Lake Louisa State Park - Orlando / Florida Guide
Florida Guide > Other Florida
If you are looking for a little bit of peace and tranquillity away from the hustle and bustle of US192 and the theme parks then a couple of hours at Lake Louisa State Park should do the trick.
Located on US27 just seven miles north of US192 Lake Louisa is by no means a scenic wonderland but it does offer lovely rolling countryside, not dissimilar to an English landscape, and is far removed from the crowds heading towards Walt Disney World and other attractions.
After passing the Ranger Station (admission $4 per car) a well-maintained tarmacadam road, with a number of parking places, meanders gently through the Park down to Dixie and Hammond Lakes as well as Lake Louisa itself.
It’s worth stopping along the way to marvel at the hundreds of acres of natural undisturbed orange groves and also to appreciate the ongoing sand dune restoration programme aimed at preserving the habitat of the Gopher Tortoise…which you might just be lucky enough to see. In fact Lake Louisa boasts the highest population density of Gopher Tortoises in the USA.
Lake Louisa itself is the largest in a chain of 13 lakes connected by the Palatlakaha River, which is designated as an Outstanding Florida Waterway. Along with its sister lakes of Dixie Lake and Hammond Lake, it provides access for fishing, canoeing, hiking and swimming.
On reaching the parking lot at the trailhead the lake is easily accessed by way of a boardwalk spanning a swampy area. The water’s brownish tea colour is thought to be the result of natural tannins produced in the wetlands to the north but we were assured that swimming was safe (under lifeguard conditions) and there was no danger of body staining, although the “beware of alligators” sign did little for confidence levels! !
You can take a walk along the water’s edge. The beach is pleasantly breezy and the temperature tends to be a little less than in the parking areas. There are some picnic tables along the way and restroom facilities are available at this location.
Hiking and biking trails can be accessed from the parking lot. Many of the trails are short (under a mile) but for those with plenty of stamina Bronsons Loop offers a six mile round trip.
It is a very natural environment without playgrounds or snack bars, but Lake Louisa provides the visitor with an opportunity for some tranquil relaxation before heading back refreshed, into the real world.
Well worth a visit.
The park opens between 8am until sunset each day.
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