Lake Placid, Florida, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - South - Florida - South -

Lake Placid is a large sandy-bottom, freshwater lake located in south central Florida. The lake is ideally located between the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts and less than two hours from all the major Orlando-based attractions. The area is teeming with lakes and natural beauty. In fact, the greater Lake Placid area includes 27 pristine freshwater lakes. Along with its white sandy beaches, the size and depth of Lake Placid makes it a popular destination for vacationers. Visitors will enjoy fishing, boating, sailing, water-skiing, swimming and other water sports, along with hiking, camping and horseback riding at nearby parks. The area, also referred to as “The Ridge” is blessed with spectacular sunsets and is one of the most scenic areas in the Sunshine State.

Lake Placid has two unregulated inflows, which enter at the south end. Lake outflow is via Catfish Creek which is a two mile, weir-regulated canal that connects with Lake June-in-Winter. The weir is regulated by the Southwest Florida Water Management District. This agency is responsible for water quality, flood control, water supply and environmental restoration. Weir control is important in Florida, as the state is very flat with little elevation change, so there are few dams from higher elevation to lower elevation. Instead, water flow is controlled through weirs, gates, and canals. A weir, also known as a low head dam, is used to raise the level of a river, stream or lake. Gates and canals regulate the release of water.

Excellent management of the state’s natural resources is one of the reasons Florida is known as the Fishing Capital of the World, and Lake Placid is no exception. The fishing is great at Lake Placid, which specializes in largemouth bass, bream and black crappie. Crappie fishing is especially good at night from November to April. In the spring, the fringe of vegetation that encircles the lakes attracts spawning fish. During the remainder of the year, fish move offshore into the deeper water where there are drop offs and submerged weed beds. Artificial fish attractors have been installed, which concentrate largemouth bass and are marked by buoys. Lake access can be found on the northeast and west shores of Lake Placid.

Of course tourism is huge in Florida, where visitors can usually count on great weather and lots to do. Lake Placid is located in the South tourism region of Florida, about halfway between Orlando and Lake Okeechobee. In addition to the major entertainment attractions of Orlando and Tampa nearby, visitors to Lake Placid can enjoy golf at any number of golf courses in the area, including a championship golf course minutes away. Racing enthusiast will also enjoy car racing at the oldest permanent road racing track in North America.

For camping enthusiasts, RV and overnight camping facilities are available around Lake Placid as well as at the Highlands Hammock State Park, just a half hour away. This park is one of the oldest parks in Florida and features the Florida Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Museum. Visitors can see an old-growth bald cypress swamp from an elevated boardwalk that meanders through ferns, bromeliads, and orchids. The beautiful old woods are a special treat at the park, with some trees believed to be over a thousand years old. One oak in particular, with a girth of over 36 feet, is possibly the largest oak in Florida. Nine trails provide hiking and biking opportunities, and an 11-mile equestrian trail is wonderful for horse lovers. The kids will enjoy seeing the wildlife including turtles, otters and wading birds.

The area around Lake Placid has a fun and colorful history to recount in addition to having had multiple name changes. Between the mid 1800’s and the early 1900’s the settlement changed names several times, including Lake Buck, Lake June, Lake Stearns, and Wicco. With the arrival of Dr. Melvil Dewey in 1927, the area began a new phase. Dr. Dewey, who was creator of the Dewey Decimal System for cataloging library books, found the area to be much like the area he was from, Lake Placid, New York. He had opened a resort in the Adirondack Mountains called the Lake Placid Club and decided to open one in his new hometown which he called Lake Placid Club South. At Dr. Dewey’s urging, the town was renamed Lake Placid. Today Lake Placid is known for its friendly small town atmosphere as well as for its many murals. With over 1,500 acres of caladiums growing in the area, it is also known as the “Caladium Capital of the World”, complete with an annual festival in July.

Visitors will have no problem finding a place to stay. With the many lakes in the area, vacation rentals with lake views are plentiful and several small resorts can be found around the Lake Placid area. Residential growth has seen an increase in recent years along the shores of the lake. Year-round and part-time residents enjoy Lake Placid with its mild temperatures, friendly attitude and quiet surroundings.

With plenty of outdoor activities and nearby family attractions, Lake Placid is a well-rounded destination for the whole family. The central location makes it an ideal base for you next vacation. It is far enough away from metropolitan areas to provide a tranquil vacation, but close enough to include day trips for shopping, fine dining, and entertainment.

Things to do at Lake Placid FL

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Water Skiing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • Museum
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Lake Placid FL

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass

Lake Placid FL Photo Gallery

Lake Placid FL Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Water Level Control: Southwest Florida Water Management District

Surface Area: 3,320 acres

Shoreline Length: 11 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 92 feet

Average Depth: 23 feet

Maximum Depth: 57 feet

Water Volume: 76,360 acre-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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