On our way to Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park a few weeks ago we took a detour to Lake Louisa State Park and I am oh so glad we did! What a great park! This gem is located just south of Clermont in Central Florida. It’s a short drive from Champions Gate and Disney, but you feel like you’re a million miles away.
Lake Louisa State Park has something for everyone. They have everything from camping to equestrian trails to canoeing to hiking and so much more. There are so many things to do!
Coming from Southwest Florida the rolling hills in this park were a welcome sight. We are so used to flat ground! Speaking of hills, the cabins that the park has are located up on a hill overlooking the lake below. It is so picturesque! I could definitely see my family sitting around the campfire at dusk looking out over the still Lake Dixie. Perfection! The lanai is outfitted with with rocking chairs for you to take in the beauty and just relax. Such a breathtaking location! The park has 17 cabins that can be rented for about $120 (plus tax and fees) per night. They can hold up to 6 guests and include all of the linens. Reservations and more information can be found on Reserve America.
If cabin camping isn’t your thing don’t worry! Lake Louisa also offers a regular campground, a primitive campground, primitive group campground, and equestrian campground. Literally, there is something for every camper! The regular campsites include flat, gravel sites that include water and electric. If you’ve forgotten an item and don’t want to run out to the store you can take a quick trip into the Camper Canteen. In the Camper Canteen you’ll be able rent canoes, kayaks, bicycles, and fishing gear. There’s a nice dock located right across the street from the Canteen, perfect for fishing or bird watching! A second dock is located next to the bath house and laundry facilities. This dock has a kayak/canoe launch and some the biggest, coolest lily pads we’ve ever seen!
Lake Louisa S.P. also offers 20 miles of hiking trails that wind through 11 different natural plant communities. While hiking be on the lookout for everything from bobcats, deer, gopher tortoise, osprey, and bald eagles. You’ll likely be in for a wildlife treat in this park! For more info on what this park has to offer check out Lake Louisa’s Experiences and Amenities. The park’s trail map can be found here.
A must-stop spot in the park is Lake Louisa! The short, shaded boardwalk will bring you right from the parking lot to the lake, bath house, beach, and playground. This is a lake like I’ve never seen before! The water in the lake is very deep, dark reddish-brown. It looks like tea! The reason it is so dark is because of the tannic acid found in the lake. You can swim in the lake, but there are no lifeguards on duty and swimming is at your own risk.
Down at the lake you’ll notice a monument for a fallen hero, Dean R. Gilmore. If you’d like to read more about his story you can check it out here – https://www.swissmustangs.ch/dean-r.-gilmore-tribute.shtml.
Lake Louisa State Park is definitely a ‘must-see’ if you ask us! I am so glad we decided to take that detour and explore a part of Florida we didn’t know existed. If you’re looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of life this is the place for you! If you do take a trip to Lake Louisa be sure to let us know and post pictures on our Facebook page, we love to see everyone’s adventures!
The park is open 365 days a year from 8am to sundown. Admission is $5 per car (2-8 people) or $4 for a single occupant. You can reach the park by calling (352)394-3969. Lake Louisa State Park is located at 7305 U.S. Hwy 27, Clermont, FL 34714.
Don’t forget to get your Hike It Florida Passport book stamped at the park while you’re there! You can buy one here.