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Located within commuting distance from Gainesville and Hawthorne, Lake Jeffords is a private lake in Alachua County. The lake is ringed with residential development and neighborhoods. There is real estate available for sale, including water front lots and lake front vacation rentals. Because the lake is private, however, it stays quiet and doesn't feel crowded. There is more than enough room for boating and water skiing, and anglers will find plenty of fish in the lake including black crappie, largemouth bass, and bluegill.
Lake Jeffords is connected to nearby 5,700-acre Lochloosa Lake by a small stream that allows water to pass between the two bodies of water. Most of the moss-draped cypress lined shore of Lochloosa Lake is surrounded by the Lochloosa Wildlife Conservation Area. Acquired by the St. Johns River Water Management District and managed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the conservation area is a fantastic place to see both birds and wildlife. Nineteen rare or endangered species, including the sandhill crane and east indigo snake, make their home at the Lochloosa Wildlife Conservation Area. It is also home to black bear, osprey and a colony of wood storks. The area is part of the Great Florida Birding Trail, a self-guided highway trail that encompasses about 490 sites in Florida.
Just a short drive from Lake Jeffords, Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park includes over 21,000 acres for wildlife viewing. Established in 1971, it is Florida's first state preserve and a national natural landmark. Alligators, wild horses, and over 270 species of birds make their home at the state park. American bison were reintroduced into the park in the 1970's and lucky visitors might catch a glimpse of the majestic beasts grazing. There is also a small herd of wild Spanish horses. Hiking, biking, and horse back riding trails provide access to see the wildlife, and there is a campground for overnight stays.
Lake Jeffords is a few miles from Hawthorne. Established in 1840, Hawthorne has been serving the hunters and fishermen that flock to north Florida's lakes for over a century. In fact by 1881, Moore's Hotel was serving over 2,500 game birds a season, a testament to the area's prolific bird populations. Today, Hawthorne has shops, restaurants, museums and any amenities a visitor might need. Lake Jeffords is close enough to Gainesville to commute. The city has any of the cultural opportunities a guest or resident might want including the Florida Museum of Natural History. Gainesville is also the home of the University of Florida.
Because of its proximity to Gainesville, Lochloosa Lake and Paynes Prairie, Lake Jeffords is the perfect home base for a vacation or for a lifetime. The beautiful water of this private lake makes it an ideal north Florida destination.
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