Springs Fever: A Field & Recreation Guide to 500 Florida Springs.
3rd Edition by Joe Follman and Richard Buchanan

Kingsley Lake

Clay County

Summary of Features

  • Scale - Surficial spring - and rain-fed lake 2 miles across
  • Scenery - very good
  • How Pristine? - some of shoreline is developed
  • Swimming - excellent
  • Protection - good
  • Crowds - can be heavy on warm days
  • Access - very good
  • Facilities - excellent
  • Safety - very good
  • Scuba - yes
  • Cost - yes


In Starke, from intersection of U.S. 301 and State Road 16, go east on SR 16 for 8 miles to community of Kingsley Beach. Turn right at convenience store on right (currently called Strickland’s One-Stop), and proceed to either the campground or swim park that both offer access to the lake.

Coordinates: 29°57′53″N 081°59′53″W

Spring Description

Kingsley Lake had previously been described on this site as a spring-fed lake.  According to information from William Osburn, a Hydrologist tiwh the St. Johns River Water Management District,

"Kingsley Lake is a more or less a perched lake that is fed by rainfall and Surficial aquifer seepage along the lake bottom. Water leaks out of the bottom of the lake into deeper aquifer system.  During construction of the monitor wells near the entrance to Camp Blanding, the water management district found the top of the Floridan aquifer to be around 410 ft below land surface (BLS) or -184 ft MSL. The water level in the Floridan aquifer is at 64 ft MSL, while the water level in the lake is at 175 ft MSL. Only water from the Surficial aquifer system--the shallowest--can feed water to the lake. Since the Surfical consists of about 95 ft of unconsolidated sands at this site, it can't support openings--thus the water flows through the sands as seepage. This is the most common method by which Florida lakes exist. The Intermediate and Floridan aquifer water levels show that the lake would be loosing water to both of those aquifers. If water is flowing in the hole in the middle it is flowing out of the lake. However, there must be little flow as the lake maintains a pretty stabel level". (e-mail communication, February 23, 2004)

The lake is notable for being both nearly perfectly round as well as nearly exactly two miles across. There is an 85-foot deep hole in the middle of the lake (Scalpone, p. 30). Water in the lake is clear and blue. It is also considered to be the highest and also the oldest lake in Florida.


Personal Impressions

The lake has been a recreation site since the 1890s