Recreation guide to District lands
In this section
Lake Apopka North Shore Restoration Area
On the northwestern shore of Lake Apopka, in Lake and Orange counties, northwest of Orlando.
Lake Apopka is in the headwaters of the Ocklawaha River and was targeted for cleanup under the Surface Water Improvement and Management Act of 1987. Major activities include marsh and floodplain restoration and the creation of a marsh flow-way system that filters Lake Apopka’s waters by circulating lake water through restored wetlands. In 1996, the Florida Legislature passed Chapter 96-207, Florida Statutes, furthering its previous mandate to clean up the lake by providing funds to buy additional agricultural lands north of the lake. Restoration of these farmlands to functioning wetlands is expediting cleanup efforts. Public recreation access is limited to the Clay Island portion of the property.
A 1998 Christmas bird count (CBC) identified 174 species of birds, the highest species total for an inland count in the 100-year history of the annual CBC. Bird diversity is extraordinary in this area, and the bird list, which continues to grow, now includes more than 348 species. Other wildlife include alligators, turtles, otters and bobcats.
- Hiking, bicycling, horseback riding and wildlife viewing are allowed at Clay Island. more info
- Group tours for environmental education are available on the restoration project area by appointment.
- Boating and canoeing opportunities are available on Lake Apopka; however, there are no launches located on the property.
Restrictions: more info
- Motorized vehicles are not permitted.
From Orlando, take U.S. 441 north to Zellwood; go west on Jones Avenue, then south on State Road 448A to County Road (CR) 48 and west on Ranch Road. If traveling from the town of Astatula, take CR 48 east to Ranch Road. Take Ranch Road south, then turn west on Peeples Drive, then south on Carolyn Lane to the parking area.
For more information:
Call the District’s Bureau of Land Management at (386) 329-4404.