Hidden Gems: Lake Killarney in Winter Park

“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.”

– John Lubbock


Central Florida is full of natural wonders: palm trees, orange blossoms, beaches, and lakes. Whether you live in the sunshine state or are visiting, there is no shortage of nature to explore. Pleasant weather in the 407 makes it feel like summer all year around. It’s always a perfect time to go on a peaceful adventure. In Winter Park, one of the most stunning natural hidden gems is right around the corner- Lake Killarney. Spending an afternoon at Lake Killarney is a great way to kick back and enjoy some of Florida’s nature. What makes it a unique experience is that there is something for everyone: nature photography, paddle boarding, fishing, walking the dog, fun for the kids, or a romantic walk. If you are looking for a place to unwind after work or a long week, Lake Killarney offers a peaceful sanctuary.  It’s more than just a lake -there is so much to discover around the area that is Lake Killarney. Feed your wanderlust for nature and afternoon adventures with a trip to this serene hidden gem in Winter Park.

Convenient and Prime Location

One of the most unique and impressive aspects of Lake Killarney is its location. It’s located right near the intersection of Lee Road and Orlando Ave. Lake Killarney is nearby some of the best shopping, dining and entertainment in the Winter Park area. If you are planning a trip to Winter Park Village for some shopping, a movie at the Enzian, or lunch at Bulla you can easily fit a short trip to Lake Killarney into your itinerary. You don’t even have to drive, as Lake Killarney is within walking distance of shops and dining. What makes it unique is that it’s tucked away from the hub of the city, yet it’s right near the action that is just around the corner. When you want a break from the bustle of the city, this can be your own private sanctuary. Lake Killarney has some prime real estate for homes and condos as well. If you have always dreamed of having a lakeside home, Lake Killarney could be your next place of residence.

Facts, Geography, and Geology of Lake Killarney

There is more than meets the eye with Lake Killarney- and any body of water for that matter. The ecology and geology of earth itself is fascinating, not just one body of water. Most of Lake Killarney is situated in the Winter Park district and the remainder is unincorporated Orange County. The water levels of Lake Killarney vary and depend on groundwater levels so they will not fluctuate drastically.

There is a large variety of vegetation in the lakes and wetlands in the Winter Park area. While you are relaxing on Lake Killarney, you might come across birds such as the Great blue heron, white ibis, or mallards; reptiles such as turtles and water snakes, toads, and fish including largemouth bass, bluegill, and catfish. (Info courtesy of City of Winter Park).


Latitude and Longitude: 28.6001947,-81.3840109

Surface Area:     239 acres

Mean Depth       14.0 feet

Maximum Depth              Not Available

Approximate Volume    1,121,450,276 gallons

Information courtesy of Orange County WaterAtlas.


The Walk Around Lake Killarney

The best way to experience Lake Killarney would be to start at the plaza next to Trader Joe’s. There are two beautiful fountains – one next to Shake Shack and another next to Spa810. The fountains along with the landscaping are very serene, and peaceful. After having a romantic dinner, you and your date can go for a walk closer to the water, where there is a deck and a small, well-landscaped trail with sculptures doting the trail. Hands down, Lake Killarney is one of the best areas in Orlando to watch the sunset.

The next time you have a bad day or a lot on your mind, just being near the water is enough to alleviate your stress. Studies show that water induces meditative states and has a calming effect on our brains.

The view from Hillstone Restaurant

The Hillstone is one of the best ways to experience Lake Killarney. Aside from their amazing food, the view in the back of the restaurant is stunning. You can choose to sit on the patio just outside the restaurant. There is even a “backyard” to the Hillstone with lawn chairs and tables. The chairs are arranged facing the lake and are surrounded by stunning landscaping and foliage. If you are sitting out on their patio, the view of the sunset on the lake is breathtaking. Have a drink with your partner and watch the sunset or share a bite to eat with a group of friends.

One of the loveliest parts of Hillstone’s landscaping is the trellis surrounded by boxed flowers and petunias. The entire scene is breathtaking, scenic, airy. It’s an ideal spot to take a drink in the back, maybe a sangria or white wine and kick back on the lawn chairs. There is nothing more relaxing and peaceful than enjoying a Floridian sunset on the lake with a glass of wine.  If you are feeling up to it, you can take a walk by the dock where there is a Gazebo that faces the lake.

Paddleboard Orlando

But wait there’s more!!!…. a hidden gem within a hidden gem: Paddleboard Orlando. Located behind the GuideWell building in the Trader Joe’s plaza- Paddleboard Orlando offers paddleboard and kayak rentals for Lake Killarney and other lakes around Central Florida. Paddleboard Orlando offers paddleboard and kayak rentals and even tours and lessons! On a nice warm day, take out a paddleboard or kayak and enjoy the cool lake waters while you get your daily workout in.

Go Out And Explore

Central Florida is full of beauty and natural wonder – from its lakes and natural springs to its foliage and fauna. Lake Killarney is one of many places to add to your adventure list for Orlando. Studies also show that spending time outdoors is not just good for your physical health but also your mental health! Researchers found that group nature walks significantly lowered depression, less perceived stress and mental well-being. Plus, going for a walk around Lake Killarney is an inexpensive date night or family trip. What are you waiting for? Go out and explore! Just don’t forget your sunscreen and sunglasses.


Things to do around Lake Killarney

  • Bring the family and kids
  • Walk your dog
  • Nature photography
  • Wedding Photography
  • Meditation
  • Fishing
  • Paddleboarding
  • Watch the sunset
  • Have a romantic evening on the patio at Hillstone

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