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Lake Desoto landsape

Make A Splash on the Water

Lake City, Florida’s Springlands is blessed with several freshwater lakes that are ideal places for boating, paddling, swimming and fishing. Some of them are perfect for taking a stroll by placid waters, or having a seat on a bench and just relaxing. Others take you out in the wild.

Let’s have a look.

Lake Montgomery

Less than a mile south of downtown, Lake Montgomery (formerly known as Lake Hamburg) is a favorite in-town fishing spot, where you can catch bluegill, bass catfish and more from a boat, kayak, or on the shoreline. The lake features paved parking, a boat ramp, a wooden dock and a boardwalk that runs through the generous amount of surrounding greenspace. 

Alligator Lake Park

Three miles south of downtown, Alligator Lake hugs a large park on the north and west sides. The lake has long been a gathering place for locals and visitors. You can take a kayak or canoe ride (there’s a dedicated launch) into the wetlands for a close-up view of wildlife, drop in a fishing line, or simply lounge by the banks and enjoy the sights. The 800-acre park has a picnic area and playground, but its biggest draw is an extensive network of hiking trails — short ones that are great for laid-back strolls to see birds and other wildlife, as well as longer loops for more vigorous walks.

Lake Desoto landsape

Lake DeSoto

A half-mile north of Lake Isabella, in the heart of downtown Lake City, you’ll find oval-shaped Lake DeSoto, with a large fountain in the middle. The lake is rimmed by a street called Lakedesoto Circle, inside of which are sections of thick green grass, trees and wildflowers, dotted with park benches. Bordering the lake to the east is a forested section that covers several blocks, providing more shade and a place to take a leisurely walk. Our feathered friends like to congregate at Lake DeSoto, so it’s an ideal spot for bird watching. 

Watertown Lake

This pristine, 46-acre lake is just three-and-a-half miles west of downtown on the fringe of the Osceola National Forest. It’s a wide-open body of water full of wildlife and surrounded by a thick forest. The lake is only vehicle-accessible from NE Williams Street, which approaches from the west. Once you arrive, you’ll be greeted by a large parking lot, a dock and a boat ramp. Anglers are most apt to catch largemouth bass, striped bass and bluegill. 

Ocean Pond

The name doesn’t quite make sense, but that’s okay, because Ocean Pond — 12 miles west of downtown Lake City in Osceola National Forest — offers all sorts of outdoor fun. There’s even a small beach — Olustee Beach. It may not be a Florida coastal beach, but it’s still a great spot to chill and wade into the water. Surrounded by forest, cypress scrub and lots of trees with hanging moss, Ocean Pond has a Southern, in-the-wilds type of feel. The lake is a popular camping spot. Several dedicated campsites right on the banks include RV hookups and boat ramps. At Ocean Pond, you’re close to civilization — but you’ll feel way out in the backwoods.