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Sometimes referred to as the "Headwaters of the Everglades," Alligator Lake in East Osceola County is part a chain of lakes in south-central Florida. The Alligator Chain of Lakes is known primarily for its fishing, boating, and bird watching. With its proximity to Disney Wold, Kissimmee and Orlando, Alligator Lake is a fantastic destination for the entire family.
At 3,397 acres, Alligator Lake is the largest lake in the chain. The Alligator Chain of Lakes includes 148-acre Coon Lake, 273-acre Trout Lake, 792-acre Lake Lizzie, and Brick Lake, all of which are connected by Central & South Florida (C & S F) canals. The Central & South Florida Project is a series of levees, canals, and water control structures authorized by Congress in 1948. The C & S F Project provides flood control, water for municipal, industrial and agricultural needs, and protects fish and wildlife.
There are two water control structures in the Alligator Chain of Lakes. The main structure is located at the south outlet of Alligator Lake, and allows water to flow through a C & S F canal and on into 410-acre Lake Gentry. The entire chain of lakes is navigable by boat because of the canals. Live Oak Lake, Bay Lake, Sardine Lake, Buck Lake and Pearl Lake are also linked to the Alligator Chain of Lakes through private canals. Additionally, the chain is connected to the much larger Kissimmee Chain of Lakes.
With the exception of the water control structure, Alligator Lake, like most of the lakes in the chain, is a natural lake. The lake is divided into two lobes, the southwest lobe and the slightly larger northeast lobe. There are vacation rentals and restaurants, along with real estate and residential development around the lake. The lot sizes, however, remain large, maintaining the lake's natural feeling. Despite the increasing development, Alligator Lake is still considered a very clean Florida lake, and the US Army Corps of Engineers monitors and controls the water quality in the entire Alligator Chain.
There are public boat ramps and plenty of water for boating, jet skiing, water skiing and wake boarding. Alligator Lake has healthy populations of bluegill, black crappie, redear sunfish, and shellcrackers along with largemouth bass to challenge anglers. The entire chain of lakes is under-fished, so there are plenty of fish to go around. Alligator Lake hosts several fishing tournaments every year for both children and adults. Although there aren't as many alligators as the name would imply, there is hunting for alligators, frogs, and ducks near the lake, and quiet boaters can bird watch from canoes and kayaks. The interconnected canals allow boaters and anglers access to the entire Alligator Chain of Lakes.
Nearby, Lake Lizzie Nature Preserve, at the south end of Lake Lizzie, is home to several threatened and endangered species, including the red-cockaded woodpecker, Florida scrub Jay, and woodstork. The preserve is an Audubon Society-designated Important Bird Area and offers visitors to Alligator Lake a spectacular opportunity for bird watching.
Alligator Lake is just a few miles from St. Cloud. With its historic downtown, farmers market, shopping and restaurants, it has the amenities of a big city with the charm of a small town. Saint Cloud is just 25 miles from Orlando and its world-renowned attractions. Add the natural beauty and wildlife, and a trip to Alligator Lake has something to please every member of the family.
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