TAVARES, Fla. -- Heritage Lake Tours, owned and operated by David
and Lynn Hollander, takes visitors on boat tours through Lake
County's Dora Canal and Lake Harris.
Lake County, about an hour's drive west of Orlando, is marketing
itself as the "undiscovered Florida," citing its ecological
Sportswriter Grantland Rice called the Dora Canal "the most
beautiful mile of water in the world."
The guided, 90-minute area tour uses a 42-passenger boat that takes
visitors to Lake Harris and then on to the cypress-tree-canopied
The canal is the longtime home to water moccasins, alligators
and a wide variety of birds that include snowy and great egrets and
even increasingly rare lumpkins, whose numbers are diminishing.
Some of the moss-draped, bald cypress trees here that reach out and
cover the canal like outstretched arms, predate Columbus' discovery
of America. "About the only thing that kills them is fire and
lighting," said Lynn Hollander, who narrates the tour while her
husband pilots the boat.
The narrow, winding canal is also a popular place for Jet-skiers
and recreational boaters. But the Hollanders said visitors can
avoid that distraction by going out on weekdays, when the canal is
The tours also include a ride down the Dead River, named for its
placid nature. The cost is $10, which includes tax. Group rates are
available at discounts of 10%. The tour is operated twice daily
year-round; reservations are recommended.
Heritage Lake Tours, Phone: (352) 343-4337
A 70-room Holiday Inn Express, under construction here, will
open next summer near the Dora Canal.
The 8,000-square-foot Vic's Dead River restaurant is to open
nearby during November.
Meanwhile, clients looking to hook bass, pan fish or brim and
bluegills should know about Palm Gardens, also on the Dead River.
One-bedroom fishing cottages rent from $45 per night, double; group
rates are available. Jet skis and pontoons can also be rented
Palm Gardens, Phone: (352) 343-2024