The Big “O,” Lake Okeechobee
The name Lake Okeechobee is the Seminole Indian name meaning big water, and when you see it you will know why this is an appropriate moniker. The 730 square mile lake sits in south central Florida, making it the largest lake set completely within a single one of the contiguous 48 states. In spite of its huge size – it is impossible to see the opposite shore from the water’s edge – Lake Okeechobee is shallow, with a depth of just nine feet on average.
History of the Lake
Thousands of years ago, the land that is now Lake Okeechobee was dry. Eventually the sea level and water table of the area rose, rainfall increased and wetland formed. The result is the lake that holds up to a trillion gallons of fresh water that we see today. After a major hurricane that flooded nearby towns, the US Army Corps of Engineers built the Herbert Hoover Dike surrounding the lake to prevent future flooding problems.
A Natural Habitat
People are drawn to Lake Okeechobee for its natural beauty and to see the wildlife that benefit from the natural habitat. Fish, alligators and more than 75 species of birds call the lake home. Expect to see tropical wading birds like herons and wood storks, bald eagles and the Everglade Snail Kite, an endangered species. You may also see manatee, bobcats, deer and river otters.
A World of Recreation
Outdoor lovers flock to Lake Okeechobee for fishing, boating and camping. The lake is known for bass and crappie fishing, and many anglers book a day with a fishing guide to make the most of their time on the water. There are many campsites available in the area, from luxury cottages to RV and tent sites with full hookups and primitive campsites in isolated areas. There are even equestrian campsites with paddocks. Hiking and biking are popular pastimes around the lake, especially along the trail on top of the Herbert Hoover Dike around the lake. Airboat tours are available, and there are many marinas and boat ramps for easy entry to the lake.
Hi! My name is Joe Thomas and I operate this website. I have camped, fished, skied, wakeboarded, kayaked, and more at lakes all over the south. I love the outdoors and love visiting lakes. This site is designed to share my love for the outdoors.
If you have any questions about the site or if you need corrections to any of the pages, please do not hesitate to contact me directly. If you would like to be listed on this site or need help promoting your lake business, you can contact me about that as well.
Have fun and enjoy Lake Okeechobee!