The Top 4 Springs in Citrus County | Discover Crystal River

The Top 4 Springs in Citrus County

Dive head first into some of the world's most beautiful, crystal-clear springs right here in Citrus County, Florida!

The Crystal River area is home to an abundance of natural freshwater springs, most of which feed the seven rivers that wind through our area. These springs pump out millions of gallons of crystal-clear fresh water every day! With so many of these beautiful, natural water sources in our community (over 70 in Kings Bay alone), it would be impossible to describe them all. Here is a closer look at a few of our favorites.

**Something to remember**
Our springs are beautiful natural resources. It is important that they stay pristine both for the sake of our ecosystem and so we can appreciate their beauty for generations to come. Helping to maintain the springs is easy, just remember these tips:

  • Keep off rocks and shoreline to help prevent soil erosion and decreased water visibility.
  • Do not pull kayaks onto the shoreline or tie them to vegetation as this also erodes soil.
  • Tie off paddle craft in designated areas or use a vegetation friendly anchor.
  • Avoid trampling vegetation and kicking up silt, this can negatively impact water quality.
  • Refrain from climbing trees as it can be dangerous and could potentially harm vital vegetation.
  • Say no to disposable items like water bottles and wrappers that can be easily lost in the water.
  • Never throw out litter or leave garbage behind!

The Crack:

First on our list is a crystal-clear paradise that will have visitors feeling completely at one with nature. As you travel to The Crack, you will paddle down the Chassahowitzka River and enjoy the beauty of the national wildlife refuge that surrounds most of the river.

To reach the springs, paddlers will need to take a left out of the launch site and make their way to Baird Creek on the left-hand side of the river. By traveling up Baird Creek, paddlers will reach a lagoon known as blue springs but, with a keen eye, you can spot the small opening at the back of the lagoon where you can travel up the shallow passage (the shallow depths may require you to walk the last bit of the creek) which will dead end into The Crack. Those wishing to launch their own paddle craft can park at the Chassahowitzka River Campground, 8600 W. Miss Maggie Drive, Homosassa.

Three Sisters Springs:

This spring is by far the county’s most popular, and with good reason! During the cooler months (November – March), manatees flock to the springs to escape the cold waters of the Gulf of Mexico, seeking refuge in the year-round 72-degree water. Three Sisters is made up of three main springs (giving it the iconic name), Pretty Sister, Deep sister, and Little Sister.

Visitors wishing to swim in Three Sisters will most likely launch from Kings Bay Park or Hunter Springs Park. Once out of the cove where the parks are located, travel south until you reach the Kings Bay Drive bridge on your left-hand side. Paddle under the bridge and you will find the entrance to the springs a short way down the river on your left.

Seven Sisters Springs:

This cluster of springs has a high reward for a very short paddle! Beautiful and crystal clear, visitors can enjoy the water flowing from the small maze of caves that make up the mouth of the springs.

After launching from the Chassahowitzka River Campground, paddlers can head right for a quick 5-minute paddle. The cove where Seven Sister Spring is located will be on your left-hand side. This is a popular swimming area so if you want to avoid a crowd be sure to go during the week, in the cooler months, or early in the morning.

Hunter Springs:

If kayaking isn’t your thing and you still want to enjoy the springs, then the beach at Hunter Springs Park is ideal! The waters are just as crystal clear as the other springs but can easily be reach by swimmers. Three main springs feed this cove: Hunter Spring (the namesake), Jurassic Spring, and House Spring. This spring-fed beach is perfect for families with small children who might want to get in and out of the water frequently.

To visit, head to Hunter Spring Park located at 104 NE 1st
Avenue in downtown Crystal River.

The springs are truly one of Florida’s hidden gems, and we hope everyone who visits gains a new appreciation for their beauty! If you are interested in learning more about how to help our community protect these treasures, please check out our “Visit Responsibly” page. 

Hope you have an unforgettable adventure here in Florida’s Nature Coast!


Jodi Sanders
Media and Content Manager