Orange Lake (Florida)

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Coordinates: 29°27′54″N 82°10′39″W / 29.46500°N 82.17750°W / 29.46500; -82.17750 Orange Lake is in Alachua County, Florida, about ten miles south of Hawthorne. It has an area of about 750 square km, and is part of the Orange Creek Basin. which is in turn part of the Oklawaha River watershed. Cross Creek flows into it from Lochloosa Lake, and Orange Creek drains it into the Rodman Reservoir. Orange Lake also receives water from Newnans Lake that has been diverted from its historic destination of Paynes Prairie. Orange Lake is noted for fishing, especially bass, with many fishing camps on its shores. The lake also has many natural floating islands, which have an "unusually high diversity", especially of amphibians.[1][2]

The western shore of Orange Lake was the site of the town of Potano in 1539, when it was visited by the Hernando de Soto expedition. The town of Potano was moved to a site northwest of Gainesville, Florida in 1584 after being burned by the Spanish, but the Mission of San Buenaventura de Potano was established at the old site of the town in 1605 or 1606.[3][4] The lake was named for its location in a citrus-growing district.[5]


  1. ^ St. Johns River Water Management District - Orange Creek
  2. ^ St. Johns River Water Management District - Orange Lake
  3. ^ Hann, John H. (1996). A History of the Timucua Indians and Missions. Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida. p. 166. ISBN 0-8130-1424-7. 
  4. ^ Milanich, Jerald T. (1995). Florida Indians and the Invasion of Europe. Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida. pp. 175, 179–183. ISBN 0-8130-1636-3. 
  5. ^ Ratliff, Freida (Jul 31, 1986). "Citrus is gone, but memories remain". Ocala Star-Banner. pp. 1B. Retrieved 3 November 2015.