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Ocean To Lake Hiking Trail

Saturday, January 14, 2023 - Sunday, January 22, 2023 -- $1475 ★


Welcome to the Ocean To Lake Thru-Hike. 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. Follow through on your New Year's resolution to get fit and simultaneously escape your frigid climate. See a wild and seldom seen section of Florida, and lose fat (or more generally, 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 the heavily populated Southeast coast of Florida. Our plan is to thru-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

Weather is always an important concern when backpacking. Fortunately, January is a ideal time to hike in South Florida. Days are temperate while nights are cool (and sometimes cold). 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 we experience in 2014 is atypical.



Probable Trip Leaders

Guide(s) TBD

Difficulty

Despite the high daily mileage, the trail is almost completely flat (except for some hilly sections of Jonathan Dickinson Park) and is attainable by most people. While we will carry a lot of water on the first day, expect the rest of the way to have plenty of surface water in addition to the water on tap at Everglades Youth Conservation Camp and Kitching Creek.



Cost

$1475 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 1 hotel night, 1 frontcountry campground night, 6 days of trail meals, ground transportation, permits, campground fees and awesome guides.


Tipping: In order to keep our prices competitive with (and hopefully favorable to) other outfitters, we shamefully can’t pay our guides as much as we think they deserve. Like most other guiding services, we rely on the generosity of our participants to make up this shortfall by tipping the guides. While tips are not required or expected, if your guides have served you well, please consider a gratuity so they can continue living their extravagant lifestyles of eating powdered meals, sleeping in the dirt and pooping in smelly outhouses and small holes they've dug.



Important Notes

Expect about 1/3 of the trail to have ankle-deep or deeper water. It is unavoidable. Your feet will be wet most of the time. Wet feet are kind of a drag when you set out in the morning, but once you get used to it, it's not such a big deal. We recommend you bring foot powder for the evening to help your feet dry.


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Itinerary
Weather
Guides for this trip
Cost
Important Note
Difficulty (Please Read)

Itinerary


Saturday, January 14, 2023

Fly or drive into West Palm Beach (PBI). The best time to arrive is between around 9AM-Noon. However, if you have had your virtual shakedown and 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 for a free airport shuttle that will pick you up and take you to our local hotel TBD, which will be our base of operations.


Although you have already had the online equipment shakedown. We will ask questions about your stuff and try to economize the weight while making sure you are outfitted properly and prepared for the elements.


Make Your Own Trail Mix Bar


"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


We will place all your off-trail stuff in storage for the week. Please keep this to a small amount


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


Go out for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant along the way. (Dinner not included in trip cost).


Camp at Dupuis for the night


Sunday, January 15, 2023

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


Shuttle to the LOST/NENA Trailhead along US-441, 3 miles South of Port Mayaca. This should take less than a half hour


Hike 3.5 miles on various dirt roads to the DuPuis West boundary


Hike 6.5 miles to the Loop 4 Campsite


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


Miles today: 10.0. Total Miles to date: 10.0


Possible bailout: SR 76


Monday, January 16, 2023

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: 20.1


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


Tuesday, January 17, 2023

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


If you have never been in a Cypress Dome, take some time to look around and experience the sensation. Note: You will be standing in thigh-deep fresh water as you drink in the primeval surroundings.


Reliable water here, but we will have to wade through this water to cross.


Hike 2.3 miles to the Bowman Island Campsite


Camp at the Bowman Island Campsite


Miles today: 6.3. Total Miles to date: 26.4


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


Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Hike 5.9 miles to Everglandes Youth Conservation Camp (EYCC)


There is a marsh about 5 miles in that requires walking through waist-deep water. However, there is also a bypass trail we can use that will add perhaps half a mile. In 2018, we went right through the marsh and greatly (?) enjoyed it.


Reverse osmosis water available here.


Camp at EYCC


Miles today: 5.9. Total Miles to date: 32.3


Bailout: Everglades Youth Conservation Camp


Thursday, January 19, 2023

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 2.5 miles to Lucky Tract Campsite


Miles today: 11.9. Total Miles to date: 44.2


Possible bailout: EYCC or SR-710


Friday, January 20, 2023

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 Kitching Creek Campsite. Site TBD. Pit toilet available. Water pump available but treatment recommended


Miles today: 10.8. Total Miles to date: 55.0


Possible bailout: Riverbend Park


Saturday, January 21, 2023

Hike 6.5 miles to US Route-1


Hike 2.5 road miles to Hobe Sound Beach / Atlantic Ocean


The road walk is mostly sidewalks but some of it is in the breakdown lane of a lightly used road.


You've made it! Jump in the Atlantic Ocean


End of hike


Miles today: 9.0. Total Miles to date: 64.0


Shuttle back to West Palm Beach and check into our local hotel TBD


Shower!


End measurements taken


Go out for celebration dinner and awards ceremony. (Cost of 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 22, 2023

Take Free Shuttle to Airport or we will pay for a shared cab/Uber


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