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Walking Club: Exploring Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River by land

Walking Club: Exploring Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River by land
Posted at 1:41 PM, Sep 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-10 08:08:20-04

Many of us are looking for ways to remain active while also staying a safe distance away from others. That's why Sarah Phinney started a ‘Walking Club’ to highlight some hidden, and some not so hidden, trails and parks across Tampa Bay.

Many people have explored Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River by water, but it's also worth seeing by land too. The refuge offers miles of trails to hike and bike.

Where is it?

The best place to start when you’re wanting to visit Three Sister Springs, is by going to the Three Sisters Springs Center, located behind city hall.

The address is:

123 U.S. Hwy 19
Crystal River, FL 34428

Three Sisters Springs Center opens at 8:30 am and closes at 4:30 pm. Ticket sales end at 3:30 pm.

Admission during the summer is $12.50 for adults and $7.50 for children. Kids five and under are free.

During the winter, admission is $20 for adults. The prices for children do not change.

The shuttle service to the refuge, which is included in the price of admission, departs every 30 minutes from the Three Sisters Springs Center.

If you have a valid handicap parking permit or are walking or biking in, the address for the front gate of Three Sisters Springs is:

601 Three Sisters Springs Trail
Crystal River, FL

Only registered service animals are allowed at the refuge.

What’s there?

Three Sisters Springs is part of the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge.

It spans 57 acres. Inside, visitors can take in the wildlife, hike, bike, and just relax. Check out this map to see the layout of the refuge.

You can get a look at the springs from the boardwalk. In the warmer months, you’ll likely see people swimming. In the colder months, you could find it filled with manatees.

“It is an amazing place to come in the winter and see manatees in the natural habitat, which is so special,” said Monica Scroggin, Visitor Services Specialist.

It’s important to note, there’s no access to the water inside the refuge. And, if you’re visiting by water, there’s no access to the land.

In addition to manatees, you may also see alligators, snakes, turtles, and other wildlife.

Those visiting by land will also have access to restrooms and water bottle filling stations.

When should I visit?

If you’d like to see manatees at Three Sisters Springs, consider visiting between mid-November and the end of March.

Join Walking Club!

Post photos of your adventures, ask questions and learn about upcoming Walking Club stories in Sarah’s Walking Club group on Facebook!

You can also keep up with Sarah on Instagram and Twitter