Hikers Backpack Ocean To Lake At Annual Event

The 13th annual Lake to Ocean Backpacking Trip took place in over Valentine’s Day weekend in February. Couples, spouses and significant others crossed all or part of the Ocean To Lake Hiking Trail (OTLHT) and 13 made it through six days and 63 miles.

El Niño made it a wet and tough march, but, as Lorraine Thomas told the support crew, “I loved every step of it.”

Water could be thigh deep as they trekked to the next camp site. They set out from the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail (LOST) trailhead, through the DuPuis and Corbett wildlife management areas, beside Riverside Park and through Jonathan Dickinson State Park. It ended at Hobe Sound Beach.

Joining leader Fred Davis and the end “sweeps” Jeff Andrews, Ryan Lusk, and Rick Byrnes were Jean Pierre Arnud, Bill Detzner, Pat Given, Charles Noe, Mary McKinley, Beth Tobin, Judy Steinbicer, John Luka and George Mudge.

Those who did part of the trail during the hike were Wayne Vassello, Cassandra Cooper, Doug Dodd, Bill Herr, Hannah Campbell, Alec Hutchinson, Pam Pinder, Alana Hoffman, Stacey Figueroa and Walter Keller. Congratulations to all for taking the challenge.

Appreciation for support goes to Scott Lunsford for his shuttle drivers and Roy Moore for blazing marks around Cypress Creek. Also to the South Florida Water Management District’s Bijaya Kattel, Dan Cotter and Ken Quigley for the pitcher pump at loop 4 with permission to camp the C-18 canal, the Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Dave Sweetay for help completing trail maintenance and a water drop at Little Gopher. Finally, to Janice Kerber for a dry morning at the youth camp.

ABOVE: Participants in the 13th annual Ocean to Lake hiking event.