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Located in Clay County an hour southwest of Jacksonville, Deer Springs Lake is a small lake amongst 48 other lakes in the county. Known for its large number of vacation rentals and lake activities, Clay County has become an outdoor enthusiast's paradise.
Near Keystone Heights in Florida's North Region, the lake is close to many other lakes including Blue Pond, Camp Crystal Lake, Crystal Lake, Keystone Lake, Lake Brooklyn, Lake Geneva, Little Lake Geneva, Lost Pond, Lake Magnolia, Lake Mosquito, Perch Pond, Persimmon Pond, and Saddlebag Pond. All part of the St. Johns River Management District, these lakes provide recreation to a large part of northeast Florida.
Keystone Heights, which was established in 1925, is the closest town to Deer Springs Lake with a population of just over 1,300 residents. It was named after the state of Pennsylvania, the Keystone State, when residents began relocating to the area in the early 1920's. Keystone Beach and Leona F. Terry-Azalea Park are both located in Keystone Heights and offer fun off-the-lake activities. Head to Keystone Beach on Lake Geneva (only a few miles from Deer Springs Lake) for an afternoon picnic, a game of volleyball, or to experience the 5,200-square foot state-of-the-art wood playground built by local volunteers in just five days. Azalea Park offers a fitness trail with aerobic activities that winds through the azaleas and past a gazebo used for picnics and gatherings.
Activities at Deer Springs Lake and the surrounding area include camping, hiking, backpacking, fishing, swimming, paddling, water skiing, and wildlife viewing. Anglers should expect to catch largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, and redear in most of the lakes in the Keystone Heights Area. All of the lakes are sand-bottom lakes with the best fishing occurring in January, February, and March, when the fish are spawning. Three of the larger lakes in the area are Lake Geneva (1,630 acres), Lowry Lake (1,260 acres), and Lake Brooklyn (650 acres).
Close to Deer Springs Lake is one of Florida's first state parks, Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park. Developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930's, the park is located on rolling sandhills on the central ridge of Florida. Activities at the park include hiking, wildlife viewing, swimming, fishing, paddling, picnicking, camping, and horseback riding. There is a beach on Little Lake Johnson as well as four nature trails throughout the park. The park is home to white-tailed deer, turkey, fox squirrel, red tailed hawk, bald eagles, fox, and a number of water and wading birds.
Blessed by abundant nature and beautiful weather, Deer Springs Lake is just one of many lakes in the area that provides a paradise for fishermen, boaters, campers, and wildlife lovers. Vacation rentals are available around Deer Springs Lake and most of the other lakes in the region for daily, weekly, and monthly rental. Just 48 miles southwest of Jacksonville, this commuter's region presents the perfect blend between the outdoors and the big city.
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