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Citrus County

Citrus at a Glance

Coastal Cities

Crystal River, Homosassa

Popular Spot

Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge

Sandy Beaches

1/4 mile

Public Accesses


Great Florida Birding & Wildlife Trail

20 sites

State Parks & Lands


Crystal River Archaeological State Park


Crystal River Preserve State Park


Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park


Fort Cooper State Park


Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins Historic State Park


Chassahowitzka River & Coastal Swamps (Hernando)


Halpata Tastanaki Preserve (Marion)


Cross Florida Greenway State Recreation & Conservation


Potts Preserve (Sumter)


St. Martins Marsh Aquatic Preserve

Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve (Pasco, Hernando) 450,000

Withlacoochee State Forest (Hernando, Pasco, Sumter)


Withlacoochee State Trail (Hernando, Pasco)


Federal Lands


Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge (Hernando)


Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge


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. Citrus County also is home to a portion of the Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve, which includes mangrove islands, saltmarsh, sponge beds, marine springs, oyster reefs, and limestone hardbottom habitats. 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.

Last Modified:
July 29, 2021 - 4:39pm

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