Santa Fe Lake, Florida, USA

Also known as:  Lake Santa Fe

Santa Fe Lake, also known as Lake Santa Fe, is a sparkling 5,850-acre expanse that lies in northeastern Alachua County, Florida. Actually divided into two lakes — Santa Fe Lake and Little Santa Fe Lake — this watery playground is connected and easily navigable by boat. The lake is spring-fed and feeds into the Santa Fe River, which eventually empties into the Suwannee River. One of the larger Florida lakes, – READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Santa Fe Lake! Article topics include:

Looking for Santa Fe 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 Santa Fe Lake! Article topics include:

Looking for Santa Fe 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 Santa Fe Lake

Lake Locations: USA - South - Florida - North -

Santa Fe Lake, also known as Lake Santa Fe, is a sparkling 5,850-acre expanse that lies in northeastern Alachua County, Florida. Actually divided into two lakes — Santa Fe Lake and Little Santa Fe Lake — this watery playground is connected and easily navigable by boat. The lake is spring-fed and feeds into the Santa Fe River, which eventually empties into the Suwannee River. One of the larger Florida lakes, Santa Fe Lake is a popular vacation destination.

The State of Florida has designated Santa Fe Lake as an Outstanding Florida Water. The Suwannee River Water Management District manages the area’s rivers and lakes to protect water quality and floodplain ecosystems and provide natural storage for flood waters.

Private docks grace the lakeshore in the communities of Earleton and Melrose. Melrose grew as center of a tourism and citrus industry in the late 1800’s, when railroad and water were the main methods of transportation. A series of canals were dredged in the 1870’s and 1880’s to connect Melrose to the railroad terminal in Waldo. The invention of the automobile and expansion of the country’s road system led to the last boat navigating the canals in 1925.

Santa Fe Lake Park is maintained by Alachua County and offers visitors a wide variety of activities. Nature lovers are invited to walk the park’s trails, taking in the scenes around them. If you’re quiet (and a bit lucky), animals native to the area will dart across your path, and deer will dash through the surrounding forest. If you keep your eyes to the sky, you may catch a glimpse of a bald eagle, soaring and circling as it hones in on its next meal.

Santa Fe Lake Park is also equipped with a boat ramp, which is the ideal launching spot for your boat. The lake is the perfect size: at just over 5,800 acres, you’ll get to see almost every part of Santa Fe Lake if you dedicate an entire day to its exploration. Take your time, though, and stop to enjoy the lake’s tranquility. It’s amazing what a healthy dose of warm sun, blue sky, and friendly breeze can do for your spirits.

If you have use of a boat, you should also try a bit of fishing. Anglers are loyal to Lake Santa Fe because of its excellent black crappie, bluegill, largemouth bass, hybrid-striped bass, redear, and sunshine bass. Cypress trees loom, casting shadows, and their aquatic roots provided shelter and an ideal habitat for the thousands of fish that are native, as well as those that are stocked. When casting your line, look for maidencane grass beds, reeds, old tree stumps, and Cypress roots, and you’re sure to reel in a hefty catch.

After a day of sun and fun, one of the lake’s great treats is watching a burning orange sun set over the horizon. The lake’s still waters and reedy grasses light up in imitation of the sky, and as you watch the sun disappear and the last wisps of color smear across the sky, you will realize that this trip will never be forgotten.

Things to Do at Santa Fe Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Hiking
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Playground

Fish Species Found at Santa Fe Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Redear Sunfish (Shellcracker)
  • Striped Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Sunshine Bass

All About Santa Fe Lake

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Santa Fe Lake

The Santa Fe 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 Santa Fe 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 Santa Fe 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 Santa Fe 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 Santa Fe Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Santa Fe 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

Water Level Control: Suwannee River Water Management District

Surface Area: 5,850 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 141 feet

Average Depth: 20 feet

Maximum Depth: 30 feet

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 Santa Fe Lake news from LakeLubbers.com

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

Do you have a vacation rental property at Santa Fe 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 Santa Fe 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 Santa Fe Lake vacation rental or local business.

The former Santa Fe Lake forum is closed. Find out why here.

New Santa Fe Lake photo gallery is coming soon.

Please share this article with your fellow lake lovers!

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

Explore local Santa Fe 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 Santa Fe Lake forum group? Click Here

New Santa Fe Lake photos coming soon!

Vacation Home Name

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  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • hot tub
  • wifi