A natural theme park awaits those with a hearty outdoor spirit.
The natural theme park of Lake Louisa State Park showcases a diversity of wildlife, including deer, bobcat, gopher tortoises, fox squirrel and flighted creatures like bald eagles and osprey. The park is home to 11 distinct natural plant communities and lies within the eastern boundary of the Green Swamp Area of Critical State Concern and the northern boundary of the Lake Wales Ridge.
The park’s three major lakes, Louisa, Hammond and Dixie, transforms idle observers into active participants with canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding. Bicycling is popular on the park’s seven miles of paved roads over rolling hills and on the 20 miles of unpaved multi-use trails.
Lake Louisa boasts 7 miles of paved roads and over 20 miles of unpaved multi-use trails for visitors to bike on. Mountain bikes or “fat” tire bikes are advised for off road trails, as some trails are sandy. Rental bikes for all ages are available at the Dixie Lake Picnic Area for use on the paved roads only. Rental rates per bike are $10 + tax per hour; $48 + tax per day; $169 + tax per week. Please watch for vehicles on the paved roads and use the marked bike lane. Helmets are highly recommended for all cyclists and Florida law requires helmets for cyclists age 16 and under.
Lake Louisa does not have a public boat ramp in the park. The nearest boat ramp access to Lake Louisa is at Palatlakaha River Park & Boat Ramp located at 12325 Hull Road in Clermont, FL 32711. However, we welcome boats with electric trolling motors provided they can be hand-carried to the water. Please note, for safety reasons, all boats must be off the water an hour before sunset. This also applies to overnight guests staying in the campground or cabin areas.
Lake Louisa has 60 full-facility campsites nestled between Dixie and Hammond Lake. Each site has 30 and 50 amp hookups. Some sites can accommodate rigs up to 50'. A dump station is located between Dixie Loop and Sandhill Loop. Campground amenities include two accessible bathhouses, two accessible fishing piers and a small accessible pavilion. Campsites 1, 34 and 36 are fully accessible and include a level concrete pad and are connected to the bathhouse by sidewalk and or paved surface. Pets are welcome; please adhere to all rules regarding pets in the campground in accordance with our Pet Policy.
Reservations may be made up to 11 months in advance through ReserveAmerica. Book online or call (800) 326-3521 (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) or Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) (888) 433-0287.
Hammock camping is available at select sites. Please call the Ranger Station at (352) 394-3969 for more details.
The equestrian primitive camp includes five horse paddocks, fire rings, non-potable water supply, picnic tables, one pavilion, grills and a self-compositing toilet. All five paddocks are available by reservation only. This is a beautiful area for camping, with sites located under the shade of a longleaf pine canopy. There is plenty of lush pasture at the sites where your horse(s) can graze. It is recommended that you bring other means of portable fencing or tie-downs in case the paddocks have all been reserved. Four large posts with eye-bolts for tie downs are provided in a couple of locations.
Campers arriving after the park closes must call the park by 5 p.m. the day of arrival to make arrangements to access the park after hours. Pets are allowed at the equestrian campsites in accordance with our Pet Policy.
Reservations can be made by calling the Ranger Station at (352) 394-3969 up to 11 months in advance. Payment is due at the time of arrival.
Lake Louisa has two primitive campsites, Wilderness Point and Pine Point. Both are tucked away in some of the more pristine and beautiful areas of the park. Pine Point is located next to Big Creek. The sites do not have any water or electricity, so please bring plenty of drinking water with you. Each site is equipped with a fire ring and picnic table. The sites accommodate up to four people at Wilderness Point and up to six people at Pine Point. They are not accessible by vehicle due to the remoteness and difficult terrain. The sites are pack in and pack out, including any trash that is generated. Pets are allowed at the campsites in accordance with our Pet Policy. Reservations are recommended and made by calling the ranger station at (352) 394-3969 up to 11 months in advance. Payment is collected at the time of arrival. Campers must arrive at the park one hour before sunset to allow enough time to register and safely get back to the site before dark.
Camping, Primitive Group
Three primitive youth campsites are available; each site accommodates up to 20 people. The sites are located south of the Park's equestrian primitive camp and equipped with a picnic table, fire ring, benches and charcoal grill. The sites have no electric or running water. A portable restroom is located in the parking area. The water at the restroom is not safe for drinking or cooking. Hammock camping for up to six people is available between sites one and two. Parking for the youth camp is located at the site's trailhead and is within 100 feet of the nearest site. Parking at the site(s) is prohibited to minimize impact to the native vegetation. One chaperone is required for each ten youths and chaperones must remain with the youths at all times. Groups must arrive at the park one hour before sunset to register. Pets are allowed at the campsites in accordance with our Pet Policy. Reservations can be made by calling the park at (352) 394-3969 up to 11 months in advance. Payment is made at the time of arrival.
Canoeing and Kayaking
Three person canoes and single / tandem kayaks are available for rent at the Dixie Lake Outpost for use on Beautiful Dixie Lake. The boats include life jackets, paddles and safety whistles.
Visitors can also bring their own canoes, kayaks and other small boats as long as they can be hand carried to the water. Gas motors are not permitted but electric trolling motors are.
Ample room for a daytime family reunion is available at the Lake Louisa picnic area. The tables and grills are first come-first served so we recommend arriving shortly after the park opens to secure enough tables and grills for your gathering. For a multi-day reunion we suggest renting some or all of the parks cabins. The cabins each accommodate six guests. When making your reservations be sure to request that the cabins are adjacent to one another (if available). This will provide you with a large area below the cabins for an outdoor gathering. For assistance with planning your special event, contact the ranger station at (352) 394-3969.
Fishing is available at Lake Louisa, Dixie Lake, Hammond Lake, Bear Lake and Smokehouse Lake. Hand launching of a small boat, canoe or kayak is permitted at each of the lakes. Electric trolling motors are permitted but gas powered motors are not. Lake Louisa can be fished from the shoreline while Dixie and Hammond Lakes have accessible fixed docks and Bear Lake has a floating dock. Smokehouse Lake is accessible only by a four-wheel drive vehicle and can only be fished by boat. You must register at the Ranger Station in order to fish Smokehouse Lake. The lakes offer anglers a chance to catch fish as well as see some of the park's abundant wildlife. Pick up a fishing regulations handbook at the ranger station upon your arrival (while supplies last). All fishing within the park must conform to regulations concerning size, number, method of capture and season. A fishing license may be required. More information is available at the Florida Wildlife Commission’s Fishing in Florida.
Geocaching is an outdoor game using hand-held global positioning systems (GPS) devices. It's effectively an inexpensive, interactive, high-tech treasure hunt that's a great way to learn geography. Participants use location coordinates to find caches. Some caches are easy to find; others are more difficult. The biggest reward is the thrill of the search and the discovery of a place where you have never been. Geocaching should have minimal impact to the environment and conscientious land use ethics should be followed.
Operation Recreation Geotour
Hiking is a favorite pastime at Lake Louisa. With over 20 miles of trails winding through the park's natural plant communities, you never know what you might see around the next bend. For those looking for a shorter hike, a half-mile nature trail is located at the Lake Louisa parking lot. This shaded and picturesque trail winds through three of the park's 11 natural communities with interpretive signs along the way. Be sure to ask for a trail map on your way into the park.
Picnic areas are available at the Lake Louisa day use area and the Dixie Lake day use area. Lake Louisa’s picnic area features tables (under the shade of oaks), charcoal grills, bathhouse, accessible playground and swimming area. Dixie Lake’s picnic area features an accessible four table picnic pavilion (first come-first served), charcoal grill, restroom, fishing dock and canoe/kayak launch.
Visitors are welcome to swim in Lake Louisa at the designated swimming area. Please be aware that no life guards are on duty and swimming is at your own risk. Pets are not permitted in the swimming area.
Swimming is not permitted at any other lakes in the park. Keep in mind that you may not be able to see the lake’s bottom even in shallow water as a result of naturally occurring tannins. This process takes place over time as water produced by rainfall slowly moves through the green swamp and into Lake Louisa by way of Big Creek and Little Creek. As the water flows over fallen leaves the tannin slowly leaches out and turns the water brown "tea colored."
Moss draped oak trees, beautiful vistas and picturesque lakes provide a fantastic backdrop for weddings. Please keep in mind, if you are planning on having the wedding or reception at the cabin area, we require rental of 1 cabin per 10 guests. Only 6 guests per cabin can remain in the park after the park closes. If you have any questions regarding cabin rental, please contact the Park's Ranger Station at (352) 394-3969. For assistance with planning your special day, view Wedding Information.
Wildlife viewing is a fun-filled activity for the entire family. Home to numerous species of wildlife including white-tail deer, bobcat, grey squirrel, fox squirrel, raccoon and opossum you never know what you might find just around the bend. Keep your eyes peeled for gopher tortoise, too. These seemingly slow land turtles occasionally emerge from their underground homes (burrows) to feed on grass and prickly pear cactus. Around the lakes, be watchful for Osprey (fish hawk) and the American Bald Eagle. Bird and butterfly checklists are available at the ranger station.
Lake Louisa State Park's 20 cabins overlook beautiful Dixie Lake. The cabins accommodate up to six people and have two bedrooms, two baths, full kitchen (with appliances) and dining/living room. Each cabin comes equipped with Central Heat/Air Conditioning, gas fireplace, dishes, pots and pans, silverware, linens, towels, picnic tables and rockers on the porch. All you need to bring is your food and personal items. To conserve energy, the fireplaces are out of service from March 1st to October 31st (or as seasonal weather permits). Televisions and phones are not provided. Cabins 16 and 17 are fully accessible and provide access to all major appliances, counter tops, bathroom/shower and fire ring.
Reservations may be made up to 11 months in advance through ReserveAmerica. Book online or call (800) 326-3521 (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) or telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) (888) 433-0287.
Pets are not permitted in cabins or cabin area. Service animals are welcome; please just let us know that you have a service animal at the time of arrival.
There is a minimum two night stay in cabins on weekends and holidays, either Friday and Saturday nights, or Saturday and Sunday nights. A single Friday or Saturday night may be reserved only if the following Saturday or Sunday night is already reserved.
Horse Equestrian Trail
Looking for a scenic place to ride your horse? The park offers 16 miles of marked trails that take riders through the picturesque landscape. Riders can access the park's trails one of two ways. The entrance for riders coming from the west is located at 12540 State Park Drive, Clermont, FL 34714 and is accessible off of Lake Nellie Road via C.R. 561. Please stop and pay the honor fee on your way in. Riders coming from the east can access the park through the main park entrance off of U.S. Highway 27. Both trail heads have non-potable water for horses, hitching posts, and kiosk with park information. Please bring proof of negative Coggins. If you are interested in camping with your horse check out the equestrian camping section for more information.
Domestic pets are permitted in all designated day-use areas including the trails, family camping area and primitive camps. They must be kept on a handheld leash that is six feet or shorter and be well-behaved at all times. Pet owners are required to pick up after their pets and properly dispose of their droppings. Pets are not permitted at the playground, swimming area, cabins or park buildings. Service animals are welcome in all areas of the park.
The playground is conveniently located at the Lake Louisa day use area. Designed for children of all abilities, it is sure to provide hours of fun and adventure. It includes multi-level climbing decks, activity panels, slides, swings and even a discovery cave. The playground is fully accessible and connects to the Lake Louisa bathhouse by sidewalk. It was designed for use by children ages 2-12. Adult supervision is required.
Lake Louisa's family campground offers two accessible bathhouses each with hot and cold running water, commodes, showers and sinks. The Lake Louisa Beach bathhouse offers cold (non-potable) running water, commodes, showers and sinks. Each of the 20 cabins have 2 full bathrooms including a commode, tub/shower and sink. Two of the cabins (16 and 17) are fully accessible. Clivus Multrum self-composting toilets (no water) can be found at the Dixie Lake day use area, the Lake Nellie day use area and at the Equestrian camping area.