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Citrus County

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Citrus at a Glance

Coastal Cities

Crystal River, Homosassa

Popular Spot

Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge

Sandy Beaches

1/4 mile

Public Accesses

1

Great Florida Birding & Wildlife Trail

20 sites

State Parks & Lands

Acres

Crystal River Archaeological State Park

62

Crystal River Preserve State Park

36,000

Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

200

Fort Cooper State Park

735

Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins Historic State Park

5

Chassahowitzka River & Coastal Swamps (Hernando)

5,700

Halpata Tastanaki Preserve (Marion)

7,800

Cross Florida Greenway State Recreation & Conservation

79,500

Potts Preserve (Sumter)

9,500

St. Martins Marsh Aquatic Preserve

28,000

Withlacoochee State Forest (Hernando, Pasco, Sumter)

160,000

Withlacoochee State Trail (Hernando, Pasco)

760

Federal Lands

Acres

Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge (Hernando)

31,000

Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge

46

Bays & Inlets

Kings & Crystal bays

Rivers & Paddling Trails

Chassahowitzka, Crystal, Hall's, Homosassa, Salt Withlacoochee rivers, Blue Run Trail, Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail, Gulf Intracoastal Waterway

Citrus County, once known for its citrus, has only one remaining commercial grove as a result of the big freeze of 1894-95. Its wild, jagged coast - vast areas of salt marsh and hardwood swamp - is mostly in conservation. Four paved roads intersect its coast, one of Florida's prime spots for fishing spotted sea trout, redfish, cobia, grouper, Spanish mackerel, shark, black drum, bluefish and tarpon. Its one accessible beach is full-facility Fort Island Gulf Beach, with a 1/4-mile of sand and seasonal lifeguards. Also on the gulf is Hernando Beach, a grassy county park.

Internationally known Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge is fed by more than 30 natural springs, the headwaters of Crystal River. The warm water flows into crystal-clear Kings Bay, an inviting winter habitat for Florida manatees. It is the only place in the country where people can swim with manatees. State lands include Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park with an underwater manatee observatory; Crystal River Archaeological State Park, which commemorates mound-building Native Americans; and Crystal River Preserve State Park with 20 miles of trails, undisturbed islands, inlets, and forests. The Marjorie Harris Carr Cross-Florida Greenway, a 100-mile trail of pristine green wilderness, crosses the state east to west from St. Johns River to Withlacoochee Bay Trail in Citrus on the gulf.

Conservation areas here include St. Martins Marsh Aquatic Preserve fed by Homosassa River and Crystal River from first-magnitude springs. Salt marshes, mud flats, oyster bars, mangrove islands and seagrass beds host white pelicans, star coral and loggerhead sponges. Homosassa Wildlife Management Area in the Withlacoochee State Forest offers forested wetlands and pastures for hunting, wildlife viewing and exploration.

The Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge (famous for whooping cranes) and Chassahowitzka River Campground and Recreation Area cover vast areas of submerged lands at the mouth of the Chassahowitzka River, a refuge for many species including endangered West Indian manatee, sea turtles and bald eagles.

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Last Modified:
October 23, 2017 - 1:04pm

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