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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 109 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 54
  • 31
    Very good
  • 14
  • 2
  • 1
Fantastic Cruise and Narration Along the Crystal River into the Gulf

We were among the 20 or so people who took the Crystal River State Park cruise which was absolutely delightful. The narration by a park ranger was first-rate, and we spotted an... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 5 days ago
Arline Z
Metuchen, New Jersey
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109 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 102: English reviews
Metuchen, New Jersey
Level Contributor
346 reviews
153 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

We were among the 20 or so people who took the Crystal River State Park cruise which was absolutely delightful. The narration by a park ranger was first-rate, and we spotted an eagle spreading its wings high above the river on a palm tree branch, several manatees, an alligator, Loons, and a variety of birds. We spent 1-1/2 hours on... More 

Thank Arline Z
Dunedin, Florida, United States
Level Contributor
64 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

This park has some beautiful hiking trails. I saw a gator, turtles and many birds on a bike ride around some of the shorter trails. There's a 7 mile loop trail suitable for off-road biking and for hiking but I didn't have time on this visit to do that one. I'll be sure to do it next time. I did... More 

Thank David B
The Villages
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I previously rated this park with a glowing review. But, we went back this past week and the small picnic area has been closed. They used to have a picnic table on the point across from the office and museum. It had a beautiful view of the channel out to the Gulf. Now, the area is closed off because there... More 

Thank Peggy W
Westfield, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
57 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 weeks ago

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 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 February 2017

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 1 February 2017

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 13 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 6 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
104 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 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
85 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 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

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Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Crystal River Preserve State Park and other visitors
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3 months ago
Bethesda, Maryland, United States
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Bethesda, Maryland, United States
North Naples, Florida
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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?