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Recreation Overview

Recreation rotating imagesEach year, more than 6 million people travel to South Florida to visit  Lake Okeechobee and the Okeechobee Waterway. Whether you like to camp, fish, bike, or relax and enjoy nature's beauty, the lake and waterway have something for everyone. Recreation facilities are easily accessible from Interstate 95 or Interstate 75. Here's your opportunity to learn more about the "Heartland of South Florida."

  • "Okeechobee" is derived from the Seminole Indian words meaning "big water."
  • Lake Okeechobee covering 730 square miles, is the largest Florida lake and the second largest freshwater lake within United States borders.
  • 110 miles of the Herbert Hoover Dike are the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail (LOST) and are part of the Florida National Scenic Trail.
  • The Corps manages eight recreation areas: W. P. Franklin Lock & Dam North and South Recreation Areas, Ortona Lock & Dam North and South Recreation Areas, Port Mayaca Lock & Dam Recreation Areas North and South, and St. Lucie Lock & Dam North and South Recreation Areas.
  • There are three Corps managed campgrounds with 109 campsites (including 16 boat-in sites) at W. P. Franklin North, Ortona South and St. Lucie South.
  • Project-wide, there are 22 recreation areas managed by other agencies located at: Pahokee City Park, Jaycee Park in Okeechobee, Okeetantie near Buckhead Ridge, Clewiston City Park, Torry Island in Belle Glade, Nubbin Slough, Harney Pond Canal, Henry Creek, Bare Beach (Dyess Ditch Canal) near Lakeport, Fisheating Creek, Rardin Park near Belle Glade, South Bay, LaBelle, Phipps County Park near St. Lucie Lock & Dam, Barron Park in LaBelle, Alva, Liberty Point (Uncle Joe's Fish Camp), Indiantown Marina, Buckhead Ridge, Clewiston Marina, Chancy Bay and Moore Haven.
  • There are five Corps managed boat ramps at W. P. Franklin North and South recreation areas, Port Mayaca, Ortona North recreation area and St. Lucie South recreation area.
  • The Corps has three visitor centers: W. P. Franklin Lock & Dam Recreation Area, St. Lucie Lock & Dam Recreation Area and the South Florida Operations Office.

Did You Know?

  • The Army Corps of Engineers hosts 370 million visits annually to its recreation areas.
  • Corps-managed waters provide 33 percent of all U.S. freshwater fishing.
  • 59,000 volunteers work 1.9 million hours annually at Corps projects-- providing $37.5 million in value of service.
  • Seven of the top 10 migratory bird flyways in the U.S. crossover Corps-managed waters.
  • The Corps manages 12 million acres of public lands and waters nationwide.
  • A visitor to Corps recreation areas can find 55,000 milies of shoreline; 4,500 miles of trails; 90,000 campsites and 3,400 boat launch ramps nationally.

    recreation.gov logo                     water safety website

News & Events

Corps of Engineers campgrounds and recreation areas along Okeechobee Waterway are open. For more information regarding camp sites, call:

St. Lucie South Campground in Stuart (772-287-1382)

Ortona South Campground near Moore Haven (863-675-8400)

W.P. Franklin Campground North in Alva (239-694-8770)

 

Contact Info

863-983-8101
SFOO@usace.army.mil