Tuesday, January 27, 2015

1/27 Ortona South Recreation Area

Ortona South is a Corps of Engineering campground built next to a dam and lock on the Okeechobee Canal.  This canal has several sets of locks and dams and enables boaters to travel from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico directly across southern Florida.  Like all COE campgrounds I have stayed at, it is very well taken care of.  Other nice thing is that because it is a federal facility, it is half-price to anyone over the age of 62 or disabled.  This also means it is filled with old people, which is fine with me! 
Here is a photo of the dam.  The lock is to the far right.

What is really nice is that they allow people to walk across the dam to view the locks.

Florida has had some heavy rains in the past few days, so they were dumping a lot of water out of Lake Okeechobee, hence the large amount of water being released.

This is the entrance to the lock from the east.  The water on this side is about 7-8 feet higher than the western side. 

 Facing west down the lower part of the lock.

Nice setup for watching boats go through the locks.  There are supposed to occasionally be manatees in this area, but I did not see any.

Here you can see the lock on the left and the dam entrance of the right.

And a view of my campsite from the dam. 

I like to stay in Corps of Engineering campgrounds whenever I can.  Not only are they cheap, but they also are much better maintained than state and other federal campgrounds.  Larger spots and more spread out than commercial campgrounds, as well.  And finally, they tend to be around lakes and dams built by the COE. 

View of the dam from downstream.

And looking back toward my campsite!  Notice all the bird houses.  No wonder I woke up this morning to the sounds of birds chirping.

No comments:

Post a Comment