Crystal River Three Sisters Springs

Crystal River, Florida

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This round-trip is most notable for the special nature of Three Sisters Springs. Encircled by trees, the pool is crystal clear with 72°F water bubbling from the sand below. In winter, when the Gulf of Mexico waters cool down, it is a popular retreat for manatees seeking warmer water. In cold weather it is not uncommon to find dozens of manatees resting here, making it one of the finest manatee-viewing places in the whole of Florida. Recently acquired by the City of Crystal River along with South Florida Water Management District, the springs, along with a 57-acre parcel of adjacent land, will be managed as a low-impact public-access recreation area by the US Fish & Wildlife Service.
Paddling Southern Florida

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Paddling Southern Florida

by Nigel Foster (Falcon Guides)

This round-trip is most notable for the special nature of Three Sisters Springs. Encircled by trees, the pool is crystal clear with 72°F water bubbling from the sand below.
In winter, when the Gulf of Mexico waters cool down, it is a popular retreat for manatees seeking warmer water.

In cold weather it is not uncommon to find dozens of manatees resting here, making it one of the finest manatee-viewing places in the whole of Florida. Recently acquired by the City of Crystal River along with South Florida Water Management District, the springs, along with a 57-acre parcel of adjacent land, will be managed as a low-impact public-access recreation area by the US Fish & Wildlife Service.

© 2017 Nigel Foster/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Crystal River
Distance: 2.5
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 2-3 hours
Class: Class I
Tidal Information: The spring-fed Crystal River rises from some 50 springs in the vicinity of the town. At Three Sisters Springs, the lead-in canal can flow swiftly, requiring a little effort but only for a few yards; otherwise the current is not significant. Kings Bay is tidal, but the range is negligible, less than 18 inches.
Hazards/Cautions: There are exclusion zones to protect the manatees. Please respect the signs. You will also encounter boat traffic. If you keep close to the shores, you will avoid most traffic and see more manatees. There are sometimes microbe issues in the water here that can cause itching. There is a freshwater shower at Hunter Spring Park if you wish to rinse off.
Local Maps: Topo map, USGS 1:24,000, Crystal River
Topo Map: Crystal River: Three Sisters Springs Topographic Map
Guide Book: Paddling Southern Florida Guide Book
Driving Directions: View Directions
Trail Directions: View Guide

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