| Santa Fe is actually two lakes, Big Lake Santa Fe and Little Lake Santa Fe which are connected by a mile wide pass. The state shows little Lake Santa Fe at 1,134 acres and the big lake at 4,813 acres or a total of 6,000 acres.
The lake is the headwaters for the Santa Fe river which starts at the north end of the lake and feeds into the Santa Fe swamp a 10,000 acre water shed controled by the State Water Management folks.
The lake is a full service waterbody with jet-ski's, swimming, boats of all kinds, seaplanes and with some of the best fishing in the state. The lake is also rated as one of the top four lakes in the state of Florida and is labeled an "Outstanding Waterbody". Lake Santa Fe is designated by the State of Florida as an Outstanding Florida Water which, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, means it is “worthy of special protection because of its natural attributes.”
Depths can reach 40 feet in spots and there is several canals leading to other lakes (Lake Alto & such) which back in the day paddle boats transported citrus from Melrose on the south shore on paddle boats across the lake, through the canals to Waldo train station northwest of the lake.
The nearest towns are Melrose on the south end on the lake and Keystone Heights to the northeast about one mile. Gainesville is a 20 minute drive and Jacksonville about 50 minutes.
The lake borders on three counties (Alachua, Bradford & Putnam) with each county having a little different requirements to build.