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Hendry County

Located in Florida’s Heartland, rural Hendry County is home to the small towns of LaBelle and Clewiston and extensive agricultural acreage for pasture, and for crops such as sugarcane and citrus. The county is connected to Big Cypress National Preserve along its southern border and Lake Okeechobee in the northeast, and is home to multiple state managed conservation and recreation lands: Okaloacoochee Slough State Forest, Okaloacoochee Slough Wildlife Management Area (WMA), Dinner Island Ranch WMA, and Spirit-of-the-Wild WMA. The Seminole Tribe of Florida’s Big Cypress Reservation, in the southeastern portion of the county, includes visitor sites such as the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum.

Hendry county map showing trail towns, potential trail towns, and state parks.
Legend for county maps.


Hendry County includes a segment of the paved Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail (LOST), a major component of the state’s planned trails system. Notable unpaved trails include a segment of the Florida National Scenic Trail and hiking trails within Okaloacoochee Slough. LaBelle and Clewiston offer excellent opportunities to serve as trail destinations with historic sites, local parks, and businesses. Hendry County is also home to 11 Florida Heritage Trail Sites within the Native American Heritage, World War II Heritage, and other heritage trails and five Great Florida Birding Trail sites. With its small towns and connections to major natural areas such as Big Cypress, Lake Okeechobee, Okaloacoochee Slough, and the Everglades, Hendry County offers excellent potential opportunity for development of a regional trail network.
In 2009, the county developed a Comprehensive Pathway Plan and identified several miles of potential on- and off-road multimodal trails. The Sugar Trail Corridor is an east-west component within the planned Florida Greenways and Trails System and SUN Trail Network. The county’s comprehensive plan also includes provisions for development of trails including creation of a Blueway/Greenway system through West Hendry County.

Example Destinations in Hendry County


Hendry County offers many opportunities for outdoor recreation and tourism. Within the study area, it ranks 4th out of 6 counties for total outdoor recreation spending. Notably, spending in the County is three times higher than the next ranked county indicating that its outdoor recreation opportunities are being utilized. Nonetheless, the potential for expansion of outdoor recreation opportunities, in coordination with a focus on connectivity to small towns, is high. The following summarizes the annual spending by residents and tourists in Hendry County for activities which are often associated with a multi-use trail, based on the 2019 Statewide Conservation Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP).

The Total Outdoor Recreation Spending is $31.2M in Hendry County

Graphic showing Hendry county demographics.
Graphic showing resident and visitor spending for fitness walking, biking, hiking, and wildlife viewing for Hendry County.