Dinner Island Ranch

By Grant Rice,
Last Updated: Friday, June 30, 2017, 3:59 PM EDT

Located about 30 miles southwest of Lake Okeechobee you'll find Dinner Island Ranch Wildlife Management Area where sweeping vistas and abundant wildlife create an outstanding destination for outdoors enthusiasts of all kinds.

Originally, Dinner Island's dry prairies, cypress domes, freshwater marshes, pine flatwoods and hammocks were a part of the Kissimmee/Everglades Watershed. To satisfy the demand for flood protection and dry ranchlands, water flow across natural landscapes such as Dinner Island was altered by ditching and canal construction that began in the mid-19th century.The disruption of natural fire cycles and planting of cattle forage, citrus and sugarcane further altered plant communities. Despite these changes, Dinner Island has continued to attract and sustain many resident and migratory wildlife species.

You'll find world-class birding at the ranch but viewing wildlife is only one small part of the wealth of things to do there. Roads winding through the ranch provide opportunities for a scenic drive through the natural Florida landscape along with great hiking, bicycling and horseback riding.

Plenty of ponds scattered around the property allow for several fishing opportunities, just don't be surprised if you have a cow on the other side of the pond watching the show. Hunting is also permitted on the ranch where you'll have your chance at deer, turkey, hog, dove and migratory birds.

Be sure to have the appropriate license for fishing there. Take a look at the hunting regulations summary and hunting season calendar before visiting.

There is even a huge list of wildlife you're likely to find at the ranch.

Dinner Island bird list.

For more information, visit their website.

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