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Levy County

Levy at a Glance

Coastal Cities

Cedar Key, Yankeetown

Popular Spot

Cedar Key

Sandy Beaches

3 miles

Public Accesses

4

Great Florida Birding & Wildlife Trail

9 sites

State Parks & Lands

Acres

Cedar Key Museum State Park

19

Fanning Springs State Park

198

Manatee Springs State Park

2,448

Waccasassa Bay Preserve State Park

34,099

Big Bend Seagrasses Aquatic Preserve (Taylor, Dixie, Jefferson, Wakulla)

982,000

Andrews Wildlife Management Area

582

Cedar Key Scrub State Reserve

5,031

Cross Florida Greenway State Recreation & Conservation Area (Citrus, Marion, Putnam)

79,526

Goethe State Forest (Alachua)

53,587

Nature Coast State Trail (Dixie, Gilchrist)

474

Upper Waccasassa Conservation Area (Alachua)

4,335

Federal Lands

Acres

Cedar Key National Wildlife Refuge

891

Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge (Dixie)

51,984
Bays & Inlets

Lows, Waccasassa and Withlacoochee bays, Suwannee Sound, Lake Rousseau

Rivers & Paddling Trails

Suwannee, Waccasassa, Wekiva, Withlacoochee rivers, Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail, Gulf Intracoastal Waterway

Levy County is largely rural like most of the other Panhandle Big Bend counties. Only three paved roads lead to its sparsely populated, 40-mile coast edged by wilderness, salt marsh and the Big Bend Seagrasses Aquatic Preserve. The Suwannee and Withlacoochee rivers form Levy's north and south borders. Nearly 25 percent of the land is in state and national sanctuaries. Three small man-made sand beaches are on the mainland - a small inlet in Cedar Key, Sand Spit Park on Cedar Key's gulf and Yankeetown Park (100 feet) at the mouth of the Withlacoochee. Seahorse and Atsena keys, accessible by boat, have several nice beaches.

Levy's only coastal towns are Yankeetown and Cedar Key, a small fishing village on the largest of the Cedar Keys, a chain of 13 barrier islands and tiny keys in the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge. Its salt marshes are home to white pelicans, roseate spoonbills and bald eagles. Native American artifacts found here date back more than 2,000 years. Cedar Key is "Old Florida," once a lumber shipping port; it is now a quiet village known for clamming, fishing, writers, artists, seasonal tourists, and quaint streets lined by antique shops, galleries and seafood restaurants. The Withlacoochee Gulf Preserve inn Yankeetown is a 413-acre tract of unspoiled wetlands, pine and hardwood forests, estuaries and salt marshes. Enjoy the hiking trails, birding, nature wildlife, and fishing pier, all within a few hundred feet of the Gulf of Mexico.

The gulf's oldest (1854) lighthouse, now a marine biology research center run by the University of Florida, can be seen 15 miles away on a 52-foot sand dune on Seahorse Key. This coast is edged by sanctuaries - Waccasassa Bay Preserve State Park (reached by boat), Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge and the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge, which runs from Cedar Key north to the Suwannee River Wilderness State Trail protecting manatees, bald eagles, alligators, black bears and more. Birdwatching, salt and freshwater-fishing, boating and primitive camping are popular here.

The Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway stretches across the state through Levy and Citrus to the St. Johns River. Formerly called the Cross Florida Barge Canal, this 110-mile corridor spans a variety of habitats, trails and recreation areas. Inland, West Indian manatees gather at Manatee Springs State Park where a first-magnitude spring sends 100 million gallons of fresh water daily to the Suwannee River. Smaller Fanning Springs State Park's second-magnitude spring is farther inland on the Suwannee. Levy County is named for David Levy, one of Florida's first two U.S. Senators.

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Last Modified:
February 10, 2020 - 1:03pm

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