What do you call a county with more than 1,000 lakes and rivers? Lake County, of course. Out of its total area of 1,156 square miles, 953 square miles of this Central Florida county is land, and 203 square miles – or almost 18 percent – is water.
Lake County is well-known for the quantity of its hundreds of waterways; but it’s also well known for quality; freshwater fishing and boating amenities here are considered the best by fishermen everywhere.
Largemouth bass and crappie are found in almost every lake in Lake County; this is a favorite location of nationally-televised fishing tournaments, with hundreds of lakes brimming with prize catches. It’s not all about fishing; one of the county’s parks, Hickory Point Recreational Facility, features 12 boat ramps offering access to the eight-lake Harris Chain, leading canoeists and kayakers to tranquil and picturesque water trails.
Lake County is also known for its diverse terrain with rolling hills dotted by orange groves in the south, and the pristine flora of “Old Florida” in the north.
The Lake County area was first settled in the 1840s by Captain Melton Haynes. By 1887, the county had been officially formed, taking portions form adjacent Orange and Sumter counties. In the county’s early years it grew rich in agriculture, and was home to Florida’s largest peach orchard in the 1920s.
Today Lake County’s population numbers more than 200,000. Its county seat is Tavares. The median income for a household in the county is $36,903. For men who want to improve the odds of finding a wife, this is the place; for every 100 females age 18 and over, there are only 91.10 males.
Lake County has a large number of cities, both incorporated and unincorporated. Some of its incorporated cities are Astatula, Clermont, Eustis, Fruitland Park, Groveland, Howey-in-the-Hills and Lady Lake.
Visitors to Lake County will find expansive parks and recreational facilities, new housing construction and a wealth of activities. Venues for antique shopping abound, and do art and cultural opportunities such as the Bay Street Players at the Historic State Theatre, the Florida Carriage Museum and the Florida Sunshine Opry. Water sport venues include competition water-ski schools and a nationally-recognized triathlon training center.