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The town, known as Panasoffkee, or “Valley of Water”

in the Indian Language, was settled around 1880. It

was known as the largest fruit center in the world. In

addition to citrus, sugar cane mills dotted the edge

of the lake. Barrels of sugar and syrup were shipped

north, along with the oranges.

Panasoffkee became an important turpentine

and lumber center during the latter part of the

19th century. Several general stores, three hotels,

a drug store, meat market, two active churches,

a saloon, and a school came into existence.

Winter tourists continued to come for the

excellent hunting and fishing.

In 1998, the state Legislature created the Lake

Panasoffkee Restoration Council to develop a

restoration plan for the lake. The 10-year project

restored Lake Panasoffkee’s historic fish bedding

areas and the historic lake shoreline, and

improved navigation. Lake Panasoffkee is one

of the Southwest Florida Water Management


District’s SWIM Program priority water bodies and

is designated as an Outstanding Florida Water by the

Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Recreation opportunities include bicycling, bird

watching, boating and paddling, camping, equestrian

use, fishing, hiking, hunting and a pavilion with

picnic tables and grills.

For more information contact: Land Resources

Department, Southwest Florida Water

Management District at

(800) 423-1476 or

(352) 796-7211, ext. 4470


2015 Visitor Guide & Business Directory