The dead lakes in Wewahitchka Florida is one of the most unique places and hidden gems of the State. This hidden gem on Florida’s Forgotten Coast is one of the most beautiful and little-visited outdoor recreation areas in Florida. This was once a hardwood forest that sat between the Chapala and Apalachicola River. This area became a 6700-acre maze-like swamp of dying trees as a result of a blocked flow of the Chapala from the Apalachicola River with shifting sandbars. This created an amazing diverse outdoor area with remnants of fascinating old-growth forest that has given way to Cypress and Tupelo trees and plenty of native wildlife. The name dead lakes come from the area’s formation amongst several dead old-growth trees.
This area has a great reputation as one of the best little-known fishing spots on the Forgotten Coast area avid fisherman who are in the know from all over come here. Some of the fish that are plentiful within the dead lakes include shellcracker, bream, and bass. The fish love to make homes within the submerged logs and stumps of the old trees. Due to so many large branches underneath the water surface, motorboats are advised to be extremely cautious in the lakes. Kayaking is another hugely popular sport on the dead lakes. There are also many different types of birds as well as turtles in the water.
This is the site of the famous Tupelo trees from which honeybees gather Tupelo Honey. Wewahitchka is the world’s largest producer of this type of honey, which is also called the champagne of honey for its smooth and sweet taste. There was a movie made about the beekeeping process to make Tupelo Honey in 1997 entitled “Ulee’s Gold” starring Peter Fonda which was filmed at the Dead Lakes.
The dead lakes can be a huge confusing maze and easy to get lost in. So, if you are visiting this wonderful Forgotten Coast hidden gem located in Wewahitchka it is best to start out by taking a guided tour. There are many great tours at the dead lakes starting from the town of Port Saint Joe and up through the waterways where are you end at the dead Lakes recreation area and park. It is one of the most beloved Forgotten Coast day trips of those that know about it.
How to get to the Dead Lakes recreation area
The Dead Lakes recreation area is located just off of State Route 71 about a mile north of the actual limits of Wewahitchka. You can get there by turning right on Raul Road into the park and right again when the road splits past the pond and then follow it to the boat ramp. You can paddle east along the west arm of the water to enter the Dead Lakes which are about a mile from the boat ramp where you drop your boat into the water.
You can access the northern section of the Dead Lakes through Cypress Creek. Cypress Creek is located near the intersection of State Route 71 and State Route 73. You’ll find several signs directing you how to get to Cypress Creek. The boat ramp here is more rustic and there are no facilities available.
There are also a few local Fish Camps around the lake that can be accessed for a small daily fee.