Lake Eaton Trail

Area Status: Temporarily Closed

Trail leading into the forest.

Sharing the same parking area as the Lake Eaton Sinkhole Trail, the Lake Eaton Trail provides a 2.3-mile loop from a high point in the Big Scrub to oak and pine hammocks along the shores of Lake Eaton. Several boardwalks and observation decks provide shady spots for birding.

This trail wanders through several plant communities down to the lake itself, where an observation deck takes you out to the water's edge. Hikers meander through the fire-dependent sand pine scrub down to the hardwoods found along Lake Eaton's shore.

In mature sand pine scrub, the lower story contains scrub oaks, including sand live oak, myrtle oak and Chapman's oak. Also found under the sand pine are rusty lyonia, known as crooked wood, and silk bay. Small balls of deer moss can also be found dotting the ground's surface.

In contrast to the sand pine scrub, red maples, cypress, water oak, loblolly bay and laurel oak flourish in the area surrounding the lake. Wax myrtle and buttonbush are among the many shrubs that live in the understory of these hardwoods

Lake Eaton Campground

A large, shallow lake cradled by the Big Scrub, Lake Eaton offers many distinctive faces. As a seasonal access area, the Lake Eaton Campground has only 14 sites. At the end of the road, the Lake Eaton Boat Launch and Pier offers opportunities for boating and fishing.


  • Access to Lake Eaton for anglers and birders at the end of the entrance road for the Lake Eaton Campground. You do not need to be camping to enjoy lake access, which is open year-round.


  • Open seasonally, the Lake Eaton Campground provides access for campers and day use visitors to Lake Eaton via a boat ramp and accessible fishing pier.

Fishing and Nature Viewing

  • Shallow and broad, Lake Eaton covers 308 acres and is accessible from several points along its extensive shoreline for fishing, birding and wildlife watching. Fish from the pier at the adjacent Lake Eaton day use area or drop your boat in at the ramp.

At a Glance

Fees: Free
Closest Towns: The Lake Eaton Trail lies north of Scrambletown and south of Salt Springs off CR 314.

General Information

General Notes:

Amenities at the campground

  • Boat ramp
  • Campsites: 14 RV and tent sites in the campground
  • Interpretive nature trail
  • Parking
  • Vault toilets (at the campground)

Licenses and Passes


  • Boating in the National Forests in Florida is regulated by the state of Florida. Please visit our boating web page before you grab your personal floatation device and head out onto the water.  


Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Day Hiking

Viewing Wildlife

Viewing Plants

Viewing Scenery

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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