Deep Lake, Florida, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - South - Florida - South -

Fish and other water-loving animals glide just beneath the surface of water that plunges 98 feet deep. Florida royal palms and patches of cypress trees adorn the shoreline. Big blocks of limestone, characteristic of Florida’s karst topography, line the circumference. Deep Lake is one of Florida’s sinkholes and one of just a few in Southern Florida. Occupying only 1.7 surface acres, the sinkhole is tucked away in the Fakahatchee Strand, a narrow stretch of swampy forest in the 729,000-acre Big Cypress National Preserve.

The South region of Florida is dominated by the state’s Everglades wetland system, formed over thousands of years by the course of water flowing from the north. An area rich in diversity, the South region is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and adventurers alike. Less than an hour from Miami and 30 miles north of the Everglades National Park and its 10,000 islands, Deep Lake is a hidden treasure.

Although the Big Cypress has remained a wilderness largely untouched, in history it has served as a home to Native Americans. Its sheltering canopies provided refuge to both Seminoles running from American troops, and black slaves running for freedom. In the 1900s, timber and train companies paved tramways that were later abandoned and left to overgrow. These pathways are still clear and available to hikers who find that hiking through Cypress often turns into high adventure, cutting paths through swamp water that can be waist deep.

Other outdoor options include guided canoe trips through various areas of the preserve, the 11-mile Janes Scenic Drive, and the 2000-foot boardwalk that provides opportunities for wildlife viewing and nature study. Guided hikes through the swamps, plants and trees will enliven your experience with facts and information about the unique ecology and history of the area. A guided hike to Deep Lake is offered by Fakahatchee Park and is probably the best way to find the lake. As you hike your way to Deep Lake, you will quickly discover what makes the preserve the most diverse of the Everglades. In wet forests, mangroves, royal palms, bald cypresses, bromeliads, ferns and orchids grow unhindered. Here in the Fakahatchee swamps, amid one of the largest royal palm and bald cypress forests in the world, are 44 species of native orchids and 14 species of native bromeliads. There are more species of native orchids in the 75,000-acre park than there are anywhere else in the United States and Canada.

While you trek along, perhaps you will come across signs or witness sightings of the Florida panther, white-tailed deer, black bear, raccoons, opossums, alligators, and the Everglades mink. Hundreds of birds can be seen feeding, nesting, or performing their curious mating rituals near Deep Lake. Birdwatchers look out for ducks, sandhill cranes, roseate spoonbills, bald eagles, osprey, red-shouldered hawks, turkeys, owls, vultures and more.

You might be surprised to find that in the thick of the swampy strand, Deep Lake is the main feature of what is actually a ghost town. An abandoned cottage, railway and grapefruit farm are the only remnants of human enterprise in the area and mark the arrival of Barron Collier, one of Florida’s best known entrepreneurs and land developers. An abandoned prison is also at the site and only adds to the so-called ghostliness of the town. If anything, these structures left standing empty only serve to affirm that the rules of the wilderness govern here.

If you are a true adventurer, then your heart will quicken as you bend over in your swamp boots to look closely at one of those magical flowers, the orchids. The royal palms will look majestic with their fingered palm leaves reaching towards the sky. You will be delighted to see the water, surrounded by cypresses blanketed in Spanish moss. And as you contemplate its depth, you will also contemplate Deep Lake’s value as the alligators take their sauntering laps around it and the white ibis swoop down for their fish meal. If you are a true adventurer, then a journey to and from Deep Lake will bring you a mix of experiences to savor and remember. The sights, sounds, the excitement and the calm; the splendor of the pristine wild.

Things to do at Deep Lake FL

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Canoeing
  • Hiking
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • National Park

Deep Lake FL Photo Gallery

    Deep Lake FL Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

    Surface Area: 2 acres

    Maximum Depth: 98 feet

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    Trophic State | LakeLubbers

    Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

    An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

    A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

    A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

    The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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    Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

    Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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    Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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    Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

    Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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    Completion Year | LakeLubbers

    This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

    The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

    You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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    Water Volume | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

    You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

    Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

    1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

    The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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    Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

    You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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    Average Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

    Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

    Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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    Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

    At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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    Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

    Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

    When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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    Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

    You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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    Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

    This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

    A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

    When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

    You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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    Surface Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

    The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

    You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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    Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

    This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

    Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

    "Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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    Lake Type | LakeLubbers

    There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

    - A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

    - A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

    - A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

    "Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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