On the Ground or in the Water, Every day is Earth Day in Citrus County!

Swimming and Snorkeling and Fishing, Oh My!

Cycling and Hiking and Horses, Come Try!


Earth Day (April 22) in Citrus County is best celebrated either paddling down the crystal clear waters of the Crystal, Chassahowitzka or Homosassa Rivers, snorkeling, swimming or tubing in one of the county’s dozens of transparent natural springs, or hiking or horseback riding along the miles of trails in 42,000-acre Withlacoochee State Forest.

 Citrus County, Florida, located just 60 minutes from Tampa and 90 minutes from Orlando on the west coast of Florida, is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise.

Best known as the only place in North America where you can swim with manatees, Crystal River is their year round home, but like Florida’s population of Yankee snowbirds, you find a lot more of them in the cooler winter months…Even so, manatees make Citrus County’s springs their permanent home, enjoying the year round water temperature of 72 degrees.Citrus 3 bikes

But wait, there’s more!

  • Serious anglers have been hooked on Citrus County for generations. Dotted with lakes and rivers and bordered by estuaries and the Gulf of Mexico, both salt and freshwater fishing is exceptional. Few destinations can offer the variety of angling experiences found in this part of Florida.
  • Horse trails along the Withlacoochee State Trail and inside the Withlacoochee State Forest feature a wide variety of natural Florida—scrub oak, pine forest, sand hills, hammocks-—habitat for abundant native Florida wildlife. Outstanding equestrian camping opportunities are also available.
  • Whether you prefer wheels powered by pedal or by motor, Citrus County is the perfect destination for you. Either way, the hills and spectacular scenery of Citrus County make for a beautiful ride. A favorite trip among motorcycle riders is along the Ozello Trail, which features the best “twisties” in Florida.
  • The Crystal River Preserve State Park offers hiking trails where visitors can see a variety of birds and other wildlife. As an alternative, waterways allow park access by canoe and kayak.

There are numerous outfitters in the area that know the best places to fish, paddle and swim. Let them help meet your water recreational needs.

To learn more about the area, special offers, events and accommodations, please go to VisitCitrus.com, or call the Citrus County Visitors & Convention Bureau toll-free at 1-800-587-6667.

Swim with the Manatees in Citrus County

What’s 2000 lbs, Sort of Gray and And Ready to Be Your Swim Buddy In Citrus County, Florida?
Ancient mariners thought it was a mermaid, but….it’s a Florida Manatee!
Crystal River, Fla. – According to legend, ancient mariners mistook Manatees for mermaids. We think that the mariners had been at sea for a loooooong time. But, today visitors to Citrus County can see for themselves, because it’s the only place in North America where you can legally swim with these protected mammals.

In the cool winter months (well, frigid anywhere but Florida) the Manatees seek the warmer spring waters — which are a constant 72 degrees — for comfort.Manatees are curious and interested in the terrestrial visitors to their watery homes, and, like other “guests,” swimmers have to respect the manatee’s space. Most people tend to be pretty respectful as a ton-sized wild animal approaches, but even so, there are some rules. But as far as we know, the rules that protect the manatees have yet to stop a close encounter with experienced guides.Citrus swim with manatee

Want to see manatees without getting wet? Visit the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, where manatees can be viewed up close in an underwater observatory in the main spring. Then there’s something special: Yuma, the rescued Florida Panther. Visitors can also meet the rare whooping crane, deer, bears, bobcats, egrets and flamingos along unspoiled nature trails.Swimming with a manatee is a Bucket List item that can easily be checked off with a visit to Citrus County this winter.
To learn more about the area, special offers, events and accommodations, please go to VisitCitrus.com, or call the Citrus County Visitors & Convention Bureau toll-free at 1-800-587-6667.