Course and the bridge going into Rita Island. The remainder of the trail is wide open, but it’s still unpaved from Moore Haven to Buckhead Ridge.”

      To add to my buddy’s comments, the road is always an option. There’s no stretch of the roads surrounding the lake that I would feel uncomfortable riding if I had to drop off the dike. In fact, on a windy day, I’ll take that option.

  35. I’d love to ride the lake, but I’m not quite there yet. Why doesn’t someone who’s done the ride try to organize an annual 2-day Lake O ride. Could raise some money for local MTB clubs.

  36. There are several organized rides on the lake – most for charity. I think it’s March or April when the annual Rotary Club ride takes place, and though it’s only 54 miles, you could turn that one into a full lake ride.
    Ken lives (as do I) in West Palm Beach – it’s a 40 mile trip for us just to get to the Lake. And, well, Ken will honestly tell you he doesn’t like to herd anything and isn’t fond of group rides. He barely takes a small group on full-moon rides out there (but they’re recommended – great fun).
    I’d be willing to sag and do some food/water rest stops along with Keefer out there if someone wants to organize a 2-day ride. Do it between Oct or Nov. and May. It’s flat-out unbearable up there unless you ride at night in the other months; even May is pressing it. No shelter whatsoever means full-force sun (and wind, rain and lightning). My thermostat is broken and I don’t do well in the heat.

  37. a local inquiry:
    We are planning to bike the Lake Okeechobee Trail next week and wonder if you could tell us whether it is possible to bike on Lakeview Drive from Port Mayaca to Pahokee. Our LOST map is suggesting taking the highway, but Google maps shows a through route on Lakeview. Hope you have some local knowledge.
    Thanks for your help.

    1. Bad news: the section from Pahokee to Port Mayaca has been closed for construction for a couple of years. Based on what I saw when I drove by there a couple of weeks ago, it’s going to be shut down for a long time.

      The good news is that 441 through that area was repaved not long ago and has small, but adequate paved shoulders. Traffic is light, but fast. I wasn’t uncomfortable riding it, even before the repaving.

      Have fun. I’ve been on the south end from South Bay to Moore Haven twice in the last three weeks. You’ll see so many gators that you’ll stop pointing them out.

  38. Hi folks,

    We have a bike group down here in Ft. Lauderdale that has been riding together for about two years, and we’re interested in planning a ride about 20-25 miles long near the south end of the Lake. Can anyone suggest a good starting point where we could leave about 10 vehicles to start the ride along the paved trail, and return to the starting point (doubling back, obviously) so we’re near a good place for lunch? Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

    1. Ted,

      If you wanted a ride on the south end of the lake with dining options, you’re best bet would be to start or end in Clewiston at the Marina. There’s plenty of parking there.

      The stretch of the LOST between Clewiston and Moore Haven is, I think, one of the prettier ones. It’s the one that’s most isolated from civilization, roads and lights. Three of us did is about three weeks ago and saw so many gators that we stopped pointing them out.

      There’s plenty of parking and restrooms at the boat launch area at the Moore Haven end, but fewer dining opportunities.

      Let me know if you want more info.

  39. Ted: There are numerous places to eat around the south end – and not far from the boat ramp to the east is Roland Martin’s Marina and “resort” with a huge open air tiki hut and a sports-bar-type menu. You can pedal just a few minutes (or drive) east to Sonny’s BBQ on 80 – it’s mostly BBQ with an enormous salad bar for the vegetarians in the group. There are several Mexican restaurants and taquerias around there, too – you are pretty much in the “town” area of Clewiston when you come off the dike there at the boat ramp. 80, the main drag through it, has a great deal of fast food along it headed west, too, and within a couple miles. The Clewiston Inn, a historic place, has a nice menu as well for lunch.

  40. “Two Wheels, one GPS and a Camera”. Nice! As for me, I’m thinking “Two Wheels, one Gear, and some Pals”. I rode around the lake couple of years ago. Now I itch to do it again on the single speed I put together. Ultimate goal: do it on a fixie. Next year?….

  41. Peter, I do suggest pals – we always bring up the story of Mary and the helmet to prove that point – and/or a spare tire tube or two.
    I only wish they’d put a couple of bathroom stops along the way. And instead of handing out free hand sanitzer in the bathrooms, maybe put out bug repellent. Mosquitos are rampant this year over here near the ocean; I can only imagine them at the Lake. They’ve probably got their own landing strip by now.

  42. Hi everyone,

    I have really appreciated the information that people ahve been adding – I am considering driving up from Miami soon to try some of the sections on the south or east portions.

    Does anyone have a feel for the current parking situation – primarily as far as safety is concerned? I saw a few comments posted from a few years ago, but wanted to get a sense of how things might be today.

    Any thoughts on parking areas to be avoided or those that are not a problem? I’m wondering if vehicles with racks on them become targets or if it really isn’t that big of a deal.


    1. I don’t think break-ins are much of a problem (knock on wood). On the south end, I’ve parked at the Moore Haven boat ramp and at the South Bay ramp. The latter has a fair amount of boat traffic.

      South Bay is a lot more isolated, but that works in your favor. Bad guys, like fishermen, go where the fish are. It’s hardly worth their time to travel all the way out there on the off-chance that they’ll find a car.

      The Pahokee trail head is within walking distance of some high crime areas, so I might talk to the folks in the campgrounds to see if you could park there if you were going to be gone for a long time.

      I’ve never felt unsafe parking at Port Mayaca Locks, Nubbins Slough or the Okeechobee Pier.

      One one I gauge relative safety is to look for broken window glass in the parking lot. If I see any, then I know someone’s been targeted before.

      Folks out around the lake are pretty honest and decent, for the most part.

  43. Evan: we’ve never had any trouble with parking that I know of – though maybe Ken or Chuck Keefer may have had an incident on north end. The parking lot at Roland Martin’s Marina near the tiki hut could be your best bet; it’s only a short few blocks from the Clewiston locks and entry to the trail that’s midway on the South side.
    The parking at the Clewiston locks is probably secure enough too: we’ve parked there night and day without incident. Lots of activity there. You can park around the Clewiston Inn – another very safe area – also only a few blocks from the locks.
    We’ve parked in the South Bay boat ramp; it’s pretty isolated, though and dark at night (and steep). (Take a flashlight for any trip to the Lake and stomp around your car loudly to discourage snakes).
    There’s an RV park next to it, where we made friends with the guard and left our cars a couple of times – you can definitely feel secure there.
    Common sense is requisite: Don’t leave valuables in your car, don’t leave any maps visible, and cover anything else that you don’t want people to be tempted by. Taking a cooler to put things in is an idea; it provides temperature control and a hidden spot that looks “normal” and won’t tempt so many.

  44. Hi Jan,

    Thanks for the detailed information! I’ll be a new face when I arrive so I’m not sure how much luck I will have with the RV park but it is good to know there are some options. I was also thinking about Port Mayacca or Pahokee in case the wind/weather made a short north-south excursion a better bet than an east-west jaunt.

    I was only planning on a few hours at best, just to get familiar with the area, so the darkness issues probably (hopefully!) will not come up. With thunderstorms nearby so often though, I wasn’t planning on being out very long.

    I’m assuming that leaving a bicycle rack strapped to the back of the parked car isn’t likely to be a problem…guessing that is what most people are doing?

    Looking forward to getting up there and taking a look! It will be great to not have to deal with the local traffic/drivers here, even for part of a day.

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