Crystal River Preserve State Park

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Crystal River Preserve State Park
IUCN category Ib (wilderness area)
Map showing the location of Crystal River Preserve State Park
Map showing the location of Crystal River Preserve State Park
Location Citrus County, Florida, USA
Nearest city Crystal River, Florida
Coordinates 28°54′59″N 82°37′25″W / 28.91639°N 82.62361°W / 28.91639; -82.62361Coordinates: 28°54′59″N 82°37′25″W / 28.91639°N 82.62361°W / 28.91639; -82.62361
Area 30,000 acres (120 km2)
Governing body Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Crystal River Preserve State Park is a Florida State Park, originally known as the Crystal River Buffer Preserve, covering 30,000 acres (120 km²) of islands, inlets, backwaters, and forests. It is between temperate and sub-tropical climate zones and contains plants and animals from both. The park borders 20 miles (30 km) of the Gulf of Mexico between the cities of Yankeetown and Homosassa. Crystal River Archaeological State Park is located within the park.

Activities include canoeing, fishing, wildlife viewing, hiking and bicycling. Among the wildlife of the park are neotropical birds and hawks, white-tailed deer, turkey, and wading birds. Amenities include a dock, a 9 mile (14 km) biking trail, hiking trails and a two-and-a-half mile interpretive trail. The visitor center houses 6 dioramas, three 125 US gallon (473 L) aquariums, 2 snake exhibits, a diamondback terrapin enclosure, and a touch table. The park is open from 8:00 am till sundown year round.

Since the waterways adjacent to many of the park's shorelines are not technically included within the park boundary, it can be said that manatees are nowhere to be found in this State Park, even though, the nearest city (Crystal River) is nicknamed "Manatee Haven". However, acquisition of the land that makes up this state park does protect manatee habitat from development and manatees from the boating traffic associated with that development.

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