Category Archives: Lake Louisa State Park

Around Dixie Lake

We spent a few days last week at Lake Louisa State Park.  We stayed in one of their very nice 2 bedroom cabins with our friends Nancy and Howard T.  The cabins are up high with a fabulous views of Dixie Lake, one of the three main lakes in the park.  The photos in this blog post are all of this lake.

We were eating dinner on  Tuesday evening when this started to develop.  I quickly grabbed my camera, excused myself, and rushed to photograph this superb sunset.

View from the shore of Dixie Lake at duskView from the shore of Dixie Lake at dusk

We also enjoyed riding our bicycles – the hills are a change from the flatlands where we live.  Returning from a ride on Monday, Howard noticed this Sundog – one of the most colorful I’ve seen.

SundogSundog

The cabins are just a short walk from the lake shore. The reflections and reeds made a pretty scene even in the middle of the day.

View from the shore of Dixie LakeView from the shore of Dixie Lake

Across the lake from the cabins, the park has kayaks for rent.  Wednesday morning we started there and paddled all the way ’round.  It was windy and got stronger as we went, but we planned well and travelled clockwise which helped a bunch.  The eastern shore sheltered us from the strongest winds and on the last bit along the western shore, the wind moved us along at a good clip.  I like the many interesting trees and stumps we saw on the way.

Cypress stumpCypress stump

Wildlife was scarce on this visit.  We did see a gopher tortoise on the way in and a few birds including (what I think was) a Common Nighthawk, a hawk or two, ducks going after fish and some others.  I didn’t spot any deer, turkey, or even alligators but I’m sure they’re there.

Lake Louisa is close to Orlando and a wonderful place to relax and get away from it all.  I  highly recommend going if you get the chance!  You can see other posts I’ve written about it here on the blog.  And I’ve collected an album of Lake Louisa photos here on Flickr.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!

©2016, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

Lake Louisa State Park – Nov. 1, 2014

Lynn and I went back to Lake Louisa State Park last weekend and spent a very relaxing couple of days.  It was a little chilly – our first Florida “cold” front rolled through while we were there and made us both appreciate the gas fireplace in the cabin.  We didn’t see as much wildlife this time, but I did enjoy making some photos.  Here’s one at sunset from just behind the cabin, looking out over Lake Dixie.  I like the way the field glows in the light coming through the trees.

Grass, trees, lake, and sun
Grass, trees, lake, and sun

The sky was very clear after the cold front, so there were no dramatic clouds to work with.  I think the low morning sun on the trees and the mist on the water  look nice in black and white.

Morning mist - B&W
Morning mist

There weren’t as many flowers blooming as there were last May.  But the few we did see were lovely.  These were along a path just off the road.

Wildflowers
Wildflowers

Lake Louisa is a wonderful, relaxing getaway in Clermont, Florida – very close to Orlando.  If you haven’t been, check it out.  My full writeup on the park is at this link and this set on Flickr has many more photos I made there.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now, go make some photos!

©2014, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

Lake Louisa Follow up – 5 Mile Road

When I wrote about Lake Louisa State Park a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t know about 5 Mile Road.  It’s just  across US 27 from the Park. When I did hear about it, I drove back over to take a look.

It’s a dirt road, and although a bit narrow it’s well maintained.  I didn’t have any problems with my car.  There are some interesting landscape views:

Views from 5 Mile Road #2
Views from 5 Mile Road #2

And some interesting wildlife views too:

Guarding the burrow
Guarding the burrow

I made these photos on May 21st.  One of my Flickr friends told me he visited the Burrowing Owl nest on the 26th and it looked abandoned.  That’s sad.  I’m not sure what happened.  Maybe the chicks fledged and flew off.  That’s what I want to believe anyway.

If you visit Lake Louisa, 5 Mile Road is worth checking out too.  You can find more photos from there in in this set on Flickr.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now, go make some photos!

©2014, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

Lake Louisa State Park

Update (5/30/14):  See this related post on 5 Mile Road.

Intro / Description

Lynn, Mary, and I spent the first weekend in May at Lake Louisa State Park (LLSP).  It’s located just southwest of Orlando in Clermont, Florida.   LLSP is 4500 acres of rolling hills including six lakes with 105 acres of shoreline.  There’s a range of camping options and 20 very nice, two bedroom, furnished cabins that you can stay in.  Activities include fishing, canoeing and kayaking, biking, swimming, hiking, and horseback riding.

This is another case of me wondering why it took so long to visit somewhere.  My friend Kevin M has mentioned it several times, but I never seemed to get over there – until now.  It’s truly scenic and I’ve included more images than normal in this post – I apologize if it loads slowly.

Info for Photographers

There’s a lot to photograph there and the variety of landscapes is greater than many places in the area.  Hills are rare around here, but this park has them, some over 100 feet high. I made this photo on the hillside above the road by the cabin where we stayed.

Wildflowers and dewey grass at dawn
 Wildflowers and dewey grass at dawn

May 5-11 is national wildflower week and LLSP was doing its part.  Several wildflowers were blooming, including Prickly-pear Cactus, Passion Flowers, Lantana, and others.  I think we were lucky to see such a variety in bloom.  The Passion Flower blooms are supposed to last for only one day.

All of the lakes in the park are great habitats for Cypress Trees and Spanish Moss – very scenic and a classic Florida landscape look.

Lake Dixie shore
Lake Dixie shore – From the fishing dock in the campground on the south side of the lake

The Cypress tree trunks can also be very interesting.

Nature's sculpture
Nature’s sculpture – The older, weathered cypress tree shapes can be very unusual

There’s a variety of wildlife at LLSP, although not as much as some other locations in Central Florida.  For instance, eBird lists 112 species at LLSP vs 293 in Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.  We spotted nesting Ospreys (with chicks / juveniles), Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Cardinals, Black Vultures, Wild Turkeys, Nighthawks, a Swallow-tailed Kite, wading birds, vultures, Gopher Tortoises, Alligators, Deer, Crayfish,  grackles and a few other species.

Osprey returning to nest
An Osprey returning to her nest to check on her chick

Photo hints:

Most state parks in Florida seem to open at 8am, which makes early morning photography a challenge.  Since we were staying there, we could photograph whenever we wanted.  This one is on the western shore of Lake Louisa.

Cypress dawn

Cypress dawn – by Lake Louisa.

Tripod/Monopod:  Yes – take yours and use it when needed.

Lenses:  There are so many photo ops here that you could probably make use of every one of your lenses.  Macro for flowers, wide-angle for landscapes, long telephoto for wildlife, etc.  You’ll have to decide how much to carry and what to concentrate on.

Best time to visit:  Any time, but of course winter months will be cooler.  Late April and early May will be better for wildflowers and nesting Ospreys too.  We often heard Ospreys calling.  It was fun to watch the parents bringing food back to their very demanding offspring!

Other:

There’s a nice beach and picnic area on Lake Louisa.  If you swim there be careful though, there’s no life guard and there are alligators.

The park also is a popular place to bicycle, so bring yours if you have room.

The Florida Rambler website has a nice writeup on Lake Louisa and the cabins there.

The kayak launch at Lake Dixie across from the cabins is an easy put in.  The one at Lake Louisa requires a long carry, so bring a friend or a kayak trolley if you plan to paddle there.  You can also put in at the Crooked River Preserve just to the north of Lake Louisa and paddle down to the lake.

I didn’t get a chance (yet) to hike the many trails in the park.  There are 9 main ones ranging from 1/2 to 5.5 miles and some of these lead to smaller lakes which might be very scenic.

The Citrus Tower is close to the park.  It was built as a tribute to the citrus industry in the area.   There’s a great view from 226 feet up, but a lot fewer orange trees visible now than there were in 1956 when it opened.

Cloudy in Clermont
Cloudy in Clermont – View from the top of the Citrus Tower, looking south along HW27.

There are also many restaurants within a short drive from the park if you don’t want to cook in your cabin.

Summary

Lake Louisa State Park is a relaxing and scenic destination.  It seems a world away from busy downtown Orlando.   It’s perfect for a weekend get away.  If you haven’t been there yet, you should go.  I’m very glad we did.

Be sure to visit my Lake Louisa set on Flickr to see these and more photos.

My Gallery /  Flickr photo set:  Lake Louisa set on Flickr.
Website:  http://www.floridastateparks.org/lakelouisa/
Address / Phone: 7305 U.S. Highway 27 Clermont, Florida 34714
(352) 394-3969
Central Florida Photo Ops Rating: A CFL Photo Op must do!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog.  Now, go make some photos!

©2014, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

Happy Mother’s Day!

To all Mom’s everywhere, Happy Mother’s Day!

Osprey nest (with adult and chick)
Momma Osprey and baby – found while kayaking along the north shore of Lake Dixie In Lake Louisa State Park.  The nest looked empty at first.  Then Mom flew in and baby popped up.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go tell your Mom you love her!

©2014, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.