As the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers undertakes repairs on the Herbert Hoover Dike surrounding Lake Okeechobee, agency officials are reminding hikers and bikers that major portions of the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail (LOST) remain closed.
The Corps has closed most of the southern half of the trail between Lakeport and Port Mayaca. A five-mile section is open between Liberty Point and Clewiston, a two-mile section is open between South Bay and Torry Island, and a three-mile section is open between Pahokee and Canal Point.
The trail is mostly open on the north side of the lake between Lakeport and Port Mayaca. The Corps has closed a three-mile section between Taylor Creek and Nubbin Slough near the city of Okeechobee. The agency will also limit access to a section of the Florida National Scenic Trail that runs on a portion of the dike along the Kissimmee River near Okeechobee. The Corps will also restrict access to a boat ramp located near water control structure S-154 along the Kissimmee River.
“The closure is necessary for public safety while work on the replacement of water control structures takes place,” said Ingrid Bon, Herbert Hoover Dike forward project manager. “We want to keep people out of harm’s way, given the amount of equipment that will be in the area. The rehabilitation of Herbert Hoover Dike is important to the safety of people living and working in south Florida.”
Some sections of the trail could reopen in 2018; others will likely remain closed through 2020 as the Corps continues rehabilitation projects. More information on the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail and a map of current closures is located at the following website:
Release no. 15-104