The other day I was driving north from Mount Dora en route to Tallahassee, at the right time to avoid the interstates and explore some back roads.
I’m glad I did, because I found Lake Butler, which is on SR 100 just about 20 miles southeast of Lake City.
It was late afternoon, but there was still plenty of light that revealed Lake Butler at the end of a street. It was inviting me to visit.
I drove down and saw a playground and a lakefront community building and a few docks that leapt far out into the water. There was a family putting their boat in and fishermen on seawalls and on the docks. It was a nostalgic scene.
Unlike metropolitan areas where mansions often are the backdrop for lakes, here there was only an unbroken stand of trees that nearly circled this beautiful, natural lake.
The serenity, the calm, the unexpected beauty of the azaleas and the lake found me staying for far longer than I expected – and it convinced me to return. Especially when I walked to the end of the dock where a gentleman named Deon was working two fishing poles.
I complimented him on the beauty of the setting and asked if this was a good fishing spot.
He said, “It’s OK if I don't catch anything. It's a nice place to be when you want peace of mind."
If you’d like, follow Lake Butler on facebook.