This sprawling, quiet community in the heart of Central Florida offers lake views, nature walks, and plenty of room for horses.
Beyond the black-board fence and well-manicured front entrance, past the acres of pristine, open land and shady oak hammocks, Lake Seneca lies peacefully and majestically at the edge of the property. Trees rustle in the breeze and birds call in the distance. One can almost imagine soft hoofbeats on the bridle path that skirts the 250-acre lake. If there’s such a thing as horse heaven, this could very well be it.
For horse and nature lovers searching for respite from the noise and stress of everyday life, The Reserve at Lake Seneca—a new development just 45 minutes from Ocala and centrally located between Eustis, Mount Dora, and Umatilla in Lake County—is a true gem. Dan Cordle should know. An avid horseman himself, the owner and developer of the property created The Reserve specifically with equestrians in mind.
“I’ve been in the horse business for 30 years, competing in team penning and cutting,” Dan says. “I love the industry and the people in it. Most of them don’t want 100 acres, though. They want something smaller where they can have two or three horses to ride and train.”
Intimate, manageable property for horse and owner has always been the goal at The Reserve. The 22 available lots range in size from 1.5 to 6.5 acres, and most offer either a sweeping view of spring-fed Lake Seneca from the property’s sloping hill or a shared border with the 20-acre conservation area. The latter feature was a priority for Dan, although he is quick to mention that the land will be open for recreational use, just not development. Wildlife sighting there, he says, is sure to become a favorite pastime for residents.
The two-mile bridle path along the perimeter of the property allows horseback riders a cleared route for pleasure riding. And a soon-to-be-built community dock on the lake will be open to all residents. Currently, residents may hire the custom home builder of their choice to build their 3,000-square-foot or larger house on their lot.
Though the equine lifestyle is promoted at The Reserve—homeowners are allowed barns and fenced pastures on their property—people who do not own horses are also invited to call the community home.
The spacious lots at The Reserve offer homeowners privacy and natural beauty.
The peace and quiet of The Reserve starts long before arriving at the stately gated entrance. From busy U.S. 441 and State Road 44 onto County Road 439 and then quiet Lake Seneca Road, the drive alone can be a welcomed decompression from everyday stress. Large horse ranches with acres of rolling land can be seen for miles along the drive. Directly across from The Reserve, Lakewood Ranches is a popular and peaceful horse community that sold out its 100-plus lots within three days of opening. Demand for large-track property is high in Lake County.
Dan was so taken with the area he purchased 20 acres, just half a mile down the road from The Reserve.
“I know Lake County very well, and I don’t know of anything that’s as upscale and has as much land to offer as The Reserve,” the Florida native says. “We have made it a first-class operation.”
Though The Reserve is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of city life, the community is still close enough to Mount Dora, Eustis, Umatilla, and Orlando to offer all the convenience of city amenities. Picturesque Mount Dora, with its quaint bed and breakfasts and scenic Lake Dora views, is renowned for its shopping boutiques and local restaurants, as are Umatilla and Eustis. The three small towns, in a county named for its hundreds of breathtaking lakes, make for a trifecta of old Florida charm.
Big city amenities and a rural lifestyle is a combination Butch Blanchard knows well. Eight years ago, the Eustis attorney purchased property on Lake Seneca Road, near where The Reserve is today, for just that reason.
With its large-track lots and two-mile bridle path, The Reserve was developed specifically with horse owners like Cara Blanton in mind.
“You have your privacy, yet you’re close to the amenities,” explains Butch, who owns several horses himself. “This part of Lake County is classic Florida country—big oaks, a rural landscape. Also, all of the properties here are large-track. There are no subdivisions.”
For Dan, The Reserve is a project close to his heart. The community combines his love of horses with aesthetic development, and offers residents a home unlike any other.
“The Reserve at Lake Seneca isn’t a subdivision with a lot of people on small lots,” he says. “The sites here are large and spacious, and homeowners are surrounded by nature and horses. This is a beautiful piece of land.”
The Reserve at Lake Seneca
Lake Seneca Road, Eustis