Located in Lake County and centered on the City of Clermont a few miles south of Orlando, the Clermont Chain of Lakes comprises 11 lakes connected to the Palatlakaha River. The chain is orientated from southeast to northwest and fed primarily by streams and groundwater flow. They make up the middle part of the Palatlakaha River, which forms the headwaters of the Ocklawaha River, designated as an Outstanding Florida Waterway.
The Clermont Chain of Lakes is an 8,600-acre spread with easy access to rich fishing grounds. It is one of the most pristine in central Florida, but water color varies according to water source. Some lakes are primarily spring-fed and clear, while others gain their water from nearby Green Swamp and offer water tinted by tannin caused from the large expanse of cypress tress along the shoreline. The brown color does not indicate poor water quality however, and these darker lakes are often preferred for swimming as the lack of light penetration keeps the water temperatures cooler than in clearer lakes.
The larger lakes are popular for waterskiing and are densely populated with water lovers. The largest of the lakes are Lake Minneola (1,888 acres), Lake Minnehaha (2,298 acres), Lake Louisa (3,634 acres) and Cherry Lake (401 acres). All four are on the main portion of the chain along the river and easily accessed by water.
Lake Minnehaha is the second largest lake of the chain that covers 2,298 acres. This lake averages about 14 feet in depth with some areas that are over 18 feet deep. A marina on this lake offers some boat rentals and rental slips for local boaters as well for when you want to relax and enjoy fishing. Another boat launch is the Palatlakaha River Park & Boat Ramp. There is plenty of parking but it is a single ramp and so avoid peak times. You can also access Lake Minnehaha via Lake Minneola and the Clermont Boat Ramp. Visitors pay $5 per day and can pay via credit or debit card at the kiosks located on either side of the boat ramp. City of Clermont residents can purchase an annual pass for $35 plus tax. This new ramp doubled the launch pads from two to four, increased parking from 77 to 102 spots, added 10 mooring slips for peak traffic and has new restrooms.
All the lakes here are well resourced with smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, red ear sunfish, bluegill, channel catfish, and crappie. Dredge holes and trees that have fallen are attractive to fish, with several local piers offering shore fishing with disability access.
A portion of the Palatlakaha Run, the longest water trail in the Lake County Blueways system which offers over 26 miles of paddling enjoyment along the chain in along the shoreline of Lake Minnehaha. A blueway is similar to a hiking trail. Physical and geo-positioned markers guide trail users through the waterways. An ideal blueway trail also includes an abundance of scenery and wildlife as well as easy canoe and kayak access.
Lake Minnehaha is even more developed than Lake Louisa with suburban housing, but while this part of Lake County can have a more rural feel, it is still very close to major roads and areas of interest in Central Florida including Sea World, Universal Studios, Walt Disney World and Downtown Orlando.
No Known Issues
Vegetation Growth: Unknown
Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Channel Catfish, Sunfish, Bluegill
Access for Power and Non-power Boats
Parking Spaces: Unknown