The Kissimmee area might be known for its attractions, hotels, restaurants and big events that draw even bigger crowds-but it is so much more than that. Step away from the concrete jungle, and you'll find a whole new world waiting to be discovered.
Not far away from world-famous theme parks and the hustle and bustle of a major metropolitan area, water quietly flows through the wilderness, making its way south and feeding the Everglades. Thousands of acres stretch across the Florida landscape, providing refuge for the abundance of flora and fauna that make Central Florida their home. And within this landscape are scenic lakes that draw visitors from near and far for world-class freshwater fishing, canoeing and kayaking and other recreational activities.
Lake Kissimmee State Park: Lake Kissimmee, Lake Rosalie and Tiger Lake
As the sun goes down, whitetail deer amble up to the water, taking their time as they drink from the shimmering water that reflects the pink and red colors of the sky. This sort of beautiful scene is an everyday occurrence at Lake Kissimmee State Park, where campers and other visitors come face to face with a wide variety of wildlife at all hours of the day.
A one-stop shop for outdoor adventure, Lake Kissimmee State Park includes shores of Lake Kissimmee, Lake Rosalie and Tiger Lake, making it an ideal vacation or weekend spot for water lovers, especially those who love to fish. At nearly 35,000 acres in size, Lake Kissimmee is Florida's third-largest lake. This is where to cast your lines for largemouth bass, crappie and redear sunfish. Go to the 4,600-acre Lake Rosalie-where you'll likely find fewer other people on the water-for bass in the spring and crappie in the winter. Tiger Lake, the smallest of the three (roughly 2,200 acres in size) also offers good crappie, bluegill and bass fishing.
Alligator Chain of Lakes This group of small but beautiful lakes offers ample fishing opportunities for bass and crappie, with the best fishing on the largest lake of this group, Alligator Lake. Alligator Lake, which is 3,400 acres in size, and the remaining lakes, Lake Lizzie, Coon Lake, Trout Lake and Lake Gentry (792 acres, 148 acres, 273 acres and 410 acres, respectively) are connected by canals.
Access to this lake system is through public boat ramps at the south end of Alligator Lake and at the north end of Alligator Lake. There is also a public boat ramp on Lake Gentry on State Road 534 for small boats and canoes.
East Lake Tohopekaliga Also known fondly as East Lake Toho, this ecological gem is the primary outflow to Boggy Creek and is roughly 12,000 acres in size. Excellent visibility and great bass fishing in the winter months make this big, round lake a worthwhile fishing destination.
Lake Tohopekaliga Big and well loved, Lake Tohopekaliga, also known as Lake Toho or West Lake Tohopekaliga, covers nearly 23,000 acres and is known for excellent wildlife viewing, bird watching and bass fishing opportunities. This is an excellent lake for families to spend time together, and Lakefront Park on its north side has a playground, seating and a miniature lighthouse for visitors to enjoy. The St. Cloud Canal connects it to East Lake Tohopekaliga.
Lake Hatchineha This Haines City lake is roughly 6,600 acres in size and offers plenty of lakeside family fun in addition to great bass, shellcracker and bluegill fishing.
Lake Cypress Come to this 4,100-acre lake for great bass fishing, especially in April and May. Also expect to find shellcracker and bluegill. Boating here makes for an excellent family adventure, and the Lake Cypress Boat Ramp in Kenansville provides access to Lake Cypress, Lake Kissimmee and Lake Hachinohe.
Lake Jackson Whether by kayak, canoe or motorized boat, 1,000-acre Lake Jackson is the place to be for catch-and-release largemouth bass fishing (it's not unusual to find bass weighing more than 10 pounds here). You'll also find plenty of crappie, sunfish and bluegill. Bird watching is another popular activity on this scenic lake.
Lake Marian Take your boating and fishing adventures to this glistening 5,800-acre lake in the Kenansville area. A marina and campground provide all that is necessary for a family vacation full of fishing, watersports and RVing. Lake Marian is well known for excellent crappie fishing.
Whether you are looking for serenity on the water, great fishing or a day full of wildlife viewing with the family, you'll find it here on Kissimmee-area lakes. Click here for more information about Kissimmee's lakes.