Two branches of County Road 561 are assigned in Lake County. The southern leg stretches 11.97 miles north from SR 33 to Lake Gloria, Lake Minnehaha and Minneola Avenue at CR 561A (12th Street) west of Downtown Clermont. The 12.26-mile long northern section branches east from U.S. 27 to Sugarloaf Mountain, Astatula and SR 19 (Duncan Drive) in Tavares.

Construction completed on June 29, 2015 replaced the intersection with CR 561 and CR 455 north of Sugarloaf Mountain with a roundabout. Built in the 1930s, the previous traffic pattern included four two-way ramps, six stop signs and four yield signs. Designed to improve safety, the roundabout was controversial due to the $1 million cost estimate.1

A 2.80 mile section of CR 561 was decommissioned through the city of Clermont from 12th Street east to U.S. 27 at Main Avenue. The alignment followed Minneola Avenue east to 8th Street north and Osceola Street east through Downtown. East Avenue continued the route north onto Lake Minneola Drive and South Main Avenue.


County Road 561 north
Lake County 561 shield posted along 12th Street north after Florida 50 in Clermont. The route ends three blocks to the north at Minneola Avenue east to Downtown. Photo taken 10/18/08.
County Road 561 arcs northeast from U.S. 27 just outside the Minneola city limits. Photo taken 03/14/08.
Traveling north from Shepherd Lake and U.S. 27, CR 561 reaches Astatula in seven miles and Tavares in 15 miles. Photo taken 03/14/08.
Northbound motorists along CR 561 pass under Florida's Turnpike ahead of CR 561A east and Turnpike Road west. Photo taken 03/14/08.
CR 561A is a 3.22 mile rural route connecting CR 561 with CR 455 at Ferndale. The route passes through annexed areas of Minneola at the Hancock Road extension north from the 2017-opened interchange with Florida's Turnpike. Photo taken 03/14/08.
Lake County 561 travels just west of Sugarloaf Mountain, the highest point on peninsular Florida along a winding course. Photo taken 10/19/17.
Sugarloaf Mountain Road follows a stair stepped alignment east from CR 565 across Sugarloaf Mountain (el. 312 feet). Photo taken 10/19/17.
Navigating through an S-curve, CR 561 approaches CR 455, the Green Mountain Scenic Byway. Photo taken 10/19/17.
Forthcoming CR 455 is a 14.29 mile route traveling north from SR 50 in east Clermont to SR 19 west of CR 455. Photo taken 10/19/17.
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A four-way stop sign accompanied by four two-way ramps formerly connected County Roads 561 and 455. An $800,000 project converted the junction into a roundabout. The new traffic pattern debuted in June 2015.2 Photos taken 10/19/17.
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CR 561 advances three miles north from CR 455 to Astatula and 8.8 miles to SR 19 in Tavares. Photos taken 10/19/17.
Entering Astatula, a town of around 2,000, Lake County 561 transitions onto Monroe Street. Photo taken 10/19/17.
Monroe Street intersects County Road 48 (Florida Avenue) east at the Astatula town center. Photo taken 10/19/17.
The eastern branch of CR 48 is a rural route traveling 4.32 miles from CR 561 (Monroe Street) in Astatula to CR 448A near the Orange County line. Photo taken 10/19/17.
Continuing north through the Astatula street grid on Lake County 561 (Monroe Street). Photo taken 10/19/17.
CR 561 northbound reaches the Taveras city limits at Southridge Industrial Drive. Photo taken 10/19/17.
The succeeding intersection northbound along CR 561 in Tavaras is with CR 448. Photo taken 10/19/17.
West from CR 561, CR 448 passes south of Lake Idamere to connect with SR 19 in 1.08 miles. Photo taken 10/19/17.
Overall County Road 448 stretches 9.05 miles east from Florida 19 in Tavares to Lake Jem and U.S. 441 (Orange Blossom Trail) in northwest Orange County. Photo taken 10/19/17.
Beyond CR 448, CR 561 curves northwest along side a Florida Central Railroad line to Florida 19 (Duncan Drive). Photo taken 10/19/17.
Florida 19 and Lake County 561 come together just west of Lake Dora and across from Tavares Crossroads shopping center. Photo taken 10/19/17.
Traffic defaults onto Florida 19 (Duncan Drive) north toward Downtown Tavares and U.S. 441 to Eustis and Leesburg. Photo taken 10/19/17.
County Road 561 south
Lake County 561 branches southeast from Florida 19 in south Tavares. Photo taken 04/28/08.
The town of Astatula lies five miles south from Florida 19 along County Road 561 south. Lake Jem is a six mile drive to the east via County Road 448. Photo taken 04/28/08.
County Road 561 crosses paths with County Road 448 at a traffic light east of Lake Idamere. Photo taken 04/28/08.
East from the industrial south side of Tavares, CR 448 parallels a Florida Central Railroad line five miles to Lake Jem. Photo taken 04/28/08.
CR 448 connects Florida 19 to the west with U.S. 441 (Orange Blossom Trail) near Zellwood, 9.05 miles to the east. Photo taken 04/28/08.
Confirming shield for CR 561 posted south of the roundabout with CR 455 near Sugarloaf Mountain. Photo taken 03/14/08.
CR 561A travels west from CR 455 at Ferndale to meet CR 561 just ahead of Florida's Turnpike. Photo taken 03/14/08.
Hancock Road stems south from Lake County 561, 1.8 miles to the east to a 2017-opened interchange with Florida's Turnpike and suburban areas of Minneola. Photo taken 03/14/08.
Passing under Florida's Turnpike south of CR 561A and Turnpike Road west. Photo taken 03/14/08.
County Road 561 scenes
Sugarloaf Mountain Road stems east from Lake County 561 onto Sugarloaf Mountain. Photo taken 03/14/08.
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Lake Apopka spreads into view east from the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain (el. 312 feet). Photos taken 03/14/08.
Sugarloaf Mountain Road makes a 90 degree turn south from the summit. Photo taken 03/14/08.

Sources:

  • "Lake County to spend $1M on controversial roundabout" WFTV (Orlando, FL), January 22, 2013.
  • "Officials say roundabouts make intersections safe, despite driver confusion." Orlando Sentinel (FL), July 10, 2015.


Photo Credits:

03/14/08, 04/28/08, 10/18/08, 10/19/17 by AARoads

Connect with:
U.S. 27
Florida 50

Page Updated 03-21-2018.