Next stop on the way north was Pahokee – literally “grassy water.” This is a very small town on the banks of Lake Okeechobee. The lake it the largest fresh water body in the state of Florida and is large enough that you can’t see across. As mentioned in a previous post regarding the Everglades, historically the everglades were created from Lake Okeechobee overflowing its banks in the rainy season.
Today the flow out of the lake is very controlled. After hurricane flooding in the 1920s they started constructing a levee or dike system to protect the surrounding area. Major flooding struck again in the 1940s and by 1960 the lake was almost completely surrounded by the Herbert Hoover Dike with a system of controlled canals providing water for surrounding farm land and presumably the everglades.
I have never seen a lake surrounded by a dike. You don’t get a view of the lake from the roads nor do people living around the lake have lake front property??? Luckily they have developed a mostly paved trail along the top of the dike for recreation, that is open to the public and enjoyed by all. Some areas also have a canal running along the landward side of the lake, so you may have a canal view and boat access and then a dike and then the largest lake in the state all in your back yard. Interesting, but it must have been necessary.
There is only one break in the dike where Fish Eating Creek empties into the lake. Because of the dike, today Fish Eating Creek is the only free flowing tributary to Lake Okeechobee. It is also a popular kayaking spot that was unfortunately on the exact opposite of the lake about 2hours away.
In Pahokee we stayed at the City RV park and marina. It was on the inside of the dike so we truly had lake front property. The scary part was getting the coach over the dike… The lake front provided a wonderful sunset view and visits from our almost daily alligator swimming by.
This too was a very relaxing place to stay and was only an hour from Jupiter beach and the famous Palm and West Palm beaches. This is a beautiful area and the water was amazingly turquoise blue. We took Nellie for a run on the beach and we would have gone for a swim (the water was that warm) except for the Portuguese man of war covering the beach??? We were scared to let Nellie off leash just because I know she wanted to play with them.
Just for laughs … a “Real Life” Ranch for Kids??? Hmmmmm…
Peace and love.