Florida’s Nature Coast is a one of the most beautiful regions of Florida. This area is filled with natural beauty, and an incredible range of wildlife, beautiful nature, biological and natural diversity.
Florida’s Nature Coast is quite large, and there is an endless amount of adventure and nature, just waiting to be discovered. Here’s a short overview of things to see and do in the Nature Coast and nearby.
Rivers and Springs
There are many clear, freshwater springs and rivers in the Nature Coast region. Manatees often swim in these waters, especially in the winter and during cold weather events.
Some notable rivers and springs in the Nature Coast region include:
- Chassahowitzka River
- Crystal River
- Homosassa River
- Withlacoochee River
- Suwannee River
- Weeki Wachee River
- Santa Fe River
- Waccasassa River
- Chassahowitzka Springs
- Seven Sisters Springs
- Homosassa Springs
- Three Sisters Springs
- Manatee Springs
- Fanning Springs
- Rainbow Springs
- Weeki Wachee Springs
- Ichetucknee Springs
There is an incredible amount and variety of wildlife in the Nature Coast!
Manatees are probably the most famous type of wildlife in the region, but there are many others.
Besides manatees, it’s also common to find a wide variety of birds, fish, and other animals. Kayaking is especially good for seeing wildlife because it is silent and is not disruptive to the surrounding wildlife.
While kayaking in the Nature Coast it is very common to se dolphins, turtles, and ospreys. The marshy areas are home to alligators, and sharks can sometimes be seen in saltwater and brackish environments.
Forests and Trails
Although my favorite activity is paddling and kayaking, the Nature Coast area is filled with parks and forests, which are excellent trail and hiking destinations.
One of my favorite and most highly recommended spots is the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge, which is filled with hidden gems and natural treasures, like Buford Springs.
There are a number of hiking trails where people can explore the woods and wetlands.
The Nature Coast coastline is a mixture of sandy beaches and rocky shores. It’s great for fishing, scalloping, and other water activities. Cedar Key is a well-known spot with a beautiful coastline.
Fishing and Seafood
The Nature Coast is famous for its fishing and seafood, especially shrimp, oysters, and crab.
Caves and Sinkholes
Florida’s Nature Coast sits upon a type of geology known as Karst. This type of geology is filled with springs, caves and sink holes.
There are many cute and charming small towns in Florida’s Nature Coast. Some of these are among the oldest towns in Florida, which were once thriving communities in Florida’s early days.
- Cedar Key
- Crystal River
- And others
Florida’s Nature Coast is being developed at a very dangerous and unsustainable rate. Native forests and wetlands are being bulldozed and filled, and housing develolpments are popping up everywhere.
Thankfully a number of state parks in the region still give access to protected nature, but these areas comprise only a very small area of protected nature, which is not nearly enough.
Here are some of my favorite state parks in the Nature Coast region:
- Fanning Springs State Park
- Manatee Springs State Park
- Waccasassa Bay Preserve State Park
- Cedar Key Museum State Park
- Crystal River Preserve State Park
- Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
- Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
- Blue Springs State Park
The Nature Coast is a priceless treasure, and is one of the last remaining windows into Florida’s natural beauty. It is a great place for people who love the outdoors and want to see Florida’s wild side.