Explore the Harris Chain of Lakes: Central Florida’s Family Vacation Paradise

The Harris Chain of Lakes is a beautiful part of Central Florida. Spanning 50,000 acres and seven lakes, it is a fisherman and boater’s paradise – and a great place for real estate. Lake Apopka, near Orlando, acts as the head waters of the chain, which flows through to the Florida Ocklawaha Basin and empties into the St Johns River at Jacksonville.

This large and popular chain of lakes is home to some beautiful properties. Homes can be found perched high on hills with fantastic views down to the shimmering waters below. The lakes are deep, averaging around 10 feet away from any shallow canals, making it ideal for lakefront living with all kinds of boats. Jet-skis, cruisers and high performance powerboats are all very popular out on the Harris Chain.

The fishing and boating opportunities also draw many visitors, who come to explore and enjoy all the lakes have to offer. Fisherman often come for the local bass fishing tournaments, or even to the larger events such as those hosted by ESPN B.A.S.S. Tournament Trail. Meanwhile, the lakes are also a popular destination for outdoor TV shows to highlight the great fishing.

A popular day trip is to cruise north from Lake Griffin to Silver Springs in Ocala. The round trip can generally be completed in a single day and is well worth the effort. Water levels on the Harris Chain usually remain relatively constant, with seasonal drought not affecting them as much as lakes further south.

Unfortunately, the Harris Chain used to have its water quality and fishing threatened by runoff from local farms that sprung up during WWII to provide food – but now thanks to millions of dollars being invested over more recent years, the water clarity has improved and the great fishing has returned. The State of Florida purchased the farms to help make this happen in the 90s.

Overall, the Harris Chain of Lakes is a wonderful place to either enjoy a break, or call home. It’s open waters, lush real estate and consistent water levels make it an ideal spot for those looking to find their own oasis in Central Florida.

The chain of lakes is also full of biodiversity, offering an abundance of wildlife such as white pelicans, gators and various species of fish. If you’re looking for some peace and tranquility then the Harris Chain of Lakes is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. There’s plenty of shoreline to take in the sights and sounds of nature, as well as dozens of parks, campgrounds, and trails to explore.

The area is also known for its beautiful sunsets which make for great photography opportunities. The combination of color, reflection, and contrast provided by the sunsets make them truly unique. If you’re lucky enough, you may even spot a bald eagle or two flying over the lake.

Another great thing about the Harris Chain of Lakes is that there are plenty of local businesses and nearby cities for visitors to explore. Shopping centers, restaurants, historic sites and attractions are all within close proximity to the lake, provide entertainment for the whole family.

Additionally, there’s a rich history attached to the lake. Before the modern development of the surrounding towns, the Harris Chain of Lakes was home to many Native American tribes. It’s believed that the Seminole Tribe of Florida was the first to occupy the area, and they left behind evidence of their presence through artifacts such as arrowheads and pottery shards.

The town of Tavares is the most vibrant on the lakes and it’s the location of Venetian Gardens, the town’s signature park. The park features three marinas with boat rentals, a beach, and outdoor events throughout the year. Other popular spots in the area include Anderson Park with its playgrounds, boat ramps, pavilions, and a public beach, as well as the Dora Canal and Lake Dora which offer excellent fishing and boating opportunities.

Other activities you can enjoy around the lake include golfing, horseback riding, bird-watching, and airboating. There are also plenty of camping sites located nearby to cater to different needs. Whether you prefer rustic campsites, RV hookups, or something more luxurious like a cabin in the woods, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for in the Harris Chain of Lakes area.

The lake system is also home to some of the best bass fishing in all of Central Florida. The lake’s mix of deep, shallow and weeded areas attract big bass from all over the region, making it perfect for anglers of all levels of experience. In addition to bass, other species such as crappie, catfish and bluegill can also be caught here.

If you’re looking for a place to spend quality time with your family and friends, then the Harris Chain of Lakes is the perfect destination. With its stunning views, abundant wildlife and plentiful outdoor activities, it’s easy to see why the Harris Chain of Lakes is one of Central Florida’s most beloved holiday and vacation spots.