Attractions in Citrus County, Florida

Attractions in Citrus County, Florida
Part of Florida's Nature Coast, Citrus County hosts a number of attractions for those who enjoy the thrills nature has to offer. From kayaking down the secluded Chassahowitzka River into the salt marshes of Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge to SCUBA diving among manatees in King's Bay in Crystal River, Citrus County offers a bounty of sites to draw the outdoor visitor not content to remain in the metro areas of Tampa to the south and Orlando to the east.

Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge

Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge at the mouth of the Chassahowitzka River in southern Citrus County protects more than 31,000 acres of estuary, which provides habitat for more than 250 species of birds, and more than 75 species of mammals, reptiles and amphibians. Those looking to extend their visit beyond the refuge into the coastal areas along the Gulf of Mexico should be cautious of the narrow, meandering channel that cuts through the shallow, rock bottom characteristic of coastal waters in this part of Florida.

Chassahowitzka NWR Complex
1502 SE Kings Bay Drive
Crystal River, FL 34429
(352) 563-2088

Crystal River

Crystal River is famous for the springs located in King's Bay and the congregation of manatees along the river and springs in the winter months. Feeding the river are the springs of King's Bay, the largest of which is Tarpon Hole Spring and is a popular destination for both novice and veteran divers. Several marinas and dive shops in the area facilitate access to the springs and the river by offering rentals, guided tours and lessons.

Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge
1502 S.E. Kings Bay Drive
Crystal River, FL 34429
(352) 563-2088

Withlacoochee State Forest

The Withlacoochee State Forest is divided into seven tracts, three of which lay in Citrus County: the Two-Mile Prarie tract, Homosassa tract, and the citrus tract. Offering opportunities for hiking, camping, horseback riding, and biking, the Withlacoochee State Forest provides a chance for trekkers to find someone of the hidden secrets in Citrus County. One of these lesser known points of interest include the Dames Caves, dry caves laying along a geological feature known as the Brooksville Ridge; these are some of the oldest caves in Florida.

Withlacoochee State Forest
Recreation/Visitors Center
15003 Broad Street
Brooksville, FL 34601
(352) 754-6896

Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park

Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park is a commercial attraction that has been taken over by the Florida State Parks. Visitors enter the park by embarking on a guided tour boat from the visitor's center to the wildlife exhibits surrounding the Homosassa Springs Group that provides the headwaters for the Homosassa River. While many of the animals featured are native to Florida a number of non-indigenous species have remained from the days the park was a private commercial operation.

Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park
4150 S. Suncoast Blvd.
Homosassa , FL 34446
(352) 628-5343

Article Written By David Chandler

David Chandler has been a freelance writer since 2006 whose work has appeared in various print and online publications. A former reconnaissance Marine, he is an active hiker, diver, kayaker, sailor and angler. He has traveled extensively and holds a bachelor's degree from the University of South Florida where he was educated in international studies and microbiology.

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