Citrus County, located north of Tampa Bay, is one of the best-kept secrets in Florida. This region is known for its many waterways, varieties of wildlife and great parks. For boaters and fisherman, there is no better way to experience the area than fishing Crystal River. This “Gem of the Nature Coast” boasts some of the best saltwater fishing in the state of Florida. Whether you’re a swimmer, boater, water skier, or a fisherman, Crystal River’s six-mile-long winding waterway is sure to please. Fed by 30 springs, Crystal River connects Kings Bay with the Gulf of Mexico.
The temperate climate of the river and neighboring Homosassa Bay are a lure for West Indian Manatees, who prefer the warm river and bay over cold Gulf of Mexico winters. Along with neighboring Homosassa, Crystal River is home to a number of manatees greater than anywhere else in the United States. And, it’s the only place people can swim and snorkel alongside them. When you boat Crystal River or boat Homosassa Bay, you’re sure to catch a glimpse of these cow-like creatures.
After you tire of the saltwater tides fishing Crystal River, the Withlacoochee River, also located in Citrus County, provides a freshwater alternative. Originating in central Florida’s Green Swamp, the 86 mile long Withlacoochee River flows west before it finally empties into the Gulf of Mexico. Along its banks are the Withlacoochee State Trail, Cypress Lake Preserve and Nobleton Wayside Park, which has a boat ramp, shelter, basketball court and picnic tables.
Another popular attraction in Citrus County is Inverness, not to be confused with its sister cities located in California and Scotland. Inverness, Florida is a Mecca for wildlife, including stone crabs, alligators, a large variety of birds, the cooter turtle, tarpon, redfish, red wolves, bobcats, otter, cougars and black bears. When you boat Inverness, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for these natural inhabitants. Boating, canoeing, snorkeling, diving, and fishing are all great ways to commune with nature in and around Inverness.
Owning a boat in Citrus County is a great way to get to know the local waterways and the surrounding attractions. Whether you boat Crystal River, boat Inverness or boat Homosassa Bay, you’re sure to make memories that will last a lifetime.