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Ocean To Lake Hiking Trail, FL

Jan 13 - Jan 21, 2018 -- $1250 ★

Welcome to the Ocean To Lake Florida Trip. The Ocean To Lake Trail is an offshoot of the 1400 mile long Florida National Scenic Trail which runs all the way from the Everglades to Alabama. Largely unknown and rarely hiked, the trail is home to a panoply of wild (and not so wild) animals including deer, wild hogs, sandhill cranes, wild turkeys, bald eagles, alligators, great blue herons, turtles, egrets, ubiquitous cows, and even black bears. Join us to follow through on your New Year's resolution, get away from your frigid climate, see a wild and seldom seen section of Florida, and lose fat (or more accurately, improve body composition).

The Ocean to Lake Hiking Trail is a surprising introduction to wild spaces that you wouldn’t expect to still exist on this heavily populated coast of Florida. Our plan is to hike the entire Ocean To Lake Trail. The O2L is an offshoot of the Florida Trail that connects Lake Okeechobee with the Atlantic Ocean. Our route will take us over 60 primarily flat miles through the DuPuis Reserve, JW Corbett WMA, Loxahatchee Slough, and the backcountry of Jonathan Dickinson State Park.


Weather is always an important concern when backpacking. Fortunately, January is a ideal time to hike in South Florida. Days are temperate and nights are cool. Expect a few desultory insects, but nothing compared to swarms during other seasons in Florida. Please come prepared for rain, an occasional cold night and the possibility of blazing heat. Midday temperatures during the January 2007 trip reached the 90s for a few days, but this, like the freezing weather of 2015 is atypical.

Trip Leaders

Steve Silberberg
Julie Quibodeaux


$1250 per person double occupancy. Here, double occupancy means that you will share a hotel room with another trip participant. You will also be responsible for transportation to and from West Palm Beach, FL (PBI) as well as personal equipment, restaurant meals eaten off trail and any gratuities for guides.

Covered expenses include 2 hotel nights, 6 days of trail meals, ground transportation, permits, canoes, fees and awesome guides.

Important Notes

Hurricane Irma had a profound impact on the conditions of the Ocean to Lake Trail. As of November, the trail is still flooded in many places as high as knee deep. Even in dry years we should expect to walk in ankle deep water at times. Crews have been out since September assessing and mitigating the damage (cutting tree blowdowns, brushing, fixing bridges) but it is unknown how much of the trail will be cleared by the 2nd week in January or how far the water will have receded. We will update this regularly as the trip approaches.

We have listed 2 largely similar itineraries, of which we can do either. We have the option of hiking the entire Ocean to Lake Trail proper, which adds about an extra 5 miles to the itinerary. Almost all of these extra miles are along roads at the beginning and the end of the trip. Some might see this as pointless, but others like the idea of completing the entire trail, not to mention ending the hike at the Atlantic Ocean (even if it takes a 3 mile road-walk to get there).

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Guides for this trip
Important Note
Difficulty (Please Read)
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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Fly or drive into West Palm Beach (PBI). The best time to arrive is between around Noon-3PM. However, if you can save a substantial amount on your flight by arriving a few hours earlier or later, then do so. If you are driving, please let us know as soon as possible if you'd like us to make arrangements for your car.

Call 561-689-6100 for a free airport shuttle that will pick you up and take you to Ramada West Palm Beach Airport, 1901 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd West Palm Beach, FL 33409

Equipment shakedown. We look through ALL your stuff and try to economize the weight you carry while making sure you're prepared for the elements.

Trail mix distribution

"Before" body composition measurements taken

Go to DICK'S Sporting Goods, 8821 Southern Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33411 to buy last minute equipment you may have overlooked

Go out for dinner at a local restaurant. Dinner not included in trip cost.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Second set of "before" measurements taken

All the items that you won't bring on the trail will be set aside and put in storage

Free breakfast in hotel

Begin carrying 8 liters of water as water is not reliable at tonight's campsite

Option A

Shuttle to the LOST/NENA Trailhead along US-441, 3 miles South of Port Mayaca. This should take about an hour and 15 minutes

Hike 3.5 road miles to the DuPuis West boundary

Hike 6.5 miles to the Loop 4 Campsite


Option B

Shuttle to SR-76, DuPuis Managment Area
, 23500 SW Kanner Highway, Canal Point, FL 33438, (561) 924-5310, which should take about an hour

Hike 0.7 miles to Loop 1

Hike 1.2 miles to Loop 2

Hike 1.2 miles to Loop 3

Hike 2.2 miles to Loop 4

Hike 1.8 miles to the Ocean To Lake Trail proper


Camp at Loop 4 Campsite, with Fire Grate and Picnic Table

Miles today: 9.0 or 7.1. Total Miles to date: 9.0 or 7.1

Possible bailout: SR 76

Monday, January 15, 2018

Hike 5.8 miles on the Ocean to Lake Trail to the Powerline / Powerline Rd. (dirt)

We now leave DuPuis and enter the JW Corbett Wildlife Management Area

Hike 4.3 miles to Little Gopher Campsite.

Reliable water is found in Big Gopher Canal, 0.1 miles before camp.

Camp at Little Gopher Campsite

Miles today: 10.1. Total Miles to date: 19.1 or 17.2

Possible bailout: Powerline Rd. (poor option, but possible)

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Hike 4.0 miles to the Hole-in-the-Wall Cypress Stand

Reliable water here, but we will have to wade through this water to cross. Fill up water for camp tonight that has unreliable water.

Hike 2.3 miles to the Bowman Island Campsite

Camp at the Bowman Island Campsite

Miles today: 6.3. Total Miles to date: 25.4 or 23.5

Bailout: South Grade Rd. (dirt, very lightly used)

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Hike 5.9 miles to Everglandes Youth Conservation Camp

There is a marsh about 5 miles in that requires walking through standing water. However, there is also a bypass trail we can use that will add perhaps half a mile.

Reverse osmosis water available here.

Camp at EYCC

Miles today: 5.9. Total Miles to date: 31.3 or 29.4

Bailout: Everglades Youth Conservation Camp

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Today and tomorrow will be the longest days of the trip

Hike 0.7 miles to Corbett Main Gate, leave the Corbett

Hike 8.7 miles along trails, canals and roads to a palm hammock with flat camping spots. We won't camp here, but can do so if there a reason to cut the day short.

Hike 2.0 miles to an open field campsite.

Dispersed camp at the open field campsite practicing Leave No Trace ethic. Unreliable water here.

Miles today: 11.4. Total Miles to date: 42.7 or 40.8

Possible bailout: EYCC or SR-710

Friday, January 19, 2018

Hike 0.5 miles to Lucky Tract Campsite (if we didn't push onto here last night).

Hike 4.0 miles to Jonathan Dickson State Park.

Hike 6.8 miles to Kitching Creek Campsite, passing under the Florida Turnpike along the way.

Camp at Ktiching Creek Campsite

Miles today: 11.3. Total Miles to date: 54.0 or 52.1

Possible bailout: Riverbend Park

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Option A

Hike 6.5 miles to US Route-1

Hike 2.5 road miles to Hobe Sound Beach / Atlantic Ocean


Option B

Hike 6.5 miles to US Route-1


End of hike. Miles today: 9.0 or 6.5. Total Miles to date: 58.7 or 63.1

Return to Ramada West Palm Beach Airport, 1901 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd West Palm Beach, FL 33409


End measurements taken

Go out to dinner. Awards Ceremony. Dinner not included in trip cost.

This is the official end of the trip. You are welcome to spend the night at the hotel, however if you drove and would like to get on the road or if you flew and would like to schedule a late flight (or a red-eye if this is a West Coast trip) you can definitely do so.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Free Hotel Breakfast

Take Free Shuttle to Airport

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