Lake George Florida

Lake George Florida: A Hidden Gem for Boating and Fishing

Lake George is a broad and shallow brackish lake, located on the St. Johns River. It covers over 46,000 acres, making it the second-largest freshwater lake in Florida. The lake is surrounded by lush vegetation and diverse wildlife, making it a popular spot for outdoor enthusiasts.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day on the water, thrilling water sports, or a serene camping experience, Lake George has something to offer everyone. The lake’s pristine waters support diverse fish species, including largemouth bass, striped bass, catfish, and bluegill, making it a popular fishing destination. Local experts and guides can provide tips and techniques for fishing Lake George for bass, catfish, and panfish, and you can book online for a 4, 6, 8, or 12-hour trip with private groups and equipment.

In addition to fishing, Lake George offers opportunities for kayaking, boating, and jet skiing. Glass Bottom Kayak Tours of Silver Springs is a popular nearby attraction that offers kayaking tours of the lake. If you prefer to stay on land, the lake’s surrounding area offers hiking trails, picnic areas, and campgrounds.

Location and How to Get There

Lake George is located in the middle of the northern part of Florida.

  • From Jacksonville it is about 1.5 hours drive
  • From Orlando it is about 1.5 hours drive
  • From Tampa it is about 2.5 hours drive

You can use the following map for directions:

Geography and Ecology

Lake George is fed by the St. Johns River, which flows out of the lake at the north end at Rocky Point. The river is one of the few in the United States that flows north.

The lake’s ecology is unique and diverse, with a variety of wildlife that call it home. Alligators are a common sight in the lake, and visitors are advised to keep a safe distance from them. Marine animals such as mullet can also be found in the lake, as well as a variety of birds and mammals.

The lake’s marshes are home to a variety of plant life, including oaks and other trees. The forests surrounding the lake provide a sustainable habitat for many species of animals, making it a popular spot for hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities.

Historical Significance

The lake was first discovered by the Spanish Governor of Florida, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, in the spring of 1596. He explored the St. Johns River and named the lake “Lake Welaka,” which means “chain of lakes” in the Muskogee language of the Seminole.

During the 1700s, the British purchased Florida and Lake George became an important transportation route for the fur trade and other commerce. An explorer named John Bartram named the lake after King George III in 1765. The British built several forts along the St. Johns River to protect their interests, including Fort King George on the eastern shore of Lake George.

In the 1800s, steamboats began to travel up and down the St. Johns River, making Lake George a popular destination for tourists. The lake’s natural beauty and abundance of fish made it a popular spot for fishing and hunting.

During World War II, Lake George was used as a training ground for the Navy. The lake was used to train sailors in amphibious warfare, and the surrounding forests were used for jungle warfare training.

Today, Lake George is a popular destination for boaters, fishermen, and nature lovers. The lake’s crystal-clear waters and beautiful scenery make it a great place to relax and unwind. Whether you’re looking to fish, swim, or just take in the scenery, Lake George has something for everyone.

Recreation and Activities

If you are into boating, Lake George is the perfect destination for you. You can rent a boat from one of the many marinas and explore the lake at your leisure. The lake is also ideal for fishing, especially bass fishing. You can cast your line and try your luck at catching some of the biggest bass in the area.

For those who love hiking, there are several trails around the lake that offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape. You can also go camping in one of the many campsites around the lake. Spend your days hiking, fishing, and exploring, and then relax by the campfire at night.

If you are looking for water sports, Lake George has plenty to offer. You can rent a kayak or a canoe and paddle your way through the calm waters of the lake. You can also try your hand at water skiing or wakeboarding.

In addition to these activities, there are many other recreational activities that you can enjoy at Lake George. You can take a boat tour of the lake, go on a wildlife watching excursion, or simply relax on the beach and soak up the sun.

Fishing and Boating

If you’re an angler or boater, you’ll love Lake George in Florida. The lake is known for its excellent fishing opportunities, with a variety of fish species available to catch. Some of the most common fish in the lake include largemouth bass, bluegill, and black crappie.

The lake is also ideal for boating, with plenty of space to explore and enjoy the water. There are two boat ramps available, as well as a fishing pier and a canoe launch. If you don’t have your own boat, there are also rental options available in the area.

When fishing on Lake George, it’s important to follow all of the relevant regulations and guidelines. This includes obtaining the necessary fishing licenses, practicing catch and release, and using appropriate gear. Additionally, it’s important to be aware of any potential hazards on the lake, such as submerged logs or other obstructions.

Hiking and Camping

There are several hiking trails in the park, ranging from easy to moderate difficulty, and all of them offer stunning views of the lake framed by live oaks overhung with Spanish moss. One of the most popular trails is the Lake George Trail, which is a round-trip walk along the shoreline of Lake George. It is one of Florida’s largest lakes, and you will be able to see it up close and personal on this trail.

If you’re looking to spend the night, there are several camping options available within the park. The River Road Campground is located in the Lake George State Forest and has campsites with no electric, communal pitcher pump (non-potable), and portalets. The campground is perfect for those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy the peace and quiet of nature.

Before you go on your hiking or camping adventure, make sure to bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and insect repellent. It can get hot and humid in Florida, so it’s important to stay hydrated and protected from the sun and bugs. Don’t forget to pack a camera to capture the beautiful scenery and wildlife that you will encounter on your journey.

Wildlife Viewing

Lake George is a great place to observe wildlife in their natural habitat. The area is home to a variety of species, including Florida black bears, southern fox squirrels, gopher tortoises, and bald eagles. You can also spot alligators, turtles, and deer while exploring the lake’s shores or hiking through nearby nature trails.

One of the best ways to observe the wildlife is by taking a guided tour. You can find many local tour operators who offer guided tours of the lake and its surroundings. These tours are led by experienced guides who are knowledgeable about the area’s flora and fauna. They can help you identify the different species and provide you with interesting facts about their behavior and habitat.

If you prefer to explore on your own, there are many trails around Lake George that are perfect for hiking and wildlife viewing. The Lake George Trail and the Nine Mile Point Trail are two popular trails that offer scenic views of the lake and its surroundings. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars and a camera to capture the wildlife in action.

When observing wildlife, it’s important to remember to keep a safe distance and not disturb their natural behavior. Do not feed the animals or approach them too closely. Always respect their space and remember that you are a guest in their home.

Visitor Information

Travel Tips

If you are planning to visit Lake George, Florida, there are a few things you should know before you go. First, make sure you have the right travel documents, including a valid ID and any necessary permits or licenses. You can find information about these requirements on the Lake George Community and Visitors Guide website.

When it comes to accessing Lake George, there are several access points available. Some of the most popular ones include the Lake George Fishing Pier, the RV Park, and the various marinas and boat ramps. You can find more information about these access points and their locations on the Lake George Community and Visitors Guide website.

Accommodations and Facilities

If you are planning to stay in Lake George for a few days, there are several accommodations and facilities available to you. For those who enjoy camping, there are several campgrounds located in the area. Some popular options include the Lake George Campground and the Lake George RV Resort.

If you prefer to stay in a hotel or motel, there are several options available in the nearby town of Astor. Some popular options include the Blackwater Inn and the Castaways on the River.

When it comes to facilities, there are several options available as well. The Lake George Fishing Pier is a popular spot for anglers, while the various marinas and boat ramps make it easy to launch your boat and explore the lake. Additionally, there are several picnic areas and hiking trails located throughout the area.

Weather and Foliage

The weather in Lake George, Florida is typically warm and sunny, with temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to the mid-90s. However, it is important to keep in mind that the weather can be unpredictable, so it is always a good idea to bring appropriate clothing and gear.

If you are planning to visit Lake George in the fall, you are in for a treat. The foliage in the area is stunning, with vibrant colors and beautiful scenery. Additionally, the cooler temperatures make it a great time to explore the hiking trails and other outdoor activities in the area.


One of the most popular events in Lake George is the Blue Crab Festival. This festival celebrates the town’s fishing heritage and is held every year in May. Visitors can enjoy fresh seafood, live music, arts and crafts, and a variety of activities for the whole family.

In addition to the Blue Crab Festival, Lake George hosts a number of other events throughout the year. The Lake George Art and Craft Festival takes place every August and features over 100 artists and crafters from around the country. You can also enjoy live music at the LGCB Summer Concert Series, held at Shepard Park Amphitheater in Lake George.

For classical music lovers, the Lake George Music Festival is a must-see. This festival takes place over two weeks in August and features talented young performers from around the world. Daily shows and activities include lectures, showcases, and meet and greets, as well as symphony, chamber, and pops shows.