Dunford Lake, Florida, USA

Also known as:  Dunford Pond

For the Florida visitor who wants to bypass crowded beaches and tourist attractions, Dunford Lake may be just the ticket. Small Dunford Lake in Florida’s Panhandle West Region is not only uncrowded – it’s nearly unknown! Located halfway between Chipley on I-10 and Panama City on the Gulf, little Dunford Lake is a vital part of a larger natural ecosystem: it’s one of many small sinkhole lakes located among the – READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Dunford Lake! Article topics include:

Looking for Dunford Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Dunford Lake! Article topics include:

Looking for Dunford Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

All About Dunford Lake

Lake Locations: USA - South - Florida - Panhandle West -

For the Florida visitor who wants to bypass crowded beaches and tourist attractions, Dunford Lake may be just the ticket. Small Dunford Lake in Florida’s Panhandle West Region is not only uncrowded – it’s nearly unknown! Located halfway between Chipley on I-10 and Panama City on the Gulf, little Dunford Lake is a vital part of a larger natural ecosystem: it’s one of many small sinkhole lakes located among the old sand hills that recharge the Florida aquifer. Situated on the large karst plateau that underlies several counties in the middle of the Panhandle, lakes here are usually created by collapsed underground cavities in the porous limestone beneath the sand. Typical of sinkhole lakes in this region, Dunford Lake lies in a depression about thirty feet below the level of the ground around it. It is spring-fed from the water trapped in the limestone beneath the floor. The lake level rises and falls according to how much rainfall replenishes the underlying aquifer. Perhaps for this reason, State lakes databases do not list a depth for Dunford Lake, or for most lakes in the region.

Dunford Lake area was originally settled by Native Americans who valued the abundant wildlife attracted by the lakes and held many of the more obvious springs as sacred. When European settlers arrived, lumbering became the main attracting force. Much of the original pine and oak covering the region was logged out quickly, changing the ecology of the area considerably. At one time, steamships moved freight up and down the nearby Holmes Creek and Choctawhatchee River to the Gulf. Sadly, the railroads bypassed the small town of Vernon which quickly destroyed much of its economic base. Vernon still provides the closest spot for the area visitor to pick up supplies. The creek and river are now popular canoeing routes and Cypress Springs near Vernon is popular with campers, snorkelers and divers.

At 210 acres, Dunford Lake is a haven for swimming and fishing. The lake has several submerged sandbars and one large surface sandbar/island. The lake is known to hold bass, crappie & chain pickerel. As most sinkhole lakes in the region produce absolutely stunning bluegill, one can guess that the same is true of Dunford Lake. In fact, sinkhole lakes hold several state records for large bluegills. The lake is exceedingly clean and clear with little submerged vegetation. It is rumored that there is a publicly-accessible boat launch on the west shore of the lake, but state maps do not show it. The northern half of the lake is uninhabited and no roads surround the lake in this area. The southern half is part of a gated community called Paradise Lakes. The lovely homes in Paradise Lakes are primarily situated on the narrow strip of land between Dunford Lake and neighboring Lucas Lake. Most sit high above the lakes with fine views over the water. Communal docks are provided for residents in a couple of places within the community. Lots are large and heavily wooded. Residents value the wildlife they observe here, including the nesting bald eagles that call the lake home. Local restrictions require that all building must take place 300 feet or more from the water line, so the nearly 5-mile shoreline remains tree-covered and natural. One could canoe or kayak here in perfect tune with nature and still be home for lunch!

Because of concern for over-development above the aquifer, the Northwest Florida Water Management District has created a 2,155-acre Sand Hill Lakes Wetland Mitigation Bank a mile south of Dunford Lake to recover and restore wetlands, lakes and rivers in this critical ecological region. Although providing recreational activities including hiking, fishing, and hunting, the Mitigation Bank primarily acquires and restores properties in the area to pre-settlement ecological conditions. A few miles to the east, Econfina Creek Water Management Area has preserved 41,000 acres along several major and minor rivers. Although this area is open for public hunting, fishing, horseback riding, camping, picnicking and exploring, it’s safe to assume that there will be less lakefront property in the area for private development in the future. Currently, much of Washington County is uninhabited except for the small cities near I-10, so the real estate purchaser wanting solitude couldn’t find a more pristine location.

Although there is little settlement around Dunford Lake, one needn’t feel totally isolated. At 30 miles away, it’s actually close enough to Panama City to commute daily. Chipley on I-10 is only about 25 miles to the north. And for gas, groceries and the local diner, Vernon is five miles to the north-west. Panama City will provide all of the nightlife, cultural activities and shopping the country resident or visitor will desire. Popular Panama City Beach opens the entire Gulf region to the day traveler, or enjoy an upscale week-end at one of the resorts in the vicinity. Topsail Hill Preserve State bark is only a short distance west of Panama City, with beach camping, playgrounds, fishing and all types of beachfront activities to enjoy. The Dunford Lake-lubber can have the best of all worlds.

Vacation rentals at Dunford Lake are rare but sometimes exist. There are accommodations such as bed-and-breakfasts and hotels in the general area. And, month-to-month rentals are becoming more plentiful along the lake, many with lake views and lake access. So, instead of the same old Orlando vacation, experience Dunford Lake and the unique ecology of the Florida Panhandle. Bring the camera – beautiful nature shots await.

Things to Do at Dunford Lake

  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Snorkeling
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Playground
  • Shopping

Fish Species Found at Dunford Lake

  • Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Chain Pickerel
  • Crappie
  • Pickerel
  • Pike
  • Sunfish

All About Dunford Lake

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Dunford Lake

The Dunford Lake map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.


More Ways to Book a Dunford Lake Vacation

While our interactive map above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME rental homes (with VRBO) and nearby hotels (with Booking.com), there might be times when you need to expand your search with a different type of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you might want to explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our full disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Dunford Lake Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Dunford Lake Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


Recommended Sites to Book a Dunford Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Dunford Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.
ALL TRAVEL RESOURCES

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 210 acres

Shoreline Length: 5 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 72 feet

Trophic State: Oligotrophic

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

More Dunford Lake news from LakeLubbers.com

  • Advertise your vacation rental property or local business: DETAILS HERE
  • The Dunford Lake forum has been discontinued: HERE’S WHY
  • New Dunford Lake photos coming soon!
  • You’re invited to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!
  • Share this Dunford Lake article with your fellow LakeLubbers:

Do you have a vacation rental property at Dunford Lake? Coming in 2022, LakeLubbers will have an opportunity for you to showcase your listing and put it in front of thousands of lake lovers searching our site for homes, condos or townhomes to rent for their upcoming lake trip this season.

Please get in touch with our advertising team HERE and we’ll provide you more details on this upcoming advertising opportunity.

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Looking for the Dunford Lake forum?

LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here.

We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!

Click here to advertise your Dunford Lake vacation rental or local business.

The former Dunford Lake forum is closed. Find out why here.

New Dunford Lake photo gallery is coming soon.

Please share this article with your fellow lake lovers!

Spread the word! Share our Dunford Lake article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

Explore local Dunford Lake vacation rentals and hotel accommodations using our interactive map. Clicking on listings below will allow you to compare nearby properties, best rates and availability for your dates.

Looking for the old Dunford Lake forum group? Click Here

New Dunford Lake photos coming soon!

Vacation Home Name

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  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • hot tub
  • wifi