Star Lake-Putnam County, Florida, USA

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

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Looking for Star Lake-Putnam County 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 Star Lake-Putnam County

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

Star Lake is a 234-acre spring-fed lake in the rural southwest corner of Putnam County, Florida. The spring is stable, so Star Lake has not been affected by recent droughts. It is a private lake with significant shoreline residential development and no public access. Star Lake is part of the St. Johns River Water Management District; water quality is good.

Just twenty minutes from Gainesville, Star Lake is near Hawthorne. The area’s original inhabitants were the Timicuan Native Americans who rapidly succumbed to diseases brought by European settlers. In the 1700’s the British pushed the Creek Indians south into Florida where they became known as the Seminole. The settlement that became Hawthorne started in the 1840’s. There are restaurants, golf and various accommodations, but Hawthorne still maintains its small town charm. Sprawling live oaks dot the landscape, and there are over 400 bodies of water within ten miles of the town.

The nearby Ocala National Forest is an easy day trip from Star Lake. The forest is 383,000 acres in Central Florida between the St. Johns and Ocklawaha Rivers. It is the southernmost National Forest in the Continental United States. The Ocala National Forest was created on November 24, 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt, and the land that makes up the forest has never been bought or sold. There are over 600 natural lakes in the forest as well as large springs and streams. Alexander, Juniper, Silver Glen, and Salt Springs are the four major spring in the forest. Known as the “jewels” of Ocala, the springs are great places to snorkel and see wildlife.

Star Lake is near the place where Putnam, Marion, and Alachua Counties meet, but it is in Putnam County. Established in 1849, the county was named in honor of Benjamin Alexander Putnam. Mr. Putnam was a soldier during the first Seminole War and went on to become the first president of the Florida Historical Society. Putnam’s county seat is Palatka.

Things to Do at Star Lake-Putnam County

  • Snorkeling
  • Golf
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • National Forest

Find Places to Stay at Star Lake-Putnam County

If you’re considering a Star Lake-Putnam County 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 Star Lake-Putnam County Vacation

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

Star Lake-Putnam County Statistics & Helpful Links


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