Lake Okeechobee & The Glades
Just 38 miles west of the Palm Beaches lies Lake Okeechobee – Florida’s bass fishing paradise. It’s also home of “The Glades” an area that includes Belle Glade, Pahokee and South Bay which are all within 10 miles of one another.
Combining the ethereal beauty of a Highwaymen painting with miles and miles of breathtaking shoreline, this wild piece of Old Florida is not just alluring to anglers, it’s also enticing to anyone with a sense of adventure.
Located in the heartland of Florida, which is one the country’s top suppliers of sugar cane, vegetables and fruits, Lake Okeechobee has a surface area of 730 square miles and is the largest freshwater lake in the southeastern US. Birds, alligators, large-mouth bass, and endless species of flora and fauna create an outdoor environment perfect for boating, kayaking, canoeing, bass fishing, airboat rides, water and jet skiing, hiking, and camping.
Outdoor enthusiasts have plenty of options with the Torry Island Campground and Marina (formerly the Belle Glade Marina Campground), the 18-hole Belle Glade Public Golf Course and the City of Pahokee Marina and Campground.
The 110 mile Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail is the ultimate outdoor eco-experience and has a number of access points which makes it really convenient to walk, hike, bike, roller blade or horse ride. Most of the Trail winds around the top of the 35’ high Herbert Hoover Dike where you can take in panoramic views of the lake. Drinking water is available on, or adjacent to the trail. Nearby hammocks and sloughs, a Seminole Indian Reservation and burial mounds, all stitched together by remote back roads, are ripe for exploration whether you’re a birder, biker, boater, hunter, hiker or nature lover.
In addition to the Pahokee Marina and Campground, there are also camping areas in Belle Glade and South Bay.
“Minutes away and a world apart,” Belle Glade is wildly different from the hustle and bustle of the Palm Beaches.
The largest of the three cities in the Lake Region, Belle Glade’s motto, “Her Soil is Her Fortune,” is fitting since agriculture is the top industry. However, Belle Glade is also The Glades cultural center and is home to the Palm Beach State College Glades Campus where the Dolly Hand Cultural Arts Center is located. The Center regularly stages plays, music of all genres and ballets.
You’ll also find the Lawrence E. Will Museum: A Museum of the Glades here. The Museum, as the “interpreter of The Glades experience, “ displays artifacts, memorabilia, photographs and documents that preserve the history of the region including the largest known collection of artifacts of a prehistoric Native American people known as “the people of the Belle Glade Culture.”
The 18-hole Belle Glade Public Golf Club and Torry Island Campground are also located here.
Known as Palm Beach County’s “Other Coast,” the town of Pahokee is located directly on the shore of Lake Okeechobee. With seven miles of majestic towering Royal Palm trees, Pahokee offers eco adventures, boating and plenty of recreational activities. The Pahokee Marina & Campground is right in town. Take a helicopter tour of the area for a real bird’s eye view of the lake.
While South Bay may be The Glades’ smallest city, Lake Ockeechobee’s vast waters make it a huge haven for tons of recreational activities. Often referred to as the “Crossroads of South Florida.” South Bay lies at the intersection of east-west State Road 80 and north-south US 27 near the southeast shore of Lake Ocheechobee. The South Bay RV Campground is a picturesque spot to stay and is located just across the street from a boat launch. The Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail runs along the top of the levee and is also just a short stroll from the campground.