Lake Louisa State Park is the newer addition to the Florida State Parks family (its campground was opened in 2003). Not far from Orlando, this park is noted for its beautiful lakes, rolling hills and scenic landscapes. Lake Louisa is the largest lake in the chain of 13 lakes, and it is a spectacular Florida Water Way. Lake Louisa State Park is in the northeast corner of the Green Swamp. By the way, the Green Swamp is a big swamp in Florida. There are the headwaters of the Peace River, Withlacoochee River, Ocklawaha River, and Hillsborough River: such as a remarkable place, you know…
Our first visit to Lake Louisa State Park was two years ago, during our very first RV traveling. We did not have much time to explore the park at that time, but the place made an impression, that was worth to come back. As it was mentioned above, the park and the campground are pretty new, so there are not much shade as of now That means that the best time to camp here is winter, (if you are not one of the sun-lovers maniac). The end of April is a risky time – it may be very hot already. But we were lucky: the weather was dull, and not hot at all.
There is a campground map. As you can see, the campground is located between two lakes - Hammond and Dixie lakes, but there are no waterfront sites, and the lakes are hidden by heavy vegetation.
We stayed on site #11
Lakes are the main attraction of this place. Fishing and boating is possible, but boats may use only electrical motors (Lake Louisa is probably exception). This is Hammond Lake:
Dixie Lake is on the opposite side of the campgrounds and it is much bigger:
But even the big Dixie Lake can not be compared with Lake Louisa, which is really big!
A small scientific inquiry: “Lake Louisa is the southernmost lake in the Palatlakaha chain of lakes. There lakes and their connecting waterways are known for their quality ans are considered outstanding Florida waters. The Green Swamp, which lies to the southwest of the park, is the primary source of water for these lakes as water flows slowly north through the wetlands of Green Swamp, decaying vegetation dissolves in the water and forms a mild acid, tannic acid which gives these waters their tea color. It is not harmful to humans or to the fish and wildlife which make these waters their home. The hills which surround lake louisa were formed thousands of years ago, when they were sand dunes along what we now know as the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Although far inland now at one time ocean waves broke on these hills…”
It seems like the park was a citrus plantation in the past. There are lot of citrus trees around! If you visit the park at the right time, you don’t need to go to shop for fresh oranges or mandarins – you may take them just right from the trees!
Honestly, we were more interested in hiking and biking trails then in shopping. And I have to say, there are a lot traile there. For hikers, there are more than 25 miles of trails! There are different type of trails there – for hiking, biking and for horse riding. All trails are well designated. Open areas interspersed with sun shaded, and the solid surface with a sandy trails. We liked trails closed to Lake Louisa – they are mostly shady and not very sandy,that is good for bilking.
Of course, we were not able to explore all 25 miles of trails, we did not see Bear and Smokehouse Lakes… It means that we have a good reason to visit Lake Louisa state park again. In fact, I already made a reservation for next January.