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If You Love the Water,
You'll Love Citrus County!

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Boating Guidelines | Canoeing | Canoeing Guidelines

Whether you own an inboard or outboard (or the traditional manpower), sailboat, jet ski, or pontoon, there's a water body ready to accommodate your needs. Citrus County maintains a number of public boat ramps throughout the area and if you are looking for a more permanent mooring, there are a number of privately owned marinas and boat storage yards.

If boating is your desire but owning a boat isn't, there are also a number of local businesses that can rent you a vessel for a few hours, a day, a week, or more.

Once you are on the water, you still face a multitude of decisions of what you want to do. Sightseeing, fishing, water sports, snorkeling, or maybe just relaxing the day away from phones, deadlines, and other signs of civilization that surround us.

Boating Guidelines

For those who wish to boat on Citrus County's beautiful waterways, we ask that you follow these simple guidelines to protect our natural resources:

  • Always let someone know your plans; where you are going, and when you plan to return.
  • Those launching into west coast waters need to remember and observe the speed zones established for manatee safety.
  • Water skiers and jet ski operators might want to consider the 22-mile Tsala Apopka Chain of Lakes instead of the coastal rivers or Gulf of Mexico.
  • Keep to established channels when possible, while watching your depth and running speed to avoid prop dredging and/or sea grass damage.
  • Always be aware of tides and weather.
  • Use extra caution in high use areas and always be aware of what's going on around you.
  • Never launch your boat until you have conducted a safety check of equipment, lifesaving devices, and navigational/communication aids.
  • Do not consume alcohol or drugs while operating a boat.
  • Always observe boating right-of-way and operational rules. (If you don't know them, take a Boater's Safety Course before you operate a boat.)
  • Be mindful of your wake when passing shorelines or other boats. Waves cause shorelines to erode and stir up sediment that impede sea grass growth and survival.
  • Properly dispose of bilge water, holding tank waste, and old fuels and oils. Never discharge these materials into our public waterways.
  • Always clean you boat, motor and props of vegetation to avoid spreading hydrilla, hyacinths, and other nuisance plants into other water bodies.
  • Leave No Litter. Bring a trash bag with you and please recycle whenever possible.

Remember, Mother Nature created the waterways of Citrus County for everyone's use and enjoyment.

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Canoeing

The Nature Coast Canoe/Kayak Trail begins on the Salt River off Crystal River (near the Marine Science Center) and follows markers on the Salt River South to the Homosassa River. Then the trail goes east on the Homosassa about a few hundred feet to Battle Creek. The Southern leg of the trail, the Michael Byer Memorial Trail, picks up the markers right at the Homosassa and Battle Creek, going south through Seven Cabbage Cut to the mouth of the Chassahowitzka.

The Nature Coast Canoe & Kayak Trail takes a paddler through some of the most pristine salt marshes in the Southeast. Year-round wildlife in the area includes osprey, eagles, a variety of wadin birds, manatees, dolphins, alligators, and raccoons.

It can be a difficult area to navigate so the trail markers assist one in orientation. Be prepared for the trip by carrying water, a compas, insect repellant, and sunblock. Be sure to keep a close eye on the weather and tides.

There is nothing quite like gliding quietly down a natural river or creek in a canoe. 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.

For the experienced canoeist, the blackwater Withlacoochee River (a Florida Outstanding Waterway) offers an 83-mile designated canoe trail that begins in Pasco County and continues to the Citrus/Marion county line in Dunnellon at the US 41 bridge.

If 83-mile treks are more than you planned for, you can pick a smaller segment of the overall trail to canoe or try one of the rivers on the west coast. One of the best is the Chassahowitzka River. The Chassahowitzka River Campground is operated by the Citrus County Division of Parks and Recreation, and has canoes for rent. The scenic Chassahowitzka (another Florida Outstanding Waterway) has a number of side creeks and tributaries for the adventurous. If you navigate its length you will find a beautiful freshwater springs nestled at the heart of its headwaters.

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Canoeing Guidelines

For those who wish to canoe on Citrus County's beautiful waterways, we ask that you follow these simple guidelines to protect our natural resources:

  • Always let someone know your plans; where you are going and when you plan to return.
  • Never launch your canoe until you have conducted a safety check including: flotation gear, an extra paddle, bow and stern lines, first aid kit, and map.
  • Be aware of weather, tides, and river conditions.
  • Place food and gear in watertight containers and secure them to the canoe. Always carry drinking water.
  • Obtain permission for entry on private lands, and when necessary, on public lands. Respect the privacy and property of others.
  • Allow a minimum of 2 miles per hour paddling time under normal conditions. Know and respect your limitations.
  • Watch for motorboats. Stay to the right and turn the bow into the wake.
  • Be cautious of submerged stumps, overhead branches, and other waterway obstructions.
  • Leave No Litter. Bring a trash bag with you and please recycle whenever possible.

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This page and all of the many pages about Citrus County Florida which we are offering you here on our site are meant to help you learn about our wonderful area. Where you build your new home is very important and we wish to provide you with as much information about the Citrus County Florida area as you need. If your looking for water activities, Citrus County is the place! If you have any additional questions or would like to know anything else about our area, please call us at 800-853-2363 and we would be more than happy to help you.

Information from various sources who also promote Citrus County, Florida. We thank them and share the same desire to inform you about the great area we live and work in, Citrus County, Florida.

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