GLADES COUNTY


County Offices
500 Avenue J SW
Moore Haven 863-946-0300
http://gladescountyedc.com/

Chamber of Commerce
998 U.S. 27 North
Moore Haven 863-946-0400

The rural region known as Glades County is located along U.S. Highway 27, approximately an hour’s drive from the expanded amenities in Fort Myers. Florida’s cross-stage waterway, the Caloosahatchee River, plays a central role in Glade County opportunities and culture. This productive area supports cattle, farming, fishing, sugar cane, citrus, and sand-mining industries as well as tourism. Thriving agribusiness industries for fertilizer and mulch are among the major employers in Glades County.

Throughout this corner of the Florida Heartland, newcomers will discover the serenity and natural beauty of a simpler time. Civic groups, churches, and schools dominate the family-oriented communities where shop and cafe owners know their customers by name and neighbors stop to chat or wave hello. Residents live in touch with their natural surroundings, enjoying the panoramic beauty of Caloosahatchee River, abundant wildlife, pristine woodlands, sparkling lakes, and trails shaded by moss-laden oaks or pathways through palm forests.

Services
The natural beauty of rural Glades County sets a scenic backdrop for close-knit communities, where residents enjoy easy access to quality amenities and services. Public and private schools are available on all educational levels in Glades County, and students of all ages have the advantage of the programs offered at the Southwest Florida Career Center. Two-year degrees, certifications, specialized training, career programs, and college-track programs are available on a variety of campuses and satellite offices for Palm Beach Community College, Edison Community College, and Indiantown Community College. The vast resources and diverse programs at Florida Gulf Coast University are only an hour’s drive from Glades County in the city of Fort Myers.

State-of-the-art healthcare services are available regionally at the Florida Heartland Medical Center and Hendry Regional Medical Center. Located on the banks of panoramic Lake Okeechobee in Glades County, Raulerson Hospital offers a 101-bed acute-care institution close to home. Routine and advanced medical and surgical services are available on an inpatient and outpatient basis. Specialty services and areas of expertise at Raulerson Hospital include cardiopulmonary disease, diabetes education, pain management, sleep disorders, physical rehabilitation, total joint replacement, and gastric bypass surgery.

Lifestyle
Glades County offers a peaceful countryside where the atmosphere is casual and relaxed, and time seems to stand still. Newcomers can leave behind endless rows of stop lights and bustling traffic for true serenity in an environment that is rich in wildlife and the sounds of nature. The incredibly beautiful Caloosahatchee River combines with Fisheating Creek and Lake Okeechobee, the nation’s second largest freshwater lake, to ensure world-class fishing and birding. In fact, throngs of nature students and birdwatchers converge each year on Glades County for the Big “O” Birding Festival. Other popular pastimes include biking, hiking, camping, boating, canoeing, hunting, and water sports. Buckhead Ridge Marina, located in the Lakeport area just east of the county line in Okeechobee County, provides boat ramps, campsites, and a restaurant for fishing, boating, and relaxation.

Treasures from the past are preserved in Glades County in natural sites like the Ortona Indian Mounds and the Lone Cypress Tree as well as in venues like the Cypress Knee Museum. Colorful festivals and celebration bring together family, friends, and neighbors for events like the Brighton Reservation Festival & Rodeo, the Catfish Festival, the Chaol-Nitka Festival & Rodeo, the Ortona Cane Grinding Festival, and the Sour Orange Festival. Those who are interested in acreage property, small farms, ranches, or homes in the country will find an abundance of opportunities in Glades County. Although Moore Haven is the county seat and the only incorporated municipality in the region, other communities like Buckhead Ridge are growing rapidly. Many retirees, especially, are discovering a peaceful retreat and world-class recreation in Glades County. Established neighborhoods contrast with newer construction in this decidedly rural area, where simple pleasures are always close at hand.


Buckhead Ridge
County Offices
863-946-6002
http://gladescountyedc.com/

Chamber of Commerce

863-946-0400

Near the community of Lakeport is the unincorporated area known as Buckhead Ridge, characterized as a retirement haven. Founded by the cattle rancher Leland C. Pearce in the 1960s, Buckhead Ridge was originally intended to be a weekend fishing resort. Pearce dredged a series of canals and began selling waterfront lots to interested tourists and Glades County residents. Because the outline of the subdivision resembled a deer’s head, the name Buckhead Ridge was selected. Today, thousands of waterfront homes dot the area, which continues to grow and develop. Residents can access Lake Okeechobee through a set of locks, enhancing the appeal for boaters and anglers. Although the city of Moore Haven is the county seat, the unique community of Buckhead Ridge is the most densely populated in the county. With its waterfront restaurant and lush county park, the area is a popular choice for bass tournaments, duck hunters, and vacationers. Okeechobee City is just five miles away, offering hospitals and shopping conveniences.

Lakeport
County Offices
863-946-6002
http://gladescountyedc.com/

Chamber of Commerce

863-946-0400

Lakeport in northern Glades County, situated along with northwestern shore of Lake Okeechobee, was originally founded in 1913 as Lakeport Colony. Hog production was once a major source of income in this area until the 1960s when hogs were declared a game animal by the state. Once the railroad reached the city of Okeechobee and shipments could be easily made to the northern states, Lakeport became the “fish capital” of Florida. Because of large-scale seine netting in the early years that greatly reduced the species of fish, bass now predominate. Today, Lake Okeechobee is widely recognized as the “Bass Capital” of the world. Residents of Lakeport enjoy exceptional lakefront recreation that includes hiking, biking, boating, fishing, and water sports. The city of Okeechobee in neighboring Okeechobee County greatly expands the urban amenities that are available close to home.

Moore Haven
Municipal Offices
863-946-0711
www.moorehaven.org

Chamber of Commerce

863-946-0400

Situated along the Caloosahatchee River, a vital part of Florida’s Intracoastal Waterway, the community of Moore Haven thrives on tourism as well as the agribusiness industries of cattle, fishing, sugar cane, produce, and citrus. Serving as the county seat, Moore Haven hosts some of the area’s major celebrations and festivals including the Chalo Nitka Festival and Frontier Days which features a parade, live entertainment, and a rodeo. Beautiful Lake Okeechobee provides a scenic backdrop for recreational opportunities and outdoor adventure. Popular sports and activities include camping, boating, water sports, hiking, horseback riding, and biking. Residents enjoy the commercial conveniences of a small city at the edge of spectacular natural resources. The Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail is part of the Florida National Scenic Trail, offering 110 miles of trails for hikers and cyclists around the lake as it winds along the rim of the 35-foot high Herbert Hoover Dike.

Ortona
County Offices
863-946-6002
www.moorehaven.org

Chamber of Commerce

863-946-0400

The small but vibrant rural community of Ortona is nestled along the Caloosahatchee River near the Ortona Lock. Commercial and private boats pass by daily using the Okeechobee Waterway, a route that links the Gulf of Mexico with the Atlantic Ocean. Complemented by bike paths and a boat launch, the banks of the river and the river itself offer excellent fishing for tarpon, bass, and other species. Ortona is home to the county’s 32-acre cemetery where casualties of early century hurricanes and epidemics are buried. The nearby Ortona Indian Mound Park, a state historical site, represents the remains of an important village of the extinct Caloosahatchee Native American tribes. The local public library and adjacent playground are now connected via a two-mile recreational path to the camping park and the rest of the community. As a fundraiser for the fire department, residents welcome visitors each year to the Cane Grinding Festival. Ortona offers a family-oriented environment with frequently scheduled children’s activities and active civic groups.

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