Odessa / Keystone Lakes - North Tampa
Northwest of the city of Tampa sit the small towns of Keystone and Odessa. Conveniently located just minutes away from the nearest shopping mall, yet distanced from frenzy of the city, the Keystone and Odessa area is one of the Tampa area's most treasured locations.
Since the 1950s, Tampa residents have been building weekend and summer cottages on any of a number of the area's lakefronts. Through the years, more and more families became enchanted with the allure of the area and began building permanent homes. Since the 1970s, a housing boom has swept the area as more folks sought to benefit from the preserved natural environment of the region. Although the population of the area has grown, the small-town charm of the Keystone and Odessa communities has remained intact.
Boating, Fishing and Water Sports
The largest and most well known lake in the area is Lake Keystone. The lake spans an area of 424 acres with an average depth of 10 feet. Characterized by clear, clean water with a tinge of reddish-brown, this has been a popular lake both for boating and fishing. A ski slalom course also provides an exciting challenge for local watersports enthusiasts. Lake Keystone's residents come together once a year in the annual Christmas Boat Parade, where residents observe from their lakefronts a pageant of locally owned boats adorned with holiday flair.
Just up the road from Lake Keystone spans a well-known chain of lakes made up of Pretty Lake (80 acres), Lake Josephine (48 acres), and Rock Lake (54 acres). All three of these tea-colored lakes are interconnected through navigable canals. Anglers will find abundant bass in and around the canals. Bluegill and catfish are also popular finds in these lakes. Homeowners are attracted to these lakes both for their recreational frills as well as for their pristine beauty. Surrounded by native wildlife and cypress trees, these lakefronts have preserved the quality of Old Florida that so many locals cherish.
The lakes have always been a major attractor of the area, and as such remain a significant source of pride for the residents. The preservation of the lakes has been an issue that has not by any means been ignored by the community. None of the lakes offer public access of any kind, which helps to maintain privacy and tranquility on the waters. Additionally, active local residents come together to form the Keystone Civic Association, which includes a Lakewatch Division. Data collected through the Lakewatch program helps to secure high water quality and preserve the native wildlife of the area.
Click the lake names below for more detailed information on water quality, depth, characteristics and ecology:
- Keystone Lake : 434 acres
- Lake Hiawatha: 135 acres
- Calm Lake: 118 acres
- Lake Anne: 100 acres
- Island Ford Lake: 94 acres
- Lake Alice: 87 acres
- Pretty Lake: 80 acres
- Crescent Lake: 55 acres
- Rock Lake: 54 acres
- Lake Maurine: 51 acres
- Lake Josephine: 48 acres
- Lake Artillery: 20 acres
View North Tampa Lakes in a larger map
Community / School Info
The following schools serve the Odessa / Keystone area:
- Bryant Elementary School
- Citrus Park Elementary School
- Deer Park Elementary School
- Hammond Elementary School
- McKitrick Elementary School
- Northwest Elementary School
To search current year school rankings and data from the Florida Department of Education, please visit: http://schoolgrades.fldoe.org/default.asp