Lake Jackson (Leon County, Florida)

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Lake Jackson
Lake Jackson, September 2005, with storm approaching. Note flying ducks.
Lake Jackson TLH Florida.gif
LocationLeon County, Florida
Coordinates30°31′46″N 84°19′21″W / 30.5294°N 84.3225°W / 30.5294; -84.3225Coordinates: 30°31′46″N 84°19′21″W / 30.5294°N 84.3225°W / 30.5294; -84.3225
Typeprairie lake
Primary outflowssinkholes
Catchment area42.1 square miles (109 km2)
Basin countriesUnited States
Max. length8 miles (13 km)
Surface area6.2 square miles (16 km2)
Surface elevationmax. 96.2 feet (29.3 m)
Lake Jackson is located in Florida
Lake Jackson
Lake Jackson
Lake site in state of Florida

Lake Jackson is a shallow, prairie lake on the north side of Leon County, Florida, United States, near Tallahassee, with two major depressions or sinkholes known as Porter Sink and Lime Sink.

The lake is located in the Red Hills Region, and has fluctuated from periods of being dry to a maximum elevation of 96 feet (29 m) above sea level. The lake is approximately 7.5 miles (12 km) long and its area is 6.2 square miles (16 km2). There is no outflow from streams or runoff.


Interstate 10 runs across the southern tip of the lake.

There is another Lake Jackson and Little Lake Jackson in Sebring, Florida, not related to the current article.

The Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological State Park is located adjacent to the lake.




Water drains from the lake into the Floridan Aquifer through the sinkholes. These are usually partially or completely plugged with sediments, but collapse when groundwater levels drop[citation needed], allowing lake water to funnel into the aquifer, which can completely drain the lake. Early 1840 newspapers report the lake drained empty. The lake also drained on September 16, 1999.[1] On May 10, 2007, the lake flowed down the Porter Sink, but pools of water still remained.[2]



Least tern at Lake Jackson, Florida, May 2004

Species found at Lake Jackson and the surrounding watershed are the snowy egret, little blue heron, wood stork, bald eagle, least tern, American alligator and round-tailed muskrat. Brown pelicans, rare inland, have also been found on occasion.


American lotus at Lake Jackson, Florida, August 2006

Submerged vegetation is abundant throughout the lake and include blue hyssop, coontail, green fanwort, variable-leaf milfoil, and bladderwort. Marsh plants include maidencane, pickerelweed, American lotus, and slender spikerush. Numerous wetland tree and woody plant species also inhabit the drier portions of the transitional marsh. These include sweetgum, a variety of oaks, wax myrtle, and elderberry.


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