State Parks in Citrus County, Florida

State Parks in Citrus County, Florida
Within Citrus County, the Homosassa Springs Wildlife, Crystal River Archaeological and Fort Cooper state parks provide visitors the opportunity to explore sections of the Great Florida Birding Trail in addition to seeing manatees, crocodiles and alligators. Visitors also have an opportunity to explore parts of the history of the central Gulf Coast region of Florida peninsula.

Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

The Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park located in Homosassa, Florida, provides visitors with an opportunity to get close to a variety of Florida's wildlife. In the underwater observatory, guests may watch manatees swim overhead. The park also offers Wildlife Encounter programs during which guests can interact with snakes and other wildlife. The park is home to the Pepper Creek Birding Trail.

For hikers, the Homosassa State Park offers a trail that is a little over one mile long. The trail features paved paths and an elevated boardwalk system. Along the trail, guests find rain shelters and benches. The hiking trail draws photographers in search of black bears, deer, American alligators, American crocodiles and river otters. The park is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and charges admission.

Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
4150 Suncoast Blvd.
Homosassa, FL 34446
352-628-5343
floridastateparks.org/homosassasprings

Crystal River Archaeological State Park

The Crystal River Archaeological State Park, located in Crystal River, is a National Historic Site that depicts the life of Native Americas. The state park is home to 61 acres of Native American tribal land. Throughout the site, guests can find tribal burial mounds, temple mounds and a plaza area. Historians believe this area was used for rituals and ceremonies that drew more than 7,500 Native Americans annually for more than 1,600 years, according to the park's website.

The state park is also home to saltwater marshlands that are home to a section of the Great Florida Birding Trail. Citrus County lists the park as providing ADA handicapped access for disabled birdwatchers. Guests may hike and walk with leashed, well-behaved dogs throughout the park. Though the park is open daily from 8 a.m. until sundown, the visitors' center is closed on the weekends. There is a use fee.

Crystal River Archaeological State Park
3400 N. Museum Point
Crystal River, FL 34428
352-795-3817
floridastateparks.org/crystalriverarchaeological

Fort Cooper State Park

The Fort Cooper State Park in Inverness was the site of a stockade used by soldiers during the Second Seminole War of 1836. Sick and wounded soldiers were treated and recovered here along the banks of Lake Holathlikaha.

Today, the park is a refuge for native Florida wildlife, including bobcats, osprey and wild turkey. Guests may hike along the park's five miles of self-guided nature and hiking trails. Many of the park's trails follow sections the Great Florida Birding Trail. Well-behaved dogs on leashes are allowed. Fort Cooper State Park is open daily from 8 a.m. to sundown and uses an honor box system to collect the small guest fee.

Fort Cooper State Park
3100 South Old Floral City Rd.
Inverness, FL 34450
352-726-0315
floridastateparks.org/fortcooper

Article Written By Erin Maurer

A freelance writer for various online publications, Erin Maurer covers travel destinations, gardening and home decorating projects. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication studies from Widener University in Chester, Pa.

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