The “Big O Hike” comes of age Saturday, Nov. 17. This will be the start of the 21st annual hike around Lake Okeechobee on the Herbert Hoover Dike, 35 feet above the surrounding countryside.
Hikers will assemble at the Pahokee Marina, ready to take the first step at 8 a.m., heading north for a nine day, 110-mile trek. But it’s not as difficult as it seems.
The hike is actuality a series of one day hikes, and participants can join or leave the other hikers at any trail head around Lake Okeechobee. Popular hikes are the first day, a 3.5-mile “Wimp Walk” around Pahokee or the full day 12-mile walk to Port Mayaca. Hikers are shuttled back to the day’s starting point.
There is no charge for the hike, and anyone is welcome to join the Loxahatchee Chapter of the Florida Trail Association in this, what is believed to be the longest-running long-distance hike in Florida.
In recent years, participants completing the entire hike have ranged in age from 9 to 92 years old. Anyone in reasonably good health is welcome to join the group in enjoying the outdoors and making new friends. Campgrounds or motels and meals for those requiring them are at each hiker’s expense. Of special interest is Thanksgiving dinner at the historic Clewiston Inn.
For more information, contact Paul Cummings at email@example.com or (561) 963-9906.