Lake Griffin is the last lake in the Harris Chain of Lakes. The lake level is controlled by two locks, one on Haines Creek and the other at the top of the lake at Moss Point near Highway 42. Lake Griffin is the most natural of the Harris Chain lakes. The lake is approximately 7 miles long with minimal development. Harbor Hills, a large lakefront golf course community is located on the west side of the lake. Harbor Shores has some canal homes, but no direct lakefront homesites.
The City of Leesburg, just south of the lake, has upscale waterfront homes on Beverley Point. The popular Leesburg Bike Festival draws thousands of Bikers annually. Leesburg has been a popular retirement destination for many years. Because of this fact, older homes and trailer parks are numerous on the lake. Real estate is generally more affordable on Lake Griffin than the rest of the Chain due to it's distance from Mount Dora and the fact that you must navigate the lock to boat to the rest of the chain.
The largest retirement community in the country, The Villages, is located in Lady Lake just north of the City of Leesburg. An interesting area on the lake is Treasure Island. This thin peninsula juts out into the lake about midway on the northeast side. Small lakefront homes line the Peninsula with very affordable prices. The large Peninsula Picciola Point is also an affordable alternative to high real estate prices in Mount Dora. Lake Griffin also has many waterfront canals leading into the main lake. Homes on the Lake Griffin canals are numerous and generally very competitively priced compared to the rest of the Harris Chain.
Lake Griffin Boating and FishingLake Griffin is popular with bass and crappie fishermen. In recent years, the State Wildlife Agency has undertaken a large mouthed bass stocking project on the lake which has significantly improved this fishery. There is a public boat ramp on highway 441 at the south end of the lake at Herlong Park. The lake also has a few remaining fish camps and the Griffin State Park is also located in the area.
From Lake Griffin it is possible to make a day run to Silver Springs through the Ocklawaha River through the Moss Bluff lock. The Harris Chain is part of the Ocklawaha River Basin draining the State northward through the St. John's River to Jacksonville. Because the river is narrow and makes many sharp turns in the Ocala National Forest, the trip is not safely navigated in anything larger than an outboard powered bass boat. Lake Griffin water clarity is normally stained and varies by season and the amount of annual rainfall. Lake Griffin contains large alligators, but they are normally not aggressive.
Hotel and motel lodgings are available in Fruitland Park and Leesburg, while fish camps, resort cabins and private rental home offer weekly rentals. Several RV camps and assorted campgrounds join the State Park in providing camp space for more mobile visitors. Some real estate is available, usually in the form of existing homes and cottages, often on the lakefront. There’s plenty to see here and plenty to do, even if boating and fishing aren’t your hobbies. A camera is a must as are good hiking boots suitable to a wetland environment.
Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Channel Catfish, Bluegill
Access for Power and Non-power Boats
Ramp Comments: https://naturalatlas.com/boat-launches/lake-griffin-2090577
Parking Spaces: More than 40