Bird IslandWindermere, FL
Bird Island is a fantastic sandbar in the Orlando area and a dramatic change from the massive tourism that’s within miles.
ISLAND LOCATION & CONDITIONS
Located in the heart of Disney country, Bird Island Sandbar is located on Lake Butler in the town of Windermere. The Island is big but only the northeast shoreline is where you’ll find the boats. The area is perfect for swimming and relaxing and it’s a place you’ll definitely want to bring your Lazy Bunz or other floats or rafts. Furthermore, unless the wind is blowing hard from the north or northwest, this area is calm. Regardless, a stern anchor or PowerPole is still recommended. The bottom is mostly soft sand with occasional grass patches and, although there’s no dry shoreline, the water gets very shallow near the island for small kids.
BOATING IN THE HEART OF DISNEY
While visiting Bird Island you’ll have no sense of the caliber of tourism that lies just over the horizon. Lake Butler is huge and the island provides a unspoiled, “Old Florida” feel. That being said, if you navigate the numerous channels in between the lakes and head south, you’ll eventually come very close to Disney and even see some nearby attractions peering above the tree line. Although I can’t confirm it, I’ll bet these lakes have a great view of the Disney fireworks at night.
BUTLER CHAIN OF LAKES
The Butler Chain of Lakes was really fun to navigate. The Chain consists of several lakes all linked together via man-made channels and canals. Dotting the shoreline are numerous, beautiful homes with many easily classified as mansions. Many celebrities have homes there. In addition, the shoreline also consists of, at least, one golf course and numerous nature preserves.
NEARBY BOAT RAMP
The perfect boat ramp to access Bird Island is R.D. Keene Park. The ramp is located just south of Lake Butler on a lake called Lake Palmer. I visited on a Saturday and still had plenty of parking spaces to choose from when I arrived. Upon entry there’s an honor box where you deposit your $5 payment and receive the receipt to keep on your dashboard. The ramp is pretty steep but nice. They could use some more docks and more staging space in my opinion however, it’s a great place regardless.
Freshwater Lake Shoreline
Hard Packed, Clean Sand With Sporadic Grass
Along Any Sandy Area
CLOSEST BOAT RAMP:
COST TO PARK
Choppy in N/NW Wind Otherwise Calm
Good (Depends on Recent Rains)
Food Boat On Site
NEARBY BOAT-FRIENDLY HOTELS:
So Many (Disney Area) but I would Choose one Away From the Craziness
Click on the 360 Video below for an immersive look at this location
If using a mobile device use the YouTube app for the optimal experience