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Crystal River Preserve State Park

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 3266 N Sailboat Ave, Crystal River, FL 34428-6205
Phone Number:
(352) 228-6028
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours

Crystal River Preserve State Park is a remnant of the Florida coastline...

Crystal River Preserve State Park is a remnant of the Florida coastline that has changed little since Europeans arrived over 500 years ago.

The park preserves more than 27,000 acres of diverse natural communities such as scrub, pinewoods, hardwood forests, salt marshes and mangrove islands.

Much of the property is still untouched, allowing visitors a glimpse at what this area of Florida looked like centuries ago.

Given the natural community diversity, the preserve is an ideal location for birding and wildlife viewing. The preserve offers several miles of hiking and biking trails and two designated kayak launches.

From Labor Day to Memorial Day (September-May) Eco-heritage boat trips leave from the park headquarters.

The 1.5-hour boat tour gives visitors the opportunity to see coastal marsh and learn how it and the associated marine estuary provided for the ancient river dwellers that once lived here.

The 24-passenger vessel “Monroe” runs on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., weather permitting. The cost is $15.00 for adults, $10.00 for children under 12 years of age, children 6 years of age and under are free. Boat tickets can be purchased one hour prior to departure, forms of payment accepted are cash or check.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 106 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 52
  • 30
    Very good
  • 14
  • 2
  • 1
Nice walk on the river

We stopped by and checked out the visitor's center, then took a nice walk to Mullett Hole. Good place to stretch your legs.

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 1 week ago
Westfield, Massachusetts
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106 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 99: English reviews
Westfield, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
57 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

We stopped by and checked out the visitor's center, then took a nice walk to Mullett Hole. Good place to stretch your legs.

Thank KevinM495
Michigan City, Indiana
Level Contributor
96 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

We decided to spend the fee for the boat ride in the Crystal River and out a short way into the Gulf. Our guides were friendly and very knowledgeable. Its hard to get too much about this beautiful area - I could have stayed there much longer! We enjoyed seeing some wildlife including local birds nesting such as herons, egrets,... More 

Thank Kadie O
Silver Spring
Level Contributor
25 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Took a very nice cruise that was well narrated by 1st mate with addition comments from the Captain. Between the two of them they were able to answer every question. We saw manatees, dolphins, and numerous birds, while we learned about the history of the area.

Thank LGP910
Level Contributor
36 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 January 2017 via mobile

My husband and I took the eco walk trail. It's an unpaved 2ish mile trail right off Curtis Tool Road. We were able to see an armadillo (a first for us) right off the trail. The sun can make it pretty hot and it doesn't get the breeze like the river does, so wear sunscreen and pack plenty of water.

Thank Allison W
Level Contributor
31 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 January 2017 via mobile

Great place to hike. Easy trails through different ecosystems. We took the boat ride on the river and saw manatees, a bald eagle, osprey and various other water birds. The guide was very knowledgeable and the captain was entertaining. Great place to spend the day.

Thank Elizabeth G
The Villages, Florida
Level Contributor
102 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 January 2017

We went to the park for a walk. The paths by Mullet Hole were clean and easy to walk. The Mullet Hole also had a nice area to launch a canoe or kayak. We were there on a Sunday so the museum and boat tour were closed. The garden by the museum was very overgrown and the whole general area... More 

Thank FloridaVillagers
Palm Bay, Florida
Level Contributor
83 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 January 2017

I went on the eco boat tour and it was great. The guide was very knowledgeable and we learned a lot of interesting facts. Unfortunately the Museum was closed when we went but I'm looking forward to returning to visit it.

Thank yodasm0m
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 December 2016

the Boat Tour is so cool and will be good for the Summer time to for a cool Air to cool you by. so go on a Boat Tour you will Enjoy it to.

Thank Yvonne P
Drummond Island, Michigan
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 December 2016

Enjoyable boat tour narrated by knowledgeable staff. Lots of birds and even a manatees was spotted. They even provide binoculars for passengers. Great history of the area. Ninety minute tour fof $15...what a great value!

Thank Dot S
Milledgeville, Georgia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 November 2016

The Crystal River Preserve State Park Heritage-Eco Boat Tour was an interesting, enjoyable, relaxing 1 1/2 hours sailing first upstream past the Fort Island Trail Park to a ceremonial mound of shells built by early inhabitants of the area dating to centuries Before Christ (BC). The narrator Holley talked about the archaeological aspects as well as the wildlife along the... More 

1 Thank tcrdl1

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