Winter Park Chain of Lakes
Winter Park has an interesting history and, to some extent, has a lot to do with its beautiful lakes. Just North East of Downtown Orlando, and right among the beautiful trees in Downtown Winter Park lie the Winter Park Chain of Lakes. There are five major lakes that cover approximately 2,781 acres. These five lakes, Lake Virginia, Lake Osceola, Lake Maitland, Lake Mizell and Lake Minnehaha, are all interconnected by narrow, deep canals that allow navigation between the lakes. These lakes are extremely popular with water skiers and fisherman alike. There are several boat slips along the lake shores that make it easy to enjoy these picturesque bodies of water. There are also boat tours that tour you around these canals in and out of the lakes enjoying the beautiful mansions along the shores of the Winter Park Chain of Lakes.
Lake Virginia, the southernmost lake, has Rollins College along its shores. The close proximity to the college campus and to the Downtown Winter Park area makes it a popular location for locals and tourists alike. Lake Virginia spans about 225 acres. Winter Park provides a small park with picnic area, a swim beach, a fishing dock and boat launch at Dinky Park on Lake Virginia.
Lake Mizell, located directly east of Lake Virginia is one of the smaller lakes in the chain of lakes, spanning 62 acres, and very popular with locals looking for a relaxing, picturesque escape. Lake Mizell is named after David Mizell Jr, the first person to settle with his family along the banks of the lake.
Lake Osceola, directly north of Lake Mizell, covers an area of 156 acres, and was the impetus for naming the area Osceola, now known as Winter Park.
Lake Maitland, the largest of the lakes covering 449 acres, is located just north of Lake Osceola. It was named after Fort Maitland, built on the western shores of the lake during the Second Seminole War in 1838.
Lake Minnehaha is the northernmost lake and the second smallest covering 97 acres. It is in the City of Maitland and has the Lake Minnehaha Park along its shores.