Citrus County Florida Cities/Towns ----Beverly Hills, Black Diamond, Citrus Hills, Citrus Springs, Crystal River, Floral City, Hernando, Homosassa Springs, Homosassa, Inverness, Lecanto, Pine Ridge, Sugarmill Woods
Citrus County was created in 1887. It was named for the county's citrus trees. Citrus production declined dramatically after the "Big Freeze" of 1894-1895.
Approximately mid-state, bordering the Gulf of Mexico, about 70 miles north of Tampa and 60 miles northwest of Orlando.
Lakes: Countless small lakes and ponds, plus these named lakes with boat launches:
• Big Lake Henderson • Little Lake Henderson • Lake Holathlikaha • Lake Rousseau
• Tsala Apopka Chain of Lakes • Lake Hernando
Rivers: Seven Outstanding Florida Waterways run through the county:
• Crystal River • Homosassa River • Halls River • Chassahowitzka River • Withlacoochee River (72 miles of navigable water running through 7 counties) • Salt River • St Martins River
The county is home to dozens of springs, from beautiful King Spring, Homosassa Spring, Chassahowitzka Spring and Three Sisters Springs.
Gentle Manatee Giants
Citrus County’s relatively warm, spring-fed waters attract North America’s largest manatee gathering each winter. The largest concentration can be found in the Crystal River but they are also found in the Homosassa River. A thousand-pound manatee in the wild, often with a baby or two alongside, is unforgettable. They react to the close-at-hand presence of swimmers, divers and waders with characteristic good nature. Citrus County is the only place in North America where nature lovers can legally swim and snorkel with these docile giants.
Birding in Citrus County can include anything from a flock of whooping cranes following an ultralight aircraft to soaring eagles to nesting sandhill cranes. Of course there are red birds and blue birds and every other color of the rainbow. Many Citrus County public parks and preserves have huge avian populations. The Great Florida Birding Trail has 445 official sites and 23 of them are in Citrus County. Get started on this story at the official website, FloridaBirdingTrail.com.
Looking For A Seafood Supper
Citrus County bay scallops can be found in the shallow Gulf Waters of off the coast during the recreational scalloping season that runs from late June through late September. The meat from a bay scallop is small, white and tender. Local guides help visitors find and collect scallops and tell them what the harvesting limits and regulations are. Once you’ve got your limit, take your bounty to one of the county’s local eateries where you eat your catch – can’t get any fresher than that! Story possibilities include the usual W’s plus recipes and beachfront cookouts.
Florida’s Fishing Grounds
Salt or fresh…amateur or professional…Citrus County is a fisherman’s dream. Folks who want to trailer their own boats find excellent launch ramps and an assortment of waterside restaurants, fuel stops and boatyards. It’s only a short run to the open Gulf and as much adventure as you like. On your own it’s a great experience, but there’s nothing like a charter with an experienced guide to ensure a great day and a great catch.
Anglers seeking freshwater adventure have a very good chance of landing a bass that will look like a whale in the photograph if you hold it in front of your body at arm’s length. The Tsala Apopka chain of lakes near Inverness is a great place to begin.
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