Learning there are abandoned towns in Florida? Check.

Visiting an abandoned town for the very first time? Check.

Being creeped out by the ghost town? Double-Check.

 

When you think of creepy, abandoned towns, you probably think of the West. Or the Deep South. Or maybe old nuclear test sites in Nevada. But surely not Florida, right? Wrong. As we recently discovered, there are actually many creepy ghost towns right here in our home state. Interestingly enough, the small and mostly abandoned community of Bryant, Florida, is only forty-five minutes due west of us, so we decided to satisfy our creepy bug and explore the once-thriving sugarcane colony near Lake Okeechobee. Not knowing what to expect, we brought along a few extra “survival” items.

 

Satellite View of Bryant, Florida

Ghost Town by Satellite

 

The Bryant Sugar Mill, which opened in 1962, produced as much as 20 billion pounds of sugar before it was shuttered up in 2007. The U.S. Sugar Corporation Commissary building and the mill are still standing, holding onto the past, but the streets that were once filled with homes are gone. As in poof. Nothing left. Just the empty shell of crumbling streets and road signs that lead nowhere.

As we snapped a few photos and snuck a peek down a few of the abandoned roads (marked “Keep Out”), we couldn’t help but imagine how life must have been for the hardworking families that once called this place home. Surrounded by miles and miles of sugar cane fields, the abandoned buildings, roads, and even the small ball field at the center of the town sat dormant, waiting for people to stop by for a look, albeit a quick one. Perhaps one day Bryant will be memorialized as a historic park? One could only hope.

 

Bryant USSC Commissary Building

USSC Commissary Building

 

Bryant Abandoned Road

Roads Closed

 

Bryant Road Sign

Bryant

 

Bryant US Sugar Mill 1

No Work Here

 

Bryant US Sugar Mill 2

Still Standing

 

As we wrapped up our first official ghost town experience, we decided to head further west to see Lake Okeechobee for the very first time. Yes, sadly, as long as we both have been living in Florida, neither one of us has ever visited “The Big O.” Making our way through the “don’t blink or you’ll miss it” Canal Point township, we spotted one of the scenic entrances to the lake and made our way up the narrow roadway. “Oh, wow” was our first reaction upon our first glimpse of the massive body of water in the middle of the state. We had a perfect vantage point to see just how large “The Lake” really is.

 

Lake Okeechobee From Canal Point

Wide Open

 

Lake Okeechobee Boat Ramp By Canal Point

Bring It

 

As we stared out at the lake, we imaged what long-forgotten towns might lay on the other side. It’s often said that sharing a new adventure with the ones you love will bring you closer in many ways. It’s a hell of a concept, and a true one at that. So what should our next adventure be? Another ghost town? A hard-to-reach Florida island? A forgotten Florida castle? Send us a message. We’ll leave it to you to decide where we head next.