Florida Guide > State Parks
CRYSTAL RIVER STATE PARK
Crystal River State Park incorporates St Martins Marsh. During the sixties it was realised how important submerged land was to the eco system and St Martins Marsh was created and indeed was one of the first aquatic preserves in Florida.
Later, they added Big Bend Seagrass Aquatic Park to this to make the largest preserve in Florida. In the 1970s the state bouught the land surrounding St Martins and now there are 30000 acres from Yankee Town to Homossassas.
It was made a State Park in 2004 and they have been busy carrying on the good work. They are currently logging the wildlife to study how the eco system affects the animals.
This park is choc full of forests, inlets and backwaters and there is a 20 mile border between it and the Gulf Coast. A good day to visit if you can is the 3rd saturday of the month when the rangers present a video covering all aspects of the park.
There are 7 rivers which feed into the estuary system and all seven teem with river life. The fishing possibilities extend right into the canals. It is a half mile walk to the fishing positions.
You will possibly catch flounder, snook and trout and you will need a license.
The trails here are good and extensive.
Fort Island Trail is part of the Birding Trail and you acceess from H 19.
Lake Loop Trail is a mile long and wanders round 3 lakes. Access from Dixie Shores Drive.
Eco Walk Drive starts in wet prairie and then takes in hammock and swamp and has 11 discovery zones. Access is where Curtis Tool Rd and North Tallahasse Rd meet.
Hammock Island Trail is under a mile long and takes you through scrub and marsh. Access from Dixie Shores Drive.
Churchouse Boardwalk is a third of a mile and begins in Pine Wods and takes you through hammock to other trails. Access at Crystal River Mall on H 19.
There is a good visitor centre with a large aquarium, snake and terrapin display and a touch table. Outside is a xeriscope garden with a waterfall. Here you can sit anf enjoy your picnic.
Visitor Centre: is located at 3266 North Sailboat Ave. Take U. S. Hwy 19 3/4 mile north of the Crystal River Mall. Turn left onto State Park Drive at the Days Inn. Follow State Park Drive until it dead ends at the Crystal River.
Eco-Walk: 5990 North Tallahassee Road. Take U. S. Hwy 19 north to just before Seven Rivers Hospital. Turn left onto Curtis Tool Road. The intersection of Curtis Tool and Tallahassee Road is the Eco-walk trail head.
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