Get ready to float on the lake of your daydreams. You can explore Orange Lake in North Florida and you may see what's known as miniature floating islands. These loose vegetations drift freely in clusters across the surface of the water, creating an enchanting natural phenomenon — visit this spring and see if you can spot them. 

Orange Lake, nicknamed the "Lake of a Thousand Floating Islands," is about an hour and a half drive from Jacksonville, offering uniquely beautiful and strange sights.

The floating vegetation found on the lake is a rare find in Florida since it requires specific conditions in order to form. It can be identified as tussucks, floating islands, as well as floating forests. 

The first two kinds are formed when water levels rise and plants break off, which then begins to float freely across the lake. Floating forests are formed in more severe cases like hurricanes.

It's a surreal sight to see as the little lush green islands gently drift across Orange Lake, which you can watch happening in the video below.

If you're looking for unusual islands to explore, you should also adventure to this Florida island that's been here since the last ice age and is home to wild roaming tortoises.

Some of the lake's floating islands have trees growing out of them. These unique little roving habitats look like something out of a storybook. 

Tussucks and floating islands have to be managed so that they don't harm the lake's habitat. They're made up of both native and non-native plant species. 

Visit Orange Lake in North Florida this spring. Rent a kayak or canoe and look for these floating islands on their peaceful journies across the lake. 

Orange Lake

Price: Varies depending on where you launch from.

Address: Multiple access points available throughout North Florida. Look for boat launches to the lake here.

Why You Need To Go: Admire stunning floating islands as you boat, swim, and paddle across this stunning waterscape.


We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.


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