With its temperate climate, there’s an abundance of recreational opportunities for all interests and ages. Lake Okeechobee is just minutes from anywhere in Clewiston and offers countless activities. The lake is the city’s largest attraction; it is the second-largest freshwater lake in the lower 48 states and offers some of the best fishing in Florida. Lake Okeechobee has over 40 species of fish and has been acknowledged as the premier largemouth bass fishing spot in the entire world.
Other recreational opportunities surrounding the lake are biking, hiking, camping, picnicking, boating, hunting, hang-gliding, sky-diving, flight training and nature/bird watching. Bird watchers will find a vast display of birds from shore birds, songbirds, waterfowl and even birds of prey. There are also free public boat ramps and parking for those wishing to spend a day, or a week, out on the lake. Another great opportunity surrounding the lake is the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail. Designated as a part of the Florida Scenic Trail, L.O.S.T. is a 110-mile trail atop the Herbert Hoover Dike. The beauty of the lake can truly be seen on this trail, which sits 35 feet above the lake level. Other sites to see on the trail include the fields of sugar cane, vibrant green crops growing in the black muck and a variety of spectacular wildlife and plants.
For those looking to cover more ground, the Big Water Heritage Trail is the best option. This regional driving tour on state, county and city streets links historical, cultural, recreational and educational points of interest, in all five counties surrounding Lake Okeechobee. The trail connects to the Lake Okeechobee Segment of the Florida National Scenic Trail, offering visitors and residents an array of activities. Highway signs direct where to find points of interest as well as kiosks and outdoor interpretive and recreational activities.
When the weather is perfect for taking a walk, and in Clewiston it usually is, visitors and residents alike can take up to four walking tours through the city’s residential areas. Maps can be picked up at the Chamber office, which provide city history and information about the homes on the tour. All tours start at the historic Clewiston Inn and different tours branch off from there. Some pass by historical homes, others take you by the Roland Martin Marina or even the Clewiston Museum. Trails range from one mile to just under eight miles. Along any trail, visitors and residents can expect to see native birds and other wildlife. If residents or visitors are not in the mood to walk, driving the tour is also an option. The ride will be relaxing, interesting and can easily cover more ground; either way, walking or riding, this is the perfect way to become acquainted with America’s Sweetest Town.
Clewiston spoils its residents with the amount of recreational facilities and parks for everyone to be able to enjoy the outdoors. Scattered around the city are parks offering the perfect place to sit and linger, complete with swings and walkways. Lighted tennis courts and a large municipal pool with a tot water park can also be found in the city, ready for residential use. A premier addition to the city has been the Sugarland Park, a baseball, softball, racquetball and soccer complex. While the fields are kept at a professional standard, they are available for any level of play. A large pavilion complete with restrooms, basketball courts, shuffleboard courts and a tot lot have also been added to the park.
Clewiston and the surrounding area are home to two championship golf courses. The Clewiston Municipal Golf Course offers 18 holes of challenging golf in a lush setting sure to excite any golf enthusiast. Fishermen enjoy that they can fish in nearby Lake Okeechobee and still have time for a round of golf, all in one day. The Glades Resort offers a nine-hole, 36-par course. This user-friendly course with lots of character features natural landscaping as well as water features. There are future plans to expand to an 18-hole course.