Explore the scenic beauty of Dead Lakes in Wewahitchka, Florida

October 24, 2014

Fall colors come out on the cypress trees along the Western Arm creek area of Dead Lakes. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors
Fall colors come out on the cypress trees along the Western Arm creek area of Dead Lakes. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Interested in a unique paddling, boating and great fishing opportunities? Head over to Wewahitchka, Florida and explore the beautiful Dead Lakes area.

The 6,700-acre Dead Lakes offer an abundance of great fishing for largemouth bass, crappie, shellcracker, bream, and catfish. It is also home to hundreds of cypress trees, both live and dead, giving the lake a hauntingly beautiful look. The lake is part of the Chipola River, which is the largest tributary to the Apalachicola River nearby. Dead Lakes was reportedly formed when sand bars created by the Apalachicola River’s current blocked the Chipola River, the ensuing high water killed thousands of trees in the floodplain, leaving a graveyard of bottom heavy cypress skeletons, stumps and knees. Another theory on why the trees perished comes from when the lake was a dammed in 1960. In 1987 it was removed.

Great fishing on Dead Lakes. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors
Great fishing on Dead Lakes. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Note: One must be use caution when maneuvering a kayak, canoe, or boat, as many stumps are close to the water’s surface.

One of the prettiest areas to explore is the southern end named Western Arm Creek. You may spot turtles, great blue herons, ibis, kingfishers, and a variety of songbirds.

Beautiful views along Dead Lakes. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors
Beautiful views along Dead Lakes. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Kayak and canoe access can easily be made under the bridge on Hwy. 71. A larger boat ramp facility is located at the Dead Lakes Recreation Area. ::MAP::

Camping facilities are also offered at Dead Lakes Recreation Area. 20 RV spots and 7 primitive campsites, restrooms, showers, laundry facilities, a playground, picnic areas, are all neatly combined in a family friendly park.  Campsites are $20/night on a first come, first serve basis. Call (850) 227-8693 for more information.

About Wewahitchka: Wewahitchka (or Wewa as the locals call it) is a small town that offers a park, small café, bait and tackle store, and is home to many beekeepers who harvest Tupelo honey. Third generation beekeepers, the L.L. Lanier family, inspired the movie Ulee’s Gold, starring Peter Fonda, and assisted in making the movie.