At the end of the old Kissimmee River, on the north side of S-65E, you'll find an expanse of thick marsh that is virtually inaccessible, except for cuts in the old river. The old river resembles the look of the C-38 canal here because it is very wide as it runs through the overgrown marsh. There aren't many places to get out and walk into the impoundment, but the more adventurous might want to park by the marshy pasture at the north end and walk to higher ground to find a shady oak for a picnic. Since this portion of the river is not as heavily visited as others, this would be a good place to canoe or kayak, but bring sunscreen, a hat and water because there is little shade. From a historical perspective, this is a good place to see where the old river dead-ends at a levee to the south. This levee and a canal separate S-65E Impoundment and Paradise Run.
The western border of Paradise Run resembles the edge of a puzzle piece because the old Kissimmee River, with its snaking switchbacks, forms the boundary. Fishing is good in the old river. To the east, toward the C-38, is open, marshy pasture and spoil from the dredging of C-38. This is where the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission oversees small game and waterfowl hunts, which are the main attractions for visitors in this area. No airboats are allowed at Paradise Run, but it can be accessed from C-38 by crossing the levee or via the old Kissimmee River from Buckhead Ridge. Among the sites commonly seen at Paradise Run are a large population of burrowing owls, and several bald eagles-both mature and juveniles-who spend their days along Paradise Run.
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Activities by Site
- Paradise Run: bicycling, boating, canoeing, fishing, hiking, hunting, kayaking
- S-65E: airboating, boating, canoeing, fishing, hunting, kayaking
- S-65E Impoundment: Launch from a ramp on the north side of Hwy. 70. From Okeechobee, go west on Hwy. 70. The boat ramp is on the north side of the road immediately after the bridge. This boat ramp is NOT a public ramp and requires a fee.
- Paradise Run: Launch from the ramps at Okee-Tantie or Scott Driver boat ramp on the north side of Hwy. 78 at the Kissimmee River. Go upstream toward S-65E, Paradise Run is accessible from C-38 via an old portion of the river entering from the west. From the north you must pass through the S-65E boat lock. Paradise Run is on the right, and signs mark the access sites.