If You Can Tear Yourself Away from the Manatees, Here are Some Other Things to Do in Crystal River
If it’s springs your after – the clear blue kind – than Crystal River’s your place, for Crystal River has about 30 of them.
And many are frequented by manatees.
A favorite among swimmers is the Three Sisters Springs. Also a manatee sanctuary, you can take your snorkel to the springs, go for a swim and then pretend you’re in the blue lagoon. Because it’s a manatee sanctuary, access is restricted from November 15 through March 31.
If you can SCUBA dive, check out Main Spring. This spring has a large mouth – about 50 feet deep in places. It also has clear spring water flowing through it continuously, so sediment on the bottom is sparse. It’s dark in there, though, so bring a light. Yet the gorgeous light – it’s a blue-green column – coming through the opening definitely makes this a spring exceedingly worthwhile to visit.
Let’s say you’re tired of manatees (we know – impossible, but bear with us). In addition, you’re tired of being near water.
Is there anything to do in Crystal River that’s not water-related? You bet there is!
Is hiking your game? Crystal River is located in a county – Citrus County – that’s chock full of paths and trails. In fact, for the true hiker, the Withlacoochee State Trail may be just up your alley. At 47 paved miles, the trail covers three counties and runs the entire length of Citrus County.
You may also want to check out the Crystal River State Preserve (it’s located right off U.S. 19 on Curtis Tool Road). Eight miles of jungle trail await you. Looking for a hike along a trail that will take you past some of the most pristine estuaries still extant along Florida’s Gulf Coast? Check out the Ft. Island Gulf Beach Trail. It’s 18 miles long, so if you’re going to hike its entirety, plan for an all-day hike.
Are you part of the horse crowd? The aforementioned Withlacoochee State Trail is open to horses along its designated bridle paths.
Flying Eagle and Pott’s Preserve also offer horseback riding trails. Flying Eagle offers you and your steed nine miles of trails, while Pott’s Preserve has 12 miles of trails – and even allows horse-drawn buggies, so long as you have the proper permit.
If you’re visiting Florida to swim with manatees, you’ve more than likely left your pony back home. Not to worry: Citrus County has several riding stables where you may “borrow” a horse for the day.