Closures and Notices

The majority of District-managed camping areas are now open as of June 5, 2020. The following camping areas remain closed: DuPuis Management Area, Hickory Hammock, Istokpoga Canal Boat Ramp Area, and Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed (CREW). The District is working to open the remaining campgrounds. All campers and all recreation area visitors must continue to practice social distancing and take other steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

On March 25, 2010, the Lake Istokpoga Canal Boat Ramp Area was opened to the public. The area features boat and airboat ramps, picnic shelters and tables, bathrooms, lights and ample parking. The area also has access to the Hickory Hammock trailhead with primitive camping and parking for equestrian trailers. The site is located on U.S. 98 at the Istokpoga Canal in Highlands County.

Two shelters with tables and grills, 16 open picnic areas with tables and grills (4 are concrete pads and remainder are mulched), airboat ramp, dual power boat ramp with finger pier, 14 'street' lights (some dual lights included as 2), and 1 restroom building.

Activities by Site

  • Boney Marsh: airboating, boating, camping (tent), canoeing, fishing, hiking, hunting, kayaking
  • Bluff Hammock Units: airboating, boating, canoeing, equestrian trails, fishing, hiking, hunting, kayaking, picnicking
  • Hickory Hammock: airboating, bicycling, boating, camping (tent), canoeing, equestrian trails, fishing, hunting, kayaking, shelters

Istokpoga Boating Facility Photos - view »


Enter by hiking, bicycling or horse. Four access points on the east side of Hwy. 98, which runs between Sebring and Okeechobee:

  • Bluff Hammock hiking trailhead is at the end of Bluff Hammock Road. Bluff Hammock Road is 14 miles south of Sebring and 35 miles north of Okeechobee.
  • Equestrian access is at the end of McArthur Road, three miles north of the main Hickory Hammock trailhead.
  • Main trailhead at Hickory Hammock is eight miles southeast of Lorida, and about one-half mile northwest of the Istokpoga Canal (18 miles south of Sebring and 33 miles north of Okeechobee on Hwy. 98).
  • Access for hiking trail also at the south "walk-over" in the Hickory Hammock perimeter fence. It's immediately north of the Istokpoga Canal on Hwy. 98.