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A large tan-colored buck pauses, as if posing for the camera. Mist rises off Lake Louisa on a cold morning. This boardwalk leads down to the lake. The rustic bridge, surrounded by tall trees, crosses Big Creek.
Lake Louisa State Park
Tall cypress trees look down on their reflection in the blue water of Lake Louisa.

History and Culture

In 1823, the Treaty of Moultrie Creek designated this area as part of the Seminole Reservation. In 1910, John and Louise Driggors Hammond settled most of the land surrounding Lake Louisa. The homestead included the family home, a turpentine still, sawmill, shingle mill, a combination school and church, commissary, worker¿s cabin and cooperage. The family exported their goods by way of steamboats and barges across Lake Louisa. In 1943, the Bronson family acquired some of the property and established orange groves and a cattle ranch. Acres of old pasture and some of the orange groves from this era can still be seen in the park today. Purchased by the state in 1973, the Lake Louisa property became a state park in 1974 and opened to the public in 1977.

A narrow gauge steam engine hauls logs on flatbeds in 1910.

Railroad

The narrow gauge railway was used to haul logs from Lake Louisa swamp to Hammond Sawmill. This photo was taken in 1910.

Four men help load lumber onto boats from the narrow gauge terminus on Lake Louisa.

Hammond's Landing

Now known as the present-day swimming area at Lake Louisa, at the time it was the terminus of a narrow gauge railroad. From here supplies and lumber were loaded onto boats to be carried across the lake.

The Hammond family and an unidentified couple, circa 1906.

Hammond Family

This house was located on the Hammond settlement near Lake Louisa. This 1906 photo shows John and Louise Hammond, the settlement's namesakes, with two little girls and an unidentified couple.

A very young gopher tortoise ventures out.

Gopher Tortoise

Gopher tortoises are common sights along the park drive. Please watch out for wildlife when driving through the park.

Four adult turkeys and their poults cross a trail at Lake Louisa.

Wild Turkeys

Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife at Lake Louisa! The trails and campsites offer ample opportunities to observe some of the many animal species that call Florida home.