Big Lake Village is located in Weirsdale (named after Lake Weir), the area of Florida known as the ‘Heart of Florida’ – just 30 minutes south of Ocala and home to “Needles,” the 1956 Kentucky Derby and Belmont winner. The park itself is on the south side of Big Lake Weir. Originally, the 12-acre park was an orange grove producing Hamlin juice oranges. In 1968 Mr. Mealy W. Reed Sr., original owner of Reeds Groves, purchased the grove and removed every other row of trees to build Big Lake Village. His concept was to leave one row of orange trees between each Mobile Home giving everyone who lived in the park a small row of about 6 orange trees. The trees also provided a little more privacy between the homes and ‘free’ oranges to share with friends and family.
In 1970 Big Lake Village was certified by the State of Florida as a Senior Community for individuals 55 and over, and the park has been a huge success. Many people have moved into the park for the beautiful view of Lake Weir and the ‘free’ oranges. In 1983 Central Florida experienced one of the coldest winters in recent history and sadly most of the orange trees were frozen. Many of the frozen trees were replaced with new orange trees, Magnolia trees, Chinaberry (camphor) trees and other flowering trees. Big Lake Village is a gated Keypad Passcode-Protected community.
While Big Lake Village is located far from the hustle and bustle of city life, it is located within an hour or two from many Central Florida activities. Listed below are several destinations and the drive time to visit.
- Walt Disney World – 1 hour 30 mins (65 miles)
- Universal Studios Orlando – 1 hour 15 mins (60 miles)
- Sea World – 1 hour 10 minutes (55 miles)
- University of Florida – 1 hour 20 minutes (58 miles)