Find out where you can enjoy your next outdoor adventure!
image of egretStormwater Treatment Areas are the water-cleaning workhorses of Everglades restoration, but they are also renowned havens for birds and bird watchers. The SFWMD has partnered with local Audubon Society chapters to offer bird-watching tours at these STAs:
children gazing at the starsFrom asteroids to zodiac constellations, amateur astronomers can prop up their telescopes on select SFWMD public lands and gaze at the natural wonders of the night sky – away from urban lights. We've identified some locations where conditions are ideal for stargazing. Locations »

Hiking, fishing, camping, bird-watching, horseback riding, nature study, cycling, hunting, geocaching, stargazing – what's your pleasure?

The South Florida Water Management District is the steward for more than 1 million acres of public land. Over the years, we've taken great strides to expand public recreational opportunities on land purchased with public dollars – and it keeps getting better.

Each year we take steps to enhance and expand recreational use of all District-owned property throughout our 16-county region. Activities at each location are compatible with natural resources protection and intended land use priorities.

Recreational Guide graphic - Click to read

We invite you to explore recreational opportunities on your public lands. Our colorful, 117-page recreation guide is packed with information. You'll find a comprehensive listing of lands available for public use and access – as well as maps, descriptions, suggested outings, driving directions and contact information for each location.

Recreational Licenses and Permits

Special Use License

In certain instances, a no-cost Special Use License, issued by the South Florida Water Management District, may be required for vehicle access to SFWMD lands with locked gates or for some activities, such as camping or horseback riding.

Related Links

Hunting & Fishing Licenses

Most recreational activities on District lands are managed by agencies such as the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission or other state, federal, county or city governments in partnership with the South Florida Water Management District. Most licenses for hunting or fishing must be obtained from the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).


Please regularly check this space for navigation notices for the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes, the Kissimmee River and Lake Okeechobee.

The Kissimmee Chain of Lakes, Kissimmee River and Lake Okeechobee offer some of the best boating and fishing opportunities in Central and South Florida. Navigation locks throughout this interconnected system ensure that it is accessible by the public for recreation.

Along the route, there are 12 locks maintained by the South Florida Water Management District and five maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

It takes about 15 minutes to lock through most structures. This service is free to boaters locking through during normal operating hours.

SFWMD Navigation Locks on Lake Okeechobee »
SFWMD Navigation Locks on the Kissimmee Waterway »
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Navigation Locks on the Okeechobee Waterway »
Discover Florida Wild

We know your pursuit of outdoor fun doesn't stop at the end of a Florida Park Service map. To help you connect the dots, we've teamed up with our partners to create an outdoor recreation portal.

Learn how to Discover Florida Wild

logo for Discover Florida Wild
photo of friends hiking around Lake Okeechobee

Links to Partner Websites


Other Recreation Sources
Lake Okeechobee LOST Trail and Waterway graphic

Florida Links

County Links



Video  Audio  Documents   

In the News


Related Contacts

Recreation Closings & Openings

Upcoming Events


Related Highlights

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SFWMD Headquarters: 3301 Gun Club Road, West Palm Beach, Florida 33406
561-686-8800 | 1-800-432-2045 (Florida Only)