Lake Minneola


Lake Minneola

Local Name: Cowhouse Lake

Size: 1888 acres
Average Depth: 18 feet
Maximum Depth: 30 feet

Boating Allowed: Kayaks, Canoes, Electric Motor Boats, Power Boats, Jet-skis, State & Local Rules & Regulations Apply
Swimming: Swimming Allowed, No Restrictions

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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, designated as an Outstanding Florida Waterway, which forms the headwaters of the Ocklawaha River.

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 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.  Although most of the Clermont Chain of Lakes have tinted waters, Lake Minneola’s is relatively clear. Mineola is seen as the gateway to the rest of the Chain’s lakes due to its proximity to Clermont and ease of accessibility.

Lake Minneola is the third largest lake in the Clermont Chain of Lakes.  It is the most developed lake with downtown Clermont and the town of Minneola along its south and eastern shores. Clermont has a boat ramp and public beach at Waterfront Park on Lake Minneola.  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.  Waterfront Park offers rentals of bicycles and kayaks to access both the chain of lakes and the many trails in the area. The South Lake Trail, popular with walkers and rollerblade fans, is a ‘Rails to Trails” path that connects to the West Orange Trail. Half- and full-day paddling tours can be arranged here from the rental facility. The Great Clermont Triathlon is held here each year, taking advantage of the water and trails in the area. The City of Clermont is widely known as the ‘wakeboarding capital of the world,’ with a year-round camp dedicated solely to teaching the skill of wakeboarding.

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 Minneola.  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.

While this part of Lake County can still 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.  




Water Quality: No Known Issues
Vegetation Growth: Unknown
Non-native Species: Unknown

Fishing Comments: Florida fishing license is required. Fishing along the shoreline’s cypress or swamp, you'll find largemouth bass, channel catfish, shell-cracker sunfish, and bluegill bite on crickets or worms. Speckled perch action is good on prepared or artificial bait, especially along grass-lined edges where these species spawn throughout summer. You can also expect some alligator gar and bowfin.
Fish Species: Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Channel Catfish, Sunfish, Bluegill

Boat Access: Access for Power and Non-power Boats
Ramp Comments: There is a public boat ramp for Lake Minneola in Clermont at Waterfront Park.
Parking Spaces: More than 40

Directions: From Florida's Turnpike, head West and exit FL-50. Turn Rt. on East Ave. and then Left onto Palm St.
Shoreline Development: 75-100%