Sunday, July 12, 2015

Exploring the Crystal River, FL Area

Posted from Ft. Myers Beach, FL  (Click on Pics to Enlarge)

After leaving Cedar Key we drove a whopping 48 miles (about 1 hour) and landed in Crystal River, FL. We stayed for the next week at Quail Roost RV Campground. The CG is about a 10 minute drive from the water and met our needs for a nice place to stay and explore the area.  Being as it's summer time in FL and the temps are climbing, there were very few other guests staying in the campground.

Our initial intention was to scout out the area for places to launch our Sea Eagle and to do some paddling on the water.  When we heard the warnings about "flesh eating bacteria" in the unusually warm brackish waters, we decided not to tempt fate.  Again, our chances of contracting this were probably similar to Karen catching rabies from the cat bite, but we just didn't feel like pushing our luck.

So, what to do.  We decided to drive around and explore the area some.  Our first stop was at a small place named Ozello Community Park just south of Crystal River.

Looked like a very nice place to launch boats, kayaks, canoes, etc.

Our next stop was at Fort Island Gulf Beach Park.  As this was a Sunday, the parking lot was packed.  Nice area, but this beach is actually on the inland waters and not directly on the Gulf.

Heading back toward Crystal River we stopped at Fort Island Trail Park.  Very nice boat ramp area here, a place to picnic, and the entrance to Crystal River is only a very short distance away.

It's now about mid-afternoon and those large palms offering shade look very inviting.

Back in the city of Crystal River, we stopped at Hunters Spring Park.  This is definitely NOT a place to come on the weekend.  It was pretty hard to even find a place to park.  This area is popular to launch a kayak or canoe and travel to Three Sisters Spring nearby. The spring is crystal clear and frequented by manatees during their season.

As you should be able to tell by now, there are a lot of parks in the surrounding areas.  A short drive takes us to Crystal River Preserve State Park.  There literally was no one here as it was late now on Sunday afternoon.  Again, a nice spot to drop in a canoe or kayak.

The point where the State Park joins the Crystal River had benches to watch the boats travel up and down the river.  It was a very peaceful area.

Another launch site in the State Park was near Mullet's Hole. Somewhat off the beaten path, but you'd never have to worry about a crowd in this area.

All of these kayak launch areas eventually lead into the Crystal River, but I would have just been satisfied to paddle the back waters and watch the wildlife.

Photo Courtesy of Trip Advisor website
All of this "exploring" can work up quite an appetite.  There are many, many restaurants and places to indulge in fresh seafood in this area.  I didn't get any pictures of the food, but one such place we tried was named the Blue Gator Tiki Bar and Restaurant up in Dunnellon, FL.  Just a short 15 minutes drive from our campground and the food was very good and fresh.  I had steamed shrimp and Karen had crab cakes.  Very tasty!

As always, additional pictures for today's blog are available on our Google+ Web Album.

Thanks for stopping by to take a look!


  1. Glad they posted about that flesh eating bacteria, no sense in taking a chance. :cO

    1. Actually we learned about this from my brother-in-law who was visiting from VA. He was staying in the Tampa area and was talking to the hotel desk where he was staying about going to the beach. They told him about it. We never saw info. posted at any beach we went to. I guess they don't want to kill the tourism industry by scaring people away.

  2. If you are still in that area, you must stop by and visit The Villages. It's a wonderful retirement community like no other. You'll be amazed!

  3. Florida appears to be a totally different place in the summer. When we visited Crystal River 18 months ago there were lots of manatees and folks in boats watching them -

    1. Yes, it is very different. All of the smart people have left for cooler parts of the country.

  4. I enjoyed he Florida tour very much. Since I can't walk much anymore, the pictures and descriptions are very nice. Thank you.