Lake Jesup, Florida, USA

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

Topics we cover in this article:

Looking for Lake Jesup 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 Lake Jesup

At 16,000 acres, Lake Jesup is one of central Florida’s largest lakes and, indeed, one of the largest lakes in the state. Though not a swimming lake, due to its large alligator population, Lake Jesup is still a recreational playground for many area residents.

In the 1960’s, Lake Jesup was a thriving body of water, attracting thousands of boaters and anglers to the area every year. Unfortunately, with the surrounding area under extreme development, the lake quality degraded to a poor state by the early 1980’s. However, the area’s residents banded together in the past two decades in an effort to restore Lake Jesup to its original splendor.

The lake is not without its attractions, though. On the north shore lies Lake Lake Jesup Wilderness Area, a 490-acre park dedicated to helping preserve the natural habitats of this central Florida ecosystem. An incredibly diverse array of animals make their home here, and visitors will share quiet moments with nature during their visit. A
3-mile hiking trail, also accessible to mountain bikers and horseback riders, winds its way through tree hammocks and wet prairies of the Lake Jesup Wilderness Area, giving you an up-close look at animals you may never have seen before.

Magnificent American Alligators sun themselves on rocks, in shallow waters, and along the shores of Lake Jesup. Though they appear to be completely asleep, watch in part-fascination, part-fear as their one open eye follows your every move. Look skywards to discover bald eagles, hawks, and other swooping birds of prey as they circle, fly, and call out orders to each other. Wintering birds also come here, fleeing from the northern cold, and adding spots of color to the wintry Florida landscape.

Though this Seminole County lake is not at its optimal cleanliness level, efforts to clean it up have not gone unrewarded: Lake Jesup is one of the best lakes in the state for bluegill and shellcracker, especially between April and July. In 2002, it was declared that the lake had some of the biggest, heaviest sunfish in the state, a fact which did not escape eager angling ears. In fact, during late spring and early summer months, you’ll see plenty of fishing boats near the shores, concentrating on the cattails and sandy areas, where the schools are known to lurk.

Come down to Lake Jesup and enjoy an ecological adventure. Learn about the aquatic habitats and the efforts to restore them, take a restorative hike, and fish for your dinner. Like almost every visitor, you’ll find that communing with nature is a very relaxing endeavor.

Things to Do at Lake Jesup

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Playground

Fish Species Found at Lake Jesup

  • Bluegill
  • Redear Sunfish (Shellcracker)
  • Sunfish

Find Places to Stay at Lake Jesup

If you’re considering a Lake Jesup 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 Lake Jesup Vacation

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

Lake Jesup Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Water Level Control: St. Johns River Water Management District

Shoreline Length: 31 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 3 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 1 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 7 feet

Average Depth: 6 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 Lake Jesup 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


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