Average Depth: 9 feet
Maximum Depth: 12 feet
Kayaks, Canoes, Sail Boats, Electric Motor Boats, Power Boats, Jet-skis, State & Local Rules & Regulations Apply
Boating Comments: The Harris Chain of Lakes offers many recreational activities which can be accessed at more than 20 public ramps throughout the chain and numerous fishing piers. The lakefronts are home to several cities. Municipal and state parks are located adjacent to waters on the chain. Lake Griffin State Park, Sunnyhill Restoration Area, and Emeralda Marsh Conservation Area are state-managed lands near Lake Griffin. These large management areas offer hunting, fishing, hiking, biking, camping, and other recreational activities. One of the unique opportunities on the arris Chain of Lakes is a highly utilized seaplane base and marina at Wooten Park in the City of Tavares on Lake Dora. After the first seaplane flight on Lake Eustis in 1914, Tavares and the surrounding cities on the HCOL became a destination for these planes. This area now sees numerous planes and hosts special events to showcase the utilization of seaplanes in the area.
Swimming: Swimming Allowed, No Restrictions
Lake Dora is know as the "Crown Jewel" of the Harris Chain Lakes. This is due to the fact that the historic lakefront town of Mount Dora sits on its eastern shore. Mount Dora was settled in the 1860s and many of it's historic buildings are still standing. The Mount Dora Art Festival attracts over 200,000 people to this one event. Numerous other fairs, festivals and shows are held at this popular tourist destination. Side walk cafes, antique shops and upscale restaurants are open to visitors year round. A highly recommended ritual is to have an evening drink on the back deck of the Pisces Rising Restaurant. Here visitors and locals alike share a drink and view the incredible sunsets over Lake Dora.
Lake Dora has a number of upscale lakefront gated communities. The Deer Island Country Club is built around a challenging golf course. The Community of Squirrel Point on the southern shore of Lake Dora is built in a natural forest setting and has their own boat ramp and tennis courts for the use of the residents. On the north shore, a new gated Community named "The Pointe" has a small number of exclusive waterfront and dry estate homes. The gates are closed most of the time and access is limited.
Lakeshore Drive in Mount Dora is the "In-Place" to live and a drive down this beautiful and scenic road connecting Mount Dora and Tavares is a must. The picturesque two-lane road runs along the lake with fabulous multimillion-dollar homes lining both sides.
Lake Dora is the home of the annual Sunnyland Antique Boat Festival located at Wooten Park in Tavares. Numerous antique boat lovers live on the lakes and it is a common site to see them cruising the lakes in their beautiful wooden boats. Lakeshore Drive in Mount Dora is the "In-Place" to live and a drive down this beautiful and scenic road connecting Mount Dora and Tavares is a must. The picturesque two lane road runs along the lake with fabulous multi-million dollar homes lining both sides.
The City of Tavares is the county seat and has undergone a significant renaissance in recent years. The downtown area, filled with government buildings and law offices, is now known as "Florida's Seaplane City". Forward thinking government officials backed by local taxpayers have created a unique downtown and waterfront area. Visitors fly-in by seaplane, which makes for interesting viewing. Al's Landing is a popular waterfront restaurant that overlooks the sea plane base. The downstairs area is in casual style with hand food and nice salads. Prices are competitive with local chains. The upstairs restaurant "Al's Top Shelf" houses an upscale restaurant with gourmet food and liquor. It's somewhat pricy, but it's worth the money. We dine there on special occasions and enjoy a quiet evening with friends, nice music and the view across Lake Dora and the marina.
The Dora Canal is very popular with tourists. Numerous boat tours are available and a cruise down the Dora Canal is a great place to see Florida the way it was before man arrived. Huge ancient cypress trees line the canal with aquatic birds and animals a common site. Occasionally, a family of otters makes an appearance along with the occasional alligator or two. The winter weather in Mount Dora is great. An occasional cold front drops by for a day, but the average daytime temperature in January is in the low seventies.
No Known Issues, Town/State Monitoring
Vegetation Growth: Minimal
Non-native Species: Unknown
With over 20 public boat ramps and 11 shoreline fishing areas, the Harris Chain of Lakes offers excellent fishing opportunities for all anglers. The most popular sportfish to target are Largemouth Bass, Black Crappie, and Bream (e.g., Bluegill and Redear Sunfish). FWC also stocks Hybrid Striped Bass, which provide an additional sportfish for anglers. In recent years, the Harris Chain of Lakes has hosted major bass tournaments, including B.A.S.S. and Major League Fishing. These tournaments attract local and nationally- recognized bass anglers. Lake County sees value and immense economic impact from fishing and actively sponsors bass tournaments on the Harris Chain of Lakes.
Fish Species: Bullheads, Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Chain Pickerel, Black Crappie, Carp, Channel Catfish, Sunfish, Bluegill, Striped Bass
Access for Power and Non-power Boats
Parking Spaces: Unknown