Visiting Florida's state parks and beyond in our Roadtrek. This is how we saw it all. Hopefully, the posts will give you some useful information. Questions and comments are welcome.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Weekend at Florida's Lake Louisa State Park

Nice park. The campground is about 3.5 miles from Lake Louisa, but is in between Hammond Lake and Dixie Lake. Access to the two lakes for fishing and kayaking are within walking distance of the campsites.  No swimming:  gators and poisonous snakes.  Didn't see either in camp, though.

The campsites vary from drive-thru to back in and all seem to be very level with pea gravel and concrete borders.  All have 50/30/20 amp power and water.  This is a relatively new campground and shade is at a premium as the foliage is still young. When we first camped here there was virtually no shade.

Loop 2 of 3.  In these two loops the shade is sparse and the sites are a little closer together than in Loop 1.

In Loop 1 there is seemingly more space and privacy between sites.  And a little elevation change on the backside of the loop.

Between Loops 1 and 2 is the boardwalk to Dixie Lake. From the pier one can fish or launch/dock a small boat.

Shoreline of Dixie Lake.  Lot of lily pads, grasses and cypress.  Way off in the distance is the "official" marina.

 Sunset on Dixie Lake.

Water lilies abound on both lakes.

 One reason you don't swim in Dixie Lake.  We watched this little guy scoot across out of the lilly pads along the shore to the dock.  Hoping he wouldn't decide to come up on the dock to lay on the warm planks like we saw yesterday.

And, another reason.  This guy is about 2 feet long.  Momma must be nearby.

Across Dixie Lake are the 20 cabins in the park.  All have a screened veranda with a great view of the lake.  The interiors are modern and roomy.   Nice if you aren't into camping.

The entrance to Hammond Lake, the larger of the two lakes surrounding the campsite.  Launching your kayak or canoe is a little riskier here.

 More boating here as it is larger, I guess.  No power boats allowed on either lake.

Shoreline blooms.  Pickerelweed?

There are many miles of good road for biking in this park.  Some pretty drastic elevation changes.  There are also a lot of sandy trails to ride, shared by equestrians and hikers.

Wild flowers along the main road to the campground.  Lantana?

One of the trail entrances.  This trail happens to have several stops along the way to perform other exercises as you walk or jog.  There are several miles of trails for hikers, bikers and equestrians who have a separate equestrian campsite near Lake Louisa which has shelters for the horses.

A 3.5 mile drive north of the campsites is the park's namesake, Lake Louisa.  At the entrance is a nice shaded parking area with a few picnic tables. This weekend one of the activities going on in the park was several local high school ROTC units practicing "maneuvers".   They used the beach, group camping areas and many trails available.

This is the only lake in the park where swimming is allowed at your own risk.  Not much of a beach, but a gradual entrance into the water and a nice picnic area.

 At the entrance is a nice bathhouse and deck area overlooking the beach and picnic area.  The monument is a dedication to a young decorated military flying instructor who crashed in the lake.  Inside the monument is encased a blade from his plane's prop.

Back at the camp we saw a little of the fauna:

A rarely seen rabbit who later may have been dinner for the local osprey as we spotted white tufts coming out of a nest while visiting the pier one later day.

A cardinal that attacked our side and rear windows each morning.  We must have been in his territory.  Didn't see any nests in the surrounding trees, though.  We did see his mate a couple of times.

And two of several osprey that have nests in the many cypress trees bordering the lakes.

What we didn't get photos of were two brightly colored macaws.  Must have been someone's pets at one time and escaped.  Only saw them for about 10 minutes one evening while sitting out by the fire pit waiting for sunset.  Noisy birds they are.

On the trip home we stopped at nearby Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards to taste some wine, enjoy some music, food and vendors selling whatever.