kids encyclopedia robot

Lake George (Florida) facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Lake George
Lake George Channel.jpg
St. Johns River channel entering Lake George from the south.
Location of Lake George in Florida, USA.
Location of Lake George in Florida, USA.
Lake George
Location in Florida
Location of Lake George in Florida, USA.
Location of Lake George in Florida, USA.
Lake George
Location in the United States
Location Volusia / Putnam counties, Florida, United States
Coordinates 29°17′12″N 81°35′53″W / 29.28667°N 81.59806°W / 29.28667; -81.59806
Primary inflows St. Johns River
Juniper Creek
Salt Creek
Silver Glen Springs
Primary outflows St. Johns River
Basin countries United States
Max. length 11 mi (18 km)
Max. width 6 mi (9.7 km)
Surface area 46,000 acres (19,000 ha)
Average depth 8 ft (2.4 m)
Islands Drayton Island
Hog Island
Settlements Astor, Florida
Georgetown, Florida
Salt Springs, Florida
Pierson, Florida
Volusia, Florida

Lake George or Lake Welaka is a broad and shallow brackish lake on the St. Johns River in the U.S. state of Florida.


The St. Johns River flows out of the lake at the north end at Rocky Point. To the east of this is Salt Cove, taking the flow from Salt Creek. Just south of Salt Cove is Lisk Point, named for a Dr. Lisk who built a house near the point. Steamboats coming down from Jacksonville made a counter clockwise loop around the lake with their first stop at Lisk Point.

Lake George is the second largest lake in Florida, after Lake Okeechobee. Lake George was the third largest lake behind Lake Apopka, but conversion of the littoral zone on the northern side of Lake Apopka to farm fields in the previous century reduced its surface area.


The name of Lake Welaka is taken from "Welaka" (meaning "chain of lakes"), the name for the St. Johns River in the language of the Timucua, who inhabited the region prior to European settlement. The first European to visit the lake was Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, who as the Spanish governor of Florida, explored the St. Johns River in the spring of 1596.

Later, the Florida territory was sold to Britain. The royal botanist in America to King George III, John Bartram, explored the St. Johns River in 1765. It was John Bartram who gave the lake the name Lake George, in honor of his king.

Lake George panoramic
Panoramic of Lake George taken near the mouth of Silver Glen Springs

In more recent years, Lake George has been home to an operational U.S. Military bombing and aerial mining range. The range is affiliated with the U.S. Navy's Pinecastle Bombing Range located in the Ocala National Forest just west of Lake George. The bombing ranges date back to World War II, when the Navy built bomb targets in Lake George and nearby Crescent Lake, and stationed personnel in the area to maintain the targets and perform search and rescue operations for downed pilots. Today, the range is under the operational control of nearby Naval Air Station Jacksonville.

The lake also hosts a wide variety of wildlife ranging from migratory water birds and alligators to a number of normally marine animals. Local springs in Lake George (and throughout the St Johns River) impart enough salt to the system to make the habitat suitable to resident and migratory marine species like Atlantic stingray, various species of mullet, striped bass and blue crabs. There is a large enough blue crab population to support a local fishery, making it one of the only fresh water blue crab fisheries in the world.

kids search engine
Lake George (Florida) Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.