Kayaking is a thrilling and eco-friendly way to see the marvelous springs and wildlife of Crystal River, Fl. Formed by a series of 30 springs and covering seven miles to the Gulf of Mexico, Crystal River has some of the clearest springs and the best wildlife habitats in North America that can easily be accessed using a kayak. Kayaks not only go to places where larger boats are unable to reach, but are also quiet enough to allow you to sneak into wildlife habitats with minimal disturbance. Kayaking along Crystal River enables you to see manatees, beautiful birds such as egrets, herons and osprey, dolphins, apple snails, blue crabs and raccoon turtles, wild deer and pigs on the banks, and families of bald eagles flying overhead.
Where to kayak in Crystal River
Where should you kayak in Crystal River? There are many places you can kayak along the river, from the Hunter Spring to the Buzzard Island, the Seven Sisters Springs and around Banana Island, the Three Sisters Springs to the River Ventures, the Chassahowitzka River to the U.S. 19 highway and the city boat ramp, the Jurassic Springs and around Kings Bay. With the many options and kayaking routes available for visitors, you should choose the place to go depending on what you want to see during your trip. The most popular places to kayak in Crystal River include:
1. Three Sisters Springs
The most popular springs in Crystal River are the Three Sisters Springs. As a complex of three spring areas endowed with several vents and sand boils, Three Sisters Springs is a clean, clear and beautiful kayaking destination. The springs also form one of the most crucial natural warm-water habitats for the endangered Florida manatees. At the mouth of the springs are many pilings that keep out motorboats but allow kayaks to pass through and move along the channel of the springs. Three Sisters Springs is a great destination for snorkelers and many tour companies provide “Swim with Manatees” tours and kayak rentals for visitors.
2. Chassahowitzka River
One of the most interesting non-manatee things to do in Crystal River is to go kayaking on Chassahowitzka River. Just like many other rivers around these parts, the “Chazz” is spring-fed, clear and beautiful. You can use a rented kayak to paddle along the Chazz leisurely as you trace it to its source, a spring called “The Crack.” Although it does not have manatees, Chassahowitzka River has plenty of mullet and lots of birds. The river is part of the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge and is a must visit if you are looking for a wonderful time.
3. River Ventures Manatee Tour Center
Located at 498 SE Kings Bay Drive, Crystal Springs, the River Ventures Manatee Tour Center allows visitors to embark on an amazing water experience using a kayak or boat that has been inspected and covered by the U.S. Coast Guard. Guided by licensed captains through Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, visitors are able to go to the best locations for seeing, snorkeling and swimming with manatees.
4. Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs
This wildlife park is a great place for viewing the West Indian manatees from an underwater observatory. Visitors also are able to see plenty of native Florida wildlife, such as black bears, white-tailed deer, bobcats, American crocodiles, American alligators and river otters. There is a Wildlife Encounter program that enables visitors to see snakes and many other native animals, a children’s education center that provides hands-on experiences and recreational facilities for picnics, bird-watching and nature study.
Why Choose Captain Mike’s Kayak Academy?
Located strategically on the water and boasting its own private dock that allows tourists to access the best kayaking spots in Crystal River, Captain Mike’s offers high-quality, stable and easy-to-maneuver single and double kayaks. We are a friendly kayak store offering all the paddling gear you need during your tour. Our certified kayaking instructors make sure that you learn to use your kayak properly and feel comfortable and confident before you embark on your trip. We have been in the business for decades and take great pride in ensuring that all our clients enjoy their trip and are completely safe. For more information on kayak rentals and kayaking options in Crystal River, visit the site https://threesisterskayakrental.com.
- Chassahowitzka River Campground. Retrieved from https://chassahowitzkaflorida.com/
- River Ventures. Retrieved from https://www.riverventures.com/
- Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. Retrieved from https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/ellie-schiller-homosassa-springs-wildlife-state-park