Just a short drive from Clermont, Florida, you’ll find Lake Louisa State Park—the perfect place to come for an RV camping vacation. This park is like a natural theme park, and it’s well known for its wildlife diversity and lakes. That’s right, Lake Louisa isn’t the only lake in this park—there’s also Hammond, Dixie, Bear, Smokehouse, and several others. These lakes provide plenty of fun activities like boating, paddling, fishing, swimming, and so much more.
If you prefer to stay on land, though, you also have the opportunity to explore some great hiking, biking, and equestrian trails, and you can go picnicking in various areas of the park. In fact, there is something to do all year long here since it never gets too cold in Florida. Taking a walk through the cypress trees in the middle of December without a coat may seem strange to some of us, but in Florida, it is pretty normal.
This park also holds quite a bit of history. In 1823, this area was actually supposed to be used as a Seminole Indian reservation, but the Seminoles didn’t stay here, so the reservation never worked out. Then in 1910, John and Louise Driggers Hammond settled down here and built up their homestead. It was then passed off to the Bronson family in 1943, and after that, the state purchased the area for a park in 1973. It then opened in 1977 for the public and has been enjoyed by lots of visitors and campers ever since. There’s so much to discover at Lake Louisa State Park when you bring your RV.
Getting to the Lake Louisa State Park is simple as it is right off of FL-50 on US-27 in the middle of the state of Florida. You will be about a half-hour from Orlando, which is the theme park capital of the world. The home of Disney World and Universal Studios. You can also visit the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve, which is only about 30 miles to the west. This natural wonderland has more than 65 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails along with fishing, boating, and camping.
Once inside Lake Louisa State Park, getting around the park, even in an RV, is quite easy. You’ll find that there are no driving restrictions for RVs, so you’ll have nothing to worry about when you’re making your way from one part of the park to another. The local roads within the park offer access to each of the lakes.
There are lots of parking options in general at Lake Louisa State Park. They are also very accommodating with RVs, so if there are any issues, they do have overflow parking available near the piers for anyone that needs it. Of course, the campground is the easiest place to park your RV. Once you're parked, there are natural trails all around the park, providing easy walking access to each of the lakes.
You will find 60 campsites that are just perfect for any RV camper. Each site has 30- to 50-amp hookups available. Some sites feature water and sewer hookups. While site length varies, certain sites can even hold RVs up to 85 feet long. Make sure you check the length limits when reserving your spot, which you can do up to 11 months in advance. You will be able to cook with ease inside or outside your RV with utilities as well as a campfire ring at each site. There is also a picnic table that seats eight so the whole crew can eat together as a family.
Near your campsite, you will be able to find an RV dump station, two bathhouses, a fishing pier, and a pavilion. The bathhouses, fishing pier, pavilion, and even some of the sites are ADA accessible to make visits more enjoyable for all. The campground is also pet-friendly, so bring your pooch on your road trip. Some sites feature paved pads. With all of these great amenities, you can bet that lots of people want to camp here, so reserve your spot early.
Lake Louisa State Park also offers 17 lovely cabins that sit right along the banks of Lake Louisa. Each cabin can sleep up to six people and has two bedrooms. The cabins come with central air, water, and two full bathrooms. The fully furnished kitchen has a dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave, stove and oven, and a sink. They each have lights and bed tables as well as bedding. The living room has a sofa, chairs, and a large propane fireplace. On the deck, you can find a BBQ pit and picnic table so you can have a meal while enjoying the tranquility of the lake. Pets are not allowed in the cabins.
If you’ve decided that you just can’t live without bringing your horse along with you on your RV trip, you can camp with it at the primitive equestrian sites. This campground, located along Lake Nellie Road, includes five horse corrals, picnic tables, BBQ grills, campfire rings, water access, and a vault toilet.
Just to the southwest of Bear Lake, your horses will love it here as much as you will. You can also bring your other four-legged family members as long as you keep them on a leash or otherwise restrained at all times. You can enjoy all the scenery while they enjoy grazing in the nearby pasture. To get these great sites, though, you’ll need to make reservations.
For youth groups, the park also provides three primitive campsites that can each hold up to 20 people. They are all just south of the Equestrian Campground on Lake Nellie Road. There are no hookups, but they each have picnic tables and fire rings for cooking and eating. Pets are allowed but must be restrained at all times. Reservations are required and can be made up to 11 months in advance.
In the northern section of the park, you can find Wilderness Point Primitive Campground, where you can leave the RV behind and get back to nature by roughing it out in the wilderness. Well, it may not be complete wilderness since there are vault toilets, and each site has its own picnic table and campfire ring with a grill to cook on. However, it may feel super primitive since you will need to bring in your own water and trash bags to carry out your trash.
Located halfway between Lake Louisa and Dixie Lake with Big Creek just to the west, there are plenty of options for fishing, swimming, boating, and whatever other water sport you enjoy. Go ahead and bring your furbaby too because pets are welcome as long as you supervise them and keep them restrained at all times.
Pine Point Primitive Campground is in the southern section of the park along the banks of the Big Creek. You won’t be too far from the Dixie Lake Outpost at Dixie Lake, but you will need to bring in your own bottled water and food. There are no restrooms, but vault toilets are available nearby. These sites do have picnic tables and fire rings for cooking, so you are not totally roughing it.
You will have plenty of room for playing and splashing in the creek as well as fishing, and you can even toss in a raft and go for a float. The length that you will have to hike from the parking lot is only about a mile, but you will need to use a lot of insect repellent to keep the ticks and mosquitoes at bay. Pets are welcome but must be kept on a leash and supervised at all times. Be prepared to pack out everything you bring in because there are no trash dumpsters here.
There is an abundant variety of wildlife here at Lake Louisa State Park. You can spot deer, bobcats, squirrels, foxes, and even alligators. Many people also come to bird watch because many of the birds fly through the area on their way south for the winter. The American bald eagle and the osprey are two common birds of prey that you can spot, but there is so much more to see. You can pick up a butterfly and bird checklist at the ranger’s station to help you out.
There are 16 miles of trails that are marked just for equestrians at this state park. Your horse will enjoy being able to get out and walk through the Florida nature and scenery just as much as you will. The Equestrian Bronson Loop is 5.5-miles long and begins and ends at the trailhead by the equestrian campground. You will be guided on a meandering path around Bear Lake and on to Dixie Lake, Dude’s Lake, and Hook Lake. If you plan to stay the night here with your horse, there is equestrian camping available as well.
There are 27 total miles of roads and trails that you can bike on at Lake Louisa State Park. If you want an easy and simple ride, you can ride on seven miles of paved roads. If you want more of a challenge, there are 20 miles of trails that will provide you with more difficult terrain. You might need a mountain bike for the rougher trails. If you didn’t bring your own bike, you have the opportunity to rent one from the park instead.
There are over 20 miles of hiking trails available for you to discover at Lake Louisa State Park. Many people come to hike near Lake Louisa, plus you can enjoy a leisurely stroll on the nature trail. The trail starts at the parking lot at Lake Louisa, and it’s only half a mile. For more of a challenge, try the 2.6-mile Big Creek Loop that will take you all over the park through the woods and along the creek. For information on other trails, you can pick up a trail map online or when you enter the park. And make sure you practice proper trail etiquette while hiking.
The best place to have a great picnic is at the Lake Louisa day-use areas. There are plenty of shaded picnic tables to choose from at Lake Louisa, as well as charcoal BBQ grills, a bathhouse, a swimming area, and a playground for the kids. At Dixie Lake, you’ll find picnic tables, a charcoal grill, a restroom, boat launch, and a fishing dock. Whichever lake area you choose to have your picnic at, you will enjoy the serenity of the Florida wilderness and its untouched beauty.
Have you heard of geocaching yet? This new activity is like a modern-day scavenger hunt game that uses GPS coordinates for you to find the geocaches. Geocaching is a fun way to get out of the RV, do some exploring, and learn a little geography. Some geocaches are pretty easy to find while others offer more of a challenge. Either way, it can be exciting to see how many you can find before it is time to go home.
If you’d like to go swimming, the best place to go is at Lake Louisa State Park beach. This lake is one of the few that allows swimmers to play in the water at an actual swimming area. Swimming can be a lot of fun and a great way to cool off from the Florida summer heat. So, get ready to head out of the camper and jump in the water. There is no lifeguard, though, so remember that you are swimming at your own risk.
Feel free to fish at any of the lakes at the park, but make sure that you follow the regulations. To help you with this, you can pick up a handbook at the ranger station that will have everything that you need to know inside it. You’ll also need to be registered in order to fish at Smokehouse Lake. Not only can you catch a wide variety of fish in the lakes, but you can see amazing native wildlife while you are waiting for the fish to bite, too.
If you like to go canoeing or kayaking, you can bring your own boat and get out on the water at the park. If you’re a beginner or simply didn’t bring your own boat with you on this trip, then you still can rent one at the Dixie Lake Outpost. You can choose between single and tandem kayaks and three-person canoes. So, get ready to have a fun-filled day while getting some exercise out on the water.
While there is no boat ramp located in the park, there is one to Lake Louisa a little further out, just past the park. If your boat has an electric trolling motor and can be carried by hand into the water, then feel free to take the boat out on the lake. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll need to be back on land an hour before sunset, for safety reasons. You'll love cruising around on the glistening open waters of the lake.