Island Lake, Florida, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Island Lake — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

Topics we cover in this article:

Looking for Island Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About Island Lake

Lake Locations: USA - US South Region - Florida - Cross Florida -

Island Lake is a 130-acre spring fed lake in Marion County, Florida. This private lake has no public access, making it a perfect winter or summer retreat for those who prefer a quiet and peaceful setting with limited competition for fishing and boating space. Located 20 minutes from the natural beauty of Silver Springs and a short drive from the lush grounds of the Ocala National Forest, it is no wonder that picturesque Island Lake is one of Florida’s most fiercely kept secrets.

Many vacation rentals and lakefront real estate on Island Lake offer private boat ramps and docks that stretch out over the water. Fish from your own dock or take a boat out on the calm water to truly enjoy the serenity of the area. Toward the northern end of the lake, you will find the island that gives the lake its name. Marion County is primarily an outdoor recreation area where residents and visitors enjoy all the perks of living in a warm climate. Fish in Island Lake include largemouth bass, crappie, catfish, perch, bream, shellcracker, and bluegill. Note: Although most fish taken from Florida’s waters are safe to eat, refer to the Florida Fish Advisory (link below) before eating fish caught from Island Lake or any Florida waterway.

Further opportunities for fishing, boating, and other water sports are within a short drive from Island Lake. Ocala National Forest, just east of Island Lake, is the oldest national forest east of the Mississippi River. This unique forest offers visitors year-round outdoor activities for camping, walking trails, hiking, biking and various water activities in its many springs, rivers and lakes. The National Forest also has designated areas for horseback riding and hunting.

Bicyclists visiting Island Lake will want to make use of the many trails and open roads in the area. The Santos Trailhead in nearby Ocala has received national praise for its superb mountain bike trails, which range from relatively easy-pedaling family trails to those for more experienced riders. Along with Marion County’s other excellent trails, Santos has helped establish Marion as an unsurpassed place for mountain biking. You’ll find bicycle rental shops along with maps to guide you in your exploration of the area.

For bird watchers, the Cross Florida region has a varied population of native birds and a large number of migratory species. Watch birds from your canoe or kayak on Island Lake or visit one of the many parks or forests in the area for a glimpse of a majestic bald eagle or a flock of snow geese passing through.

Northwest of Island Lake is the city of Gainsville, home to Florida’s largest and oldest university, The University of Florida, and one of the state’s premier centers of education, medicine, cultural events and athletics. Known for its historic buildings and beautiful natural surroundings, Gainesville’s numerous parks, museums, cultural centers, golf courses, and lakes provide entertainment for thousands of visitors.

For a truly relaxing vacation, Island Lake offers tranquility and the beauty of nature in a private and peaceful setting. Swim, fish, motorboat, kayak, canoe, or just pull up a chair on your floating dock and enjoy the beauty of Cross Florida’s gorgeous sunsets.

Things to Do at Island Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Birding
  • National Forest
  • Museum

Fish Species Found at Island Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Redear Sunfish (Shellcracker)
  • Sunfish

Find Places to Stay at Island Lake

If you’re considering a Island Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Island Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Island Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Island Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 130 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 52 feet

Maximum Depth: 30 feet

Trophic State: Eutrophic

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

Shop Island Lake Gifts

Custom Lake Tumblers

Captain / First Mate Custom 20 oz Tumbler

Custom Lake T Shirt

Personalized My Boat My Rules Unisex T-Shirt

Custom Lake Coffee Mug - On Lake Time

On Lake Time Custom Coffee Mug – 11oz or 15oz


Advertise Your Island Lake Business or Vacation Rental

LakeLubbers will soon offer businesses the opportunity to advertise and homeowners and property managers the ability to showcase their vacation rentals to the thousands of lake lovers searching our site daily. If you would like additional details, please contact our advertising team.


Looking for the Island Lake Forum?

LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here. We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!

Island Lake Photo Gallery

New photos coming soon!

Spread the word! Share our Island Lake article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!