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Florida Heritage Travel, August 2012
July 27, 2012

August 2012 News And Events

Florida Heritage Travel is the companion monthly e-zine of


Lake Apopka is the second largest lake in Florida, second only to Lake Okeechobee. During its golden era of the 1920s through the 1950s, Lake Apopka was considered the bass fishing capital of the world. Johnson's Fishing Camp was one of 29 similar fish camps along the shore of this giant clear water spring fed lake just a short drive west of Orlando. Fishing tourism was a major industry for Winter Garden, Oakland and other towns in this part of central Florida.

Today (2012) there is not a single fish camp that I know of on Lake Apopka. What happened?

It's a sad story. Sometime in the years after World War Two, a drainage district was formed by property owners on the north side of the lake south of Zellwood. They constructed dikes and canals and drained many thousand of acres on the north side, converting lake bottom land into rich mucky soils. These highly organic soils made great land for growing vegetables. But the storm water runoff from these new farmlands drained into the lake, carrying large amounts of pesticides and nutrients. The lake began to experience algae blooms, and fish began dying off by the thousands. No fish, pretty soon no fish camps.

To make things even worse, a canal had been constructed in the 1880's connecting Lake Apopka to Lake Beauclair to the north. Lake Beauclair connects to Lake Dora and from there the pollution found its way to Lakes Harris, Griffin and Eustis and finally to the Ocklawaha River. Some of the most pristine waters in Florida were being slowly poisoned by the gunk coming from Lake Apopka.

The Florida legislature passed a law in 1996 designed to stop and maybe even reverse the deterioration of Lake Apopka. They bought up most of the old muck farms, reversed drainage flows and planted vegetation designed to treat the Lake Apopka water before it heads north into the canal and chain of lakes. Central Florida residents are hopeful this Lake Apopka Restoration area and program will be successful, but it will take many years to find out for sure.


Buzzard Beach Grill
2050 West Burleigh Blvd (US-441)
Tavares, Florida 32778


Thanks for continuing to subscribe to Florida Heritage monthly e-zine. Florida Backroads Travel continues to grow, and we hope you enjoy these updates.

This month you will notice a new feature on the website, Florida Events. On this new page I list annual events that should be on your bucket list of things to do and see in Florida. Things like the annual Florida-Georgia football game, the Mug Race, the Sopchoppy Worm Gruntin' Festival and many other fun things to do in Florida.

I continue to automate Florida Backroads Travel so that any updates I make are posted automatically to my Mike Miller Facebook page and are tweeted on my Twitter page. You can also subscribe to our Florida Blog by going to our home page and selecting an RSS feed. This way you will have daily updates.

August in Florida is the peak of our hot season. Most of the snowbirds are still up north in their cooler home states, so restaurant waiting lines are once again manageable.

Here are some interesting events around Florida for August 2012.


FLORIDA WINERIES. Check the Florida winery nearest you. Many of them have wonderful weekend events that include music and wine tastings. Our site has information on 18 wineries scattered across the state.

FLORIDA FESTIVALS. The weather is getting hot, so there are not too many outdoor art festivals and folk and bluegrass music festivals this time of the year.

FLORIDA ZOOS. Florida has many zoos, and Florida zoos offer an interesting and inexpensive way to spend a day or more.

FLORIDA BEACHES. Almost anything you decide to do in Florida can be enhanced by spending some quality time at a great beach, and best beaches in Florida will guide you in the right direction.

FLORIDA MUSEUMS. Many Florida art and historical museums have scheduled events. Click on the links to find out what is going on.

FLORIDA THEATER. This is an active time for plays and musical events in our many Florida theaters.. Check the links to find out what might be interesting to you.

FLORIDA AUTHORS. August is a good time to snuggle up next to your air conditioner and read a book by a Florida author. Our most visited author page is still that of Tim Dorsey, the creator of zany serial killer Serge Storms.

Rather than listing one event in each of Florida's 8 regions on a monthly basis, I have decided instead to provide a very useful link that will tell you what is going on this month virtually everywhere in Florida.


Information on the towns and places hosting these events, or near them, including lodging, can be found at Florida Towns.

In our current slow economy, some events are cancelled on very short notice. I do my best to ensure that our information is correct and current, but I recommend you call before leaving for the event to make sure it's still on.

Thanks for subscribing to Florida Heritage Travel. We will see you next month with more updates and event information.

Regards, Mike Miller
Chief Backroads Traveler

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