The Butler Chain of Lakes is a connected group of 13 individually named lakes. These lakes are connected by as many as 32 canals that can be passed through by boat. Windermere Florida is the home of the namesake of this chain which is of course Lake Butler.
Lake Butler has 1,611 surface acres which make it a very large lake. Not all of the lakes are within Windermere but thankfully the namesake is. Heads up, most of the boat ramps are private. The picnic facility in Windermere which is by the boat ram is also private.
People who are not yet familiar also search online for Windermere Chain of Lakes and Orlando Chain of Lakes. The Butler Chain of Lakes is usually what they are searching for.
How did these lakes come into existence? Most likely from what is known as Karst Topography. Many of Florida's lakes came from underground limestone deposits eroding over time and the soil over them collapsing and leaving deep holes. Then it simply fills with water often leaving a circular pool and some nearby wildlife habitat. This is also the case other cities like Winter Haven FL that have many lakes.
Alphabetically the 13 lakes included are Blanche, Butler, Chase, Fish, Isleworth, Lake Down, Little Lake Down, Louise, Pocket, Sheen, Tibet Butler, Un-named Lake and Wauseon Bay. Let's take a brief look at what is so special about these outstanding Florida Waters.
Lake Blanche borders the Bay Hill Country Club. This is one of the eastern most of the Butler Chain of Lakes. Head east from Lake Tibet to get to this lake. It is fairly small but gorgeous homes on both the east and west sides of the lake await your visit.
Lake Butler is the namesake of the Butler Chain of Lakes. Lake Butler is great for bass fishing. Bird Island is also on this lake. Everyone in Central Florida thinks well of Lake Butler. Not everyone comes here for the local world class theme parks. Is this the largest lake on the Butler Chain? Click the blue links to discover which is the largest lake. Wauseon Bay is in the northeast corner.
Lake Chase similar to a few other Central Florida lakes is named after a famous local family. Chase Road is also named after them. Click the link to discover more.
Fish Lake or Little Fish Lake is on the south side of Pocket Lake. Quality bass fishing is everywhere on the Butler Chain of lakes but there is little boat traffic here which is a typical Florida occurrence on smaller lakes.
Lake Isleworth aka Lake Palmer is adjacent to the Isleworth Country Club. The Isleworth Country Club is even more amazing thanks to the Butler Chain of Lakes. One of public boat ramps to the Butler Chain of lakes is on Lake Isleworth. Keene park's boat ramp is where to head if you are not a member of the Isleworth Country Club.
Lake Down is the northern most lake of the Butler Chain of Lakes. One of the public boat ramps is located on the south western side. The Orange County sheriff's office patrols the ramp and lake fronts to make sure everything is safe. On the lake's west side a somewhat hidden canal connects Lake Down to Wauseon Bay by passing beneath Main Street/ Maguire Road in Downtown Windermere Florida.
Little Fish Lake is the southernmost lake in the Butler Chain. The Butler Chain can be accessed on the north side of this one through a long canal which most vessels for water sports can traverse. The canal is a no wake zone and follow boater safety regulations. The canal is not a well maintained slalom course.
Little Lake Down has but 24 surface acres. In Orange County that is fairly small to be a named lake. It is on the northwest corner of Lake Down just north of the canal to Wauseon Bay. This lake occasionally could benefit from some aquatic weed control.
Beautiful Lake Louise. Lake Louise is between Lake Butler and Lake Isleworth of the Butler Chain. The Butler Chain would truly miss this lake or Lake Chase. Both are vital to the water flow. A canal south connects to Lake Isleworth.
Pocket Lake leads to Little Fish Lake on the south side and Lake Sheen of the Butler Chain to the north. Although Pocket Lake is hidden to the south it is well worth the visit just to see the mansions there.
Lake Sheen is south of Lake Tibet. Lake Sheen Reserve is on the west side of this lake and so is a beautiful park. Soon Element Homes will complete a beautiful community also on the west side of Lake Sheen.
Lake Tibet is a long but narrow lake. Lake Tibet connects several lakes within the Butler Chain. In fact without Lake Tibet there would be no Butler Chain of Lakes. Four of the lakes interconnect to Lake Tibet and the Bay Hill Country Club and so does Isleworth.
Also known as Tibet Cove is a circular shaped lake. This lake leads to the lake system known as the chain of lakes. Boat traffic on it light as Keenes Pointe is a private club and community. The canal to Lake Tibet is narrow and may have sunken logs so observe posted speed limits.
Lake Butler also has a large 23-acre island called either Bird Island or Lake Butler Island and it is owned by the Florida Audubon Society. There is abundant wildlife at this bird sanctuary/ nature preserve. Excessive water sports can disturb them and it is occasionally surrounded by those partaking in recreational boating.
There are only two public ramps that provide access to the Butler Chain of Lakes. Those two ramps are the Lake Down Boat Ramp and the ramp in RD Keene Park. RD Keene Park's entrance is on Chase Road and has room for boat trailers. Some refer to this as Keene park's boat ramp.
One great option for those wishing to access the Butler Chain is the Orange County Sportsman's Club which is a private marina. Members can launch their boat and even park a boat or kayak long term.
Parking a vessel is not automatic and you will normally have to go on a waiting list. Membership is a nominal fee and we believe a great alternative. Especially if you are a sportsman and a boater that has to trailer to far to get to RD Keene Park. Unfortunately there is a waiting list to just apply for membership.
The Lake Down boat ramp has no parking and is not easy for the novice to launch a larger boat. Or for that matter maneuver a trailer. It is for those reasons we recommend RD Keene Park for access to the Butler Chain of Lakes.
Another thing to keep in mind is many of the passages are actually under bridges. Maguire Road and Chase Road are the first to come to mind. You cannot pass through with a yacht. There is a clearance restriction. Some T-tops may even be an issue. Be careful, enjoy the sights, have fun and take some friends and family out on the Butler Chain of Lakes.