The Southern Chain of Lakes is mostly within the boundaries of Winter Haven. Below is a brief description of each of the lakes in alphabetical order.
Lake Blue is near Auburndale Florida in Western Winter Haven Florida. This lake is a small lake having just 53.44 acres of surface area. The lake is connected by a canal to Lake Cannon the it’s SE but this is impassible. There is a boat launch on the southern shore and Lake Blue Park is on the NE shore.
Lake Cannon is nearly a perfectly round lake. This lake has a surface area of 333 acres and a mean depth of 10 feet. The maximum depth is around 17 feet. Lake Cannon has a boat ramp and pier on its western shore. The lake is realistically connected to Lakes Howard, Mirror and Idylwild.
Lake Eloise has a surface area of 1,174 acres, a 10-foot mean depth and it should be around 18 feet deep at its’ deepest point. This is a large and beautiful lake. Some of the residential communities on its west and southern sides have beautiful homes. On its eastern side you will find Legoland formerly Cypress Gardens. There is no public land around this lake. You can access it by boat from Lake Summit and Eloise is also connected via canal to Lakes Lulu and Winterset.
Lake Hartridge is in North Winter Haven just se of the Winter Haven Reginal Airport. This lake has a surface area of around 433-acres and some believe it to be shaped like a figure 8. It looks more like a dark version of Casper the friendly ghost to me. Lake Hartridge has a public boat ramp. At least 3 other boat ramps exist in private communities. The lake is connected to Lakes Conine and Idylwild
Lake Howard has a surface area of 624 acres or just under 1 square mile. Like many of the local lakes its’ mean depth is 10.9 feet or plenty deep enough. Lake Howard Drive encircles the lake, Lake Howard’s boat ramp is on the western side and South Lake Howard Nature Park is on the southwest side of this lake. The lake also is the home of the starting point of The Chain of Lakes Trail for biking etc. Lake Howard is connected to Lake May and Lake Howard.
Lake Idylwild is south of the Winter Haven Regional Airport and connected to Lakes Hartridge, Cannon and Jessie. This lake has a surface area of around 95.48 acres and there is a boat ramp at the Moose Lodge on the southern side of the lake. I do not know if you have to be a lodge member of not to use it.
Lake Jessie is a 189-acre lake west of the Winter Haven Regional Airport and connected to Lake Idylwild mentioned above. This lake is also home to a seaplane base located on its northeastern shore. Get used to seaplanes in Winter Haven. Although Tavares Fl claims to be the seaplane capitol of the world we also have quite a few here. I live in a lakefront home and they land on my lake all day long. We like it.
Lake Lulu connects Lake Shipp, Lake Eloise and Lake Roy. The lake has a surface area of 315 acres and is over one mile from east to west. The shoreline consists of residences and the Chain of Lakes Complex on the north and swampy shoreline to the south.
Lake Mariana is connected to the southern chain but do not plan on ever boating to it. It is located north of the Winter Haven Regional Airport and only connected by what I would call a ditch. However technically I guess it is connected for some fish species. The lake has a surface area of 508 acres which is very nice and the reason most of its shoreline is lined with homes. The lake is as much as 1 ½ from end to end.
Lake May is a small lake having just 49.7 acres of surface. This lake serves as the go between for Lake Howard and Lake Shipp. Lions Park is on the southern side and Marine Supply Boating Center is also on this lake. A great place to start you voyage.
Lake Mirror is connected to Lake Cannon and Spring Lake. It has a surface area of 131 acres and is shaped somewhat like a duck egg. The lake is nearly completely lined with nice homes. This is also a great place to start your journey out onto the Southern Chain of Lakes. However, keep in mind access to many of these lakes is affected by water level and yearly rain fall has a lot to do with that.
Lake Roy is connected to Lake Lulu and is located on the south side of Cypress Gardens Blvd just to the east of Winter Haven. Lake Roy is a beautiful lake with a surface area of 74.17 acres. The Public boat ramp aka Lake Roy Public Boat Ramp is located on the southeastern shoreline. There is room to leave your boat and trailer there while you are out unless of course someone beats you to the last available spot.
Lake Shipp is connected to Lake Lulu and Lake May. Lake Shipp is located on the SW corner of downtown Winter Haven Fl. This nearly round lake has a surface area of 276 acres and it is about 4000 feet across at its’ furthest points. Sertoma Park is located on its’ western shore and more than worth visiting. On its’ eastern side you will find the William G Roe Park and Boat Ramp which is probably the nicest on the chain.
Lake Spring or better known as Spring Lake has a surface area of only 24.19 acres. This is a “oh by the way lake” but worth mentioning because you can get a boat to it and it is somewhat private. It is connected only to Lake Mirror and allegedly contains some Rainbow Trout. If you wish to fish it you must come from Lake Mirror.
Lake Summit has only 65.97 acres of surface area. It is connected to Lake Eloise and located on the north side of Legoland. This is a beautiful lake although rather small. Lake Summit Boat Ramp is located on its’ western side and has room for nearly 20 trucks and boat trailers to park there. Another great option is owning one of the 31 lakefront homes on this lake.
Lake Winterset is the last of the Southern Chain of Lakes members. Lake Winterset has a surface area of 556 square acres. It also has a mean depth of 13 feet and max depth of 30 feet. Winterset is connected to Lake Eloise to the east and its little buddy to the south.
This is a fairly exhaustive list of than the name that involve the use of “little” I did leave two of those of this list because I just didn’t think they were necessary. I hope you enjoyed this summary of the Winter Haven FL Southern Chain of Lakes.