Known for its beautiful springs and as a gathering place for manatees, Crystal River shows off coastal habitats in its many parks and along its waterways.
Trails and Parks in Crystal River
- Big Cypress Trail - Deep in the heart of an ancient swamp, the Goethe Giant - one of Florida's largest cypress trees - stands tall at the end of a boardwalk in Goethe State Forest.
- Buck Island Pond Trail - Looping around a cypress-lined pond in the midst of pine flatwoods northwest of Dunnellon, the Buck Island Pond Trail at Goethe State Forest has quite a few interesting features, including a pitcher plant bog.
- Churchhouse Hammock Trail - Providing a peek at the estuary along Crystal River, the Churchhouse Hammock Trail at Crystal River Preserve State Park has accessible and adventuresome options.
- Crystal River Archaeological State Park - At Crystal River Archaeological State Park, a paved interpretive trail winds through a ceremonial mound complex built more than 2,500 years ago. The park is the home of Florida's only petroglyph.
- Crystal River Preserve State Park - Established as an aquatic preserve to protect the sensitive estuaries between Crystal River, a spring-fed major river frequented by manatees, and the Gulf of Mexico, Crystal River Preserve State Park spans 20 miles of the Gulf Coast between Yankeetown and Homosassa.
- Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park - Looking for manatees? You'll see them up close at Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, where families can get up close to Florida wildlife in a natural setting.
- Weeki Wachee Springs State Park - Surrounding a sparkling first-magnitude spring, Weeki Wachee Springs State Park has been a draw for tourists since its mermaids first started wooing visitors in the 1940s.
- Withlacoochee Gulf Preserve - The sweep of salt marshes and the salt breeze surround you on a walk through the trail system at Withlacoochee Gulf Preserve, a 413-acre preserve in Yankeetown
- Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins Historic State Park - Beneath a dense canopy of old live oaks, the Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins are a familiar landmark to anyone driving through Old Homosassa - the road snakes past it on the way to the river.