Okeechobee County Highpoint Trip Report

Date: January 27, 2006
Author: Mike Schwartz

Attempted the virgin Okeechobee FL. This county has three areas of 75+ feet in a roughly north-south alignment, ranging from 1.2 to 2.2 miles west of US 441. Much to my surprise, the wooded southern area is reachable by a paved road, not shown on the topo, that crosses the center of the contour, leaving short bushwhacks into the contour to ensure covering highest ground. The woods are fenced but not posted.

The two northern areas are on one of four cattle ranches in the area under the Rollins Ranch banner. I met with the ranch manager, who listened to my story and then denied access, citing liability and workload issues. He suggested I call him on May 15, just before (I hope) the rainy season and he said he would try to work out a meeting whereby he would take me out to the two remaining highpoints himself, as part of his routine touring of the various ranches. He said he's a hiker and appreciated my quest but that now just wasn't the time for such a visit. Under no circumstances would he allow me to visit the property unescorted. I will post a formal trip report after events unfold in May and will broach the subject of an annual visit or the like. Security on the ranches is tight, so I hope this works out.

These highpoints are near those in Indian River County, so if anyone is visiting Indian River and wants to do the one easy Okeechobee area, send me an E-mail for details.