The original Cedar Key isn’t where you think it is. It’s offshore, within sight of the current historic waterfront, an island called Atsena Otie Key, part of Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge.
Hiking, biking, paddling, camping, and other outdoor recreation around Cedar Key. The islands surrounding the town are collectively known as the Cedar Keys, but Cedar Key itself is a historic village that was once at the end of the Florida Railroad. Walk in the footsteps of John Muir on trails that follow or adjoin the route he followed in his 1,000 Mile Journey to the Gulf, which ended here.
A museum started by seashell collector St. Clair Whitman also honors the legacy of John Muir’s travels through Florida on foot at Cedar Key Museum Historic State Park. In 1867, naturalist John Muir followed the path of the Florida Railroad on his Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf of Mexico, ending at the Cedar Keys.
A short nature trail – slightly more than a quarter mile – loops out to the edge of the estuary behind the Whitman House at Cedar Key Museum State Park, showing off the landscape that John Muir saw at the end of his thousand-mile walk to the Gulf.
On the long dead-end road (SR 24) to Cedar Key, the route John Muir walked nearing his end of his Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf, Cedar Key Scrub State Reserve protects upland scrub habitat for one of Florida’s rarest birds, the Florida scrub-jay. They travel in families, so if you see one, you’ll probably see several.
At the Shell Mound Unit of Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge, the Dennis Creek Trail immerses you in classic habitats of the Gulf Coast along a 1-mile loop
One of Florida’s more remote National Wildlife Refuges, the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge spans two counties, protecting a sweep of more than 53,000 acres and 30 miles of coastline along the Big Bend
Immerse in the massive floodplain forest surrounding the Suwannee River as it nears the Gulf of Mexico, on the the River Trail at Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge, a boardwalk to the river’s edge
Along its ragged, marshy shoreline, the meandering Waccasassa River empties out into Waccasassa Bay, flats stretching out to the Gulf of Mexico. Waccasassa Bay Preserve State Park can only be explored by water – from the boat ramps at Yankeetown, Gulf Hammock, or the shoreline of Cedar Key – with no landside access.