Love nature? Well you are going to want to head on over to Lake Griffin State Park in central Florida for the chance to see the second oldest tree in the state!
Situated an hour from Orlando, the 620-acre park is also home to two fabulous bodies of water. The mystical Dead River and the magnificent lake, which the park is named after.
A lovely place to come for a day trip, weekend getaway or longer vacation, the Florida state park is a haven for those who enjoy boating, fishing, hiking in nature trails, picnicking and geocaching.
The likes of birding and wildlife viewing are also popular too, as is camping, of which there are 40 modern sites available with connections for water and electricity.
Close enough to the city to have easy access to Walt Disney World, yet far enough away from it to retain a sense of solitude and remoteness, Lake Griffin State Park is a veritable theme park of its own – for those wanting to immerse themselves in the great outdoors.
During their time at the park, guests can engage in a wide selection of outdoor recreational activities.
Outlined below is a brief overview of some of the many things you see and can do during your visit there.
Boating at Lake Griffin State Park
Whether it be on a guided tour or an exploration of your own, the park offers excellent opportunities for kayaking, canoeing and SUP.
With both the Dead River and Lake Griffin at your disposal, you will be able to see much of the park’s diverse ecosystems, including its swamps and river marsh.
If you did not bring any of these watercraft with you to the park, you can rent them out from the main office.
Fishing at Lake Griffin State Park
For many anglers, Christmas has come early when they visit Lake Griffin State Park, as it serves up some fantastic fishing opportunities.
Renowned for its terrific bass fishing, you should also find crappie, bluegill, catfish and speckled perch in abundance.
Depending on whether you catch them from the shore or in a boat you might need a license. You will definitely need to abide by the rules and regulations of state law as well.
Hiking at Lake Griffin State Park
If you would prefer to keep your feet on dry land, the park offers several different hiking trails which showcase its wonderful landscape.
One of the most popular trails is the one that swathes through some parts of the swamp basin. Running for almost two miles, it features a series of interpretive signs that provide more information about its diverse and fascinating ecosystem. You’ll need to be wearing good hiking boots when attempting this.
While at the park be sure to check out the magnificent 400 year old tree that resides within it. There is a short walking trail from the ranger station that will lead you to it.
Picnicking at Lake Griffin State Park
Along the fringes of Lake Griffin, picnicking is a very popular activity among visitors.
There you will find a gorgeous picnic area that is well shaded by a majestic canopy of live oak trees.
This picnic area has grills and is also located near restrooms.
After you have enjoyed your al fresco meal you can even partake in a game of volleyball or throw some horseshoes around at a court and course, adjacent to the area.
Geocaching at Lake Griffin State Park
The park is home to a number of treasures. So if you are into geocaching you’ll want to use your handheld GPS device to download its location coordinates.
Some of the treasures are easy to find while others will involve a bit more investigation work. But doing so will provide you with an excellent way to discover the beauty of park.
During the treasure hunt, if you find a cache, be sure to replace it with a trinket of your own to keep the fun going for other people.
Nature & Wildlife
Lake Griffin State Park is home to a diverse range of birding and wildlife species.
Throughout your time there and especially when walking on the trails be sure to look out for herons, ospreys, raccoons, anhingas, bobcats, bears, cormorants, turtles and coyotes.
If you are near the swamp area keep an eye out for alligators and be on the lookout for snakes at all times as well.
Pets at Lake Griffin State Park
Dogs are welcome to join you at the park although they must be well behaved and kept on a leash at all times. This leash must be no longer than 6 feet in length.
Some other restrictions on their presence may also be put in place. So to clarify what they are you might want to contact the park’s main office.
Camping at Lake Griffin State Park
For those who want to stay at the park, the Lake Griffin State Park Campground remains open all throughout the year.
Overall it offers 40 different sites for RVs, trailers and tent campers, seven of which are pull-through, with the rest being back-in.
Each of these sites comes with hookups for electricity and water, while some also have connections for sewer as well.
Three of them are ADA accessible and they also all come with their own picnic tables and campfire grills.
Other amenities include restrooms with flush toilets and showers, a dump station, laundry facilities and even a small library that has plenty of books for children.
As this is a popular campground you are advised to make a reservation well in advance of your visit. You can do this for up to 11 months before your arrival.
Lake Griffin State Park
Fruitland Park, FL 34731
Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Lake Griffin State Park: