Overhanging oak limbs frame a view of the old Kissimmee River as it winds its way between Telex and Yates marshes. Your imagination is captured by a nearby rope swing that old timers say has been there since their childhood.
If you decide to canoe all the way around Telex Marsh, make sure you plan your route to go downstream on the C-38 so you don't have to fight the current. Enjoy the fern-lined spoil banks along the old river that were created when the river was dredged for steamships. Today, the banks look like miniature river bluffs and boast many mature oaks.
Investigate Seaboard Marsh to the north by boat. If you put in from Platts Bluff, you'll have to head several miles north and go through the lock at S-65D, but you can also put in at other locations closer to Seaboard. Watch for blue gill beds in the spring and summer in the shallows of the riverside. It's difficult to decide where the best place is to see the old river, but Seaboard Marsh is near the top of the list. Lined with towering oaks and massive, moss-drenched cypress, and lit with silvery flashes of fluttering loblolly bay leaves, this shady stretch of the river is stunning. Old river cuts are ideal for airboat traffic and canoes, where accessible. North and South Seaboard marshes will be connected at the train trestle in several years when that stretch of the river is opened by removing thick, overgrown plants.
Telex and Seaboard are accessible only by boat, but you can get to Yates Marsh by car. There, landlubbers will enjoy a hike through the oak-lined eastern boundary of Yates where the Florida National Scenic Trail runs through it. Pitch a tent at the primitive campsite for a respite from hiking. Far from the bright lights of urban areas, Yates is also an ideal spot for stargazing.
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Activities by Site
- Seaboard Marsh: airboating, boating, canoeing, fishing, kayaking
- Telex Marsh: boating, canoeing, hunting, kayaking
- Yates Marsh: bicycling, camping (tent), fishing, hunting, stargazing
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission manages hunting on SFWMD lands.
Please visit www.myfwc.com regarding current hunt dates, regulations and directions to check stations to ensure the most accurate and latest information.
- Seaboard Marsh: Accessible by boat from C-38 and a grassed boat ramp off Underhill Road.
- Underhill Road: Take C.R. 721 (Nine Mile Grade) north from Hwy. 70 or south from Hwy. 98. Underhill Road is on the east side near the Butler Oaks Dairy. S-65D is at the east end of Underhill Road.
- Yates Marsh: Accessible by boat from the C-38 canal, old Kissimmee River, Platt's Bluff Road and a trailhead with parking on Lofton Road (NW 144th Trail) next to S-65D.
- Platt's Bluff: From Okeechobee, take Hwy. 70 west to Gache Road (NW 128th Drive). Take a right on Gache and travel north about 3.5 miles to Platts Bluff Road. Take a left on Platts Bluff and travel west about two miles. The concrete boat ramp is at the end of Platts Bluff at an undeveloped county park.
- Lofton Road (NW 144th Trail): From Okeechobee, take Hwy. 98 north for approximately 10 miles. Lofton Road turns left off Hwy. 98 just before the C.R. 68 intersection.
From Sebring and the west, take Hwy. 98 East to Basinger. Lofton Road is on the right just after crossing the double bridges of Cypress Slough, a very long cypress strand – normally a nesting area for a large vulture population.
- Telex Marsh: Telex is accessible from the old Kissimmee River and C-38. The most convenient way to get there is to put in at Platt's Bluff. The land immediately across the water from the boat ramp is Telex. It is also accessible from a Highlands County Park and boat ramp located off C.R. 721 (Nine Mile Grade) on Boat Ramp Road, immediately west of Telex Marsh.