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.
Location: Crystal River
Lat-Long: 28.908915,-82.636997 (visitor center)
Open: 8 AM until sunset daily. Visitor center closed on weekends.
Leashed pets welcome
There are many access points to the preserve, from the obvious – such as Churchhouse Hammock, an accessible boardwalk leading to a hiking trail through palm hammocks – right across from the Crystal River Mall, to “blink and miss it” parking pulloffs for spots like Dixie Shores and Redfish Hole along the Fort Island Trail.
Children will love the visitor center with its touch table and tanks of turtles and fishes, as well as the interpretive Ecowalk. Off-road bikers have a 7-mile loop through the coastal hammock to explore.
Explore the park
- 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.