Black Diamond Ranch “Where to Live if You Live for Adventures off the Golf Course” Citrus County on the Water II
”There is nothing quite like gliding quietly down a natural river or creek in a canoe or kayak. Nature unfolds before you as though you aren’t even there and where the subtle click of a camera shutter echoes out as an out-of-place noise. If this is your chosen mode of water transportation or you want to experience it for the first time, then Citrus County waters are ready to welcome you.” Also check out scalloping, swimming with the manatee and the latest water sport: SUP<>/b> Stand up Paddling.
“–Florida is a watery paradise, and the best way to experience it is by canoe or kayak. Whether canoeing down a scenic river or lake, exploring a paddling trail or tackling some fantastic fishing from a kayak, you will find that Citrus County’s waterways yield remarkable experiences to those with a penchant for paddling. Come explore The Water Lover’s Florida: spot rare manatees, add new birds to your logbook and more.–” Citrus County Paddling Locations: Chassahowitzka River, Crystal River, Homosassa River, Tsala Apopka Lake Chain, and Withlacoochee River. Paddling companies include: Manatee Paddle, A Crystal River Kayak Company Recommended for local kayaking : Aardvark’s Florida Kayak Co. in Crystal River 352.795.5650
Rainbow River paddling trips generally start at Rainbow Springs State Park. From there, paddlers will make their way back to Dunnellon. At the lower section of the river, there are a number of businesses in Dunnellon that will transport you as far up the river as you like and drop you off so that you can float back to their locations. These businesses are also able to tell you exactly how long it will take to complete your adventure and equip you with everything you will need to complete it safely. One company to check out:
Blue Run Bicycles in Dunnellon sells stand up paddle boards and gear.
Withlacoochee River Paddling Trail: Plan a kayak trip and rent all the equipment you need to make it a success. If you are looking to explore the upper section of the river, Nobleton Outpost rents kayaks and canoes in that area.
If you are interested in creating a nature excursion that combines trail hiking with your paddling adventure, there is seven-mile hiking trail along the Withlacoochee River that connects the Hog Island Recreation Area with the River Junction Recreation Area. This means that you can paddle from River Junction to Hog Island and then hike back to River Junction to retrieve your vehicle and go pick up your boat. Regardless of how long you would like your paddling trip to be, or how much experience you have, there is an appropriate trip that can be designed for just about anyone along the Withlacoochee Paddling Trail. See the guide for more info.
FL Paddle Link another source for Florida paddlers.
Crystal River Preserve State Park
“A place of exceptional natural beauty, the undisturbed islands, inlets, backwaters and forests of this Crystal River Preserve are especially cherished by nature lovers and photographers. The park borders 20 miles of the northern Gulf Coast between the two cities of Yankeetown and Homosassa. Paddlers can launch a kayak or canoe into the waters of the scenic Crystal River to see the park from the water.”
The variety and abundance of wildlife make Citrus County a year-round vacation destination. Citrus County is conveniently situated within a short drive to several of Florida’s other unique dive sites and can serve ideally as a “base of operation.” With several dive shops in the area, your every need can be catered, including instruction, guides, equipment rentals, even underwater video services.
Crystal Lodge Dive Center Dive Link
If you snorkel, I think you’ll love to scallop. This year, from June 27 through September 24, scalloping comes to Citrus County. Part snorkeling experience, part treasure dive and saltwater fishing trip, scalloping is fun for all. We have always scalloped from our own boat. It is quite the adventure to find them. If you go with a guide, you will probably get enough for a dinner…we manage enough for an appetizer. However, this year I can now add that I captured three dozen scallops in an hour’s time! Must be that at the beginning of the season, scallops are more plentiful! Pay attention to tides, it is much better to scallop when the water is low tide and shallow (I like 2-3 feet deep). Diving down into 5 feet of water is more of a challenge for me! Friend’s recommendation: Spottails Charters. See also Mike Baize mentioned previously.
Swim with the Manatee
“A manatee has a face only Mother Nature could love.” Once you meet a manatee, you’re hooked. The official marine mammal of the state of Florida, manatees are nearsighted, slow-moving herbivores that average about 10 feet in length and weigh in at roughly 1,200 pounds. And they are here in Citrus County, FL! Keep dry and see them at the Homosassa Wildlife Park. Otherwise, view them in the wild via a boat tour. And another option on the tours is to snorkel with them. Three Sisters Springs is one of the best places to see manatee thanks to the crystal clear waters. I can’t believe we waited so long to snorkel with them. Of course, in season October-March are the best months, but what an exciting experience to have the manatees swim right up to you. My son and daughter-¬in-law captured great videos of their experience.” I have had one recommendation for a tour guide: Manatee Tour and Dive-look for a Groupon for a discount.
Crystal Lodge Dive Center Manatee Link
New to Groupon? It is a website where companies offer discounts doe their services and products. Check out the website: Groupon Link
Black Diamond Ranch “Where to Live if You Live for Adventures on and off the Golf Course:” Citrus County on the Water II– kayak, canoe, paddle, swim with the manatee, scallop or dive!