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So after the disappointment of Sarasota and the Red Tide preventing us from visiting the beaches we were back on the road at 8.30am.
We decided to drive straight through to Celebration for a stroll around the lakes followed by lunch at Columbia.
There was a small tortoise on the walkway. We also looked at the shops which are a bit disappointing and very touristy – OK to browse.
Lunch was amazing as usual – I tried something new a sauted beef stew called Steak Saltedo – fantastic. My friend chose a mojito (comes with sugar cane) gazpacho and Steak with onions, plantain and rice.
Leaving room for a scoop of Kilwin’s – I tried the Georgia Peach which was apparently flavor of the day meaning I got 2 scoops for the price of 1!
With 6 lakes, 20 miles of hiking trails, picnic pavilion, swimming in Lake Louisa plus sleeping cabins.
Only about half an hour from Walt Disney World you will find the sanctuary and calm of Lake Louisa State Park. Take Hwy 192 west from I4 about 9 miles, head North 8 miles on US27 and follow the signs.
We think September is the ideal time to visit, the temperatures are nice, the humidity has calmed down so the wildlife is usually out an about during daytime hours. We have seen armadillo, deer, fish and the gopher tortoises.
Keep your eyes peeled – we have seen Gopher Tortoises along the roadside on the US192, on the way into Disney on the verges, Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Louisa State Park and at Wewiva Springs. One time there was one in the middle of the road and we were so worried that it might get hit by a vehicle that we pulled over to assist it to the other side – I have never seen a tortoise shift quicker than it did as we approached!
This gallery contains 11 photos.
Taking a break from the hustle and bustle of the theme parks and driving into Lake Louisa State Park, it is like stepping back in time. A time before all modern day technology.
Lake Louisa State Park is located on the US Highway 27, 7 miles south of State Road 50 in Clermont. Admission is still only $5 per vehicle – with a max number of 8 people per vehicle – if there is only 1 of you then you only pay $4! If you want to enter by foot or bicycle then it is a mere $2.
Lake Louisa is the largest of a chain of 13 lakes and you are able to swim in this lake – during peak season there is a lifeguard on duty. A white sandy beach provides a lovely area for relaxation and picnics. Please remember it is against Florida law to sunbathe topless.
Fishing, canoeing and kayaking are all available on Lake Louisa and also on Hammond Lake and Dixie Lake. We have been fishing here and while doing so spotted Armadillos and Gopher tortoises ambling along.
Other wildlife that you may encounter include white-tail deer, bald eagles, osprey, raccoons, fox squirrels and even bobcats.
With 7 miles of paved roads and over 20 miles of unpaved multi-use trails, Lake Louisa is a great place for hiking and bicycling. Rental bikes for all ages are available at the Ranger Station for use on the paved roads only. Rental rates are currently $8.00 + tax per hour per bike or $5.00 + tax per hour per bike if more than one bike is rented. Florida law requires helmets for cyclists age 16 and under
For the under 12s there is a playground right next door to the Lake Louisa day use area. The playground includes a discovery cave, multi-level climbing decks, activity panels, swings and slides.
Opening hours are from 8.00am until sundown 365 days a year