CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla. — Tucked away in Crystal River, you can kayak and swim inside a magical spring with beautiful blue water.
Three Sisters Springs, a unit of the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, is the gem of the Nature Coast.
Visitors to the refuge can enjoy wildlife viewing, hiking trails, bicycling and guided tours lead by US Fish & Wildlife Service volunteers.
Three Sisters Springs is a world-renowned winter sanctuary for the West Indian Manatee. Cold winter days bring hundreds of manatees seeking warm water refuge into the springs. Over 100 different native and migratory bird species use the refuge year-round.
The 57-acre refuge that surrounds the Three Sisters Springs is an example of a restored wetland habit. Visitors can explore hiking trails to view the Wetland, Lake Crystal, Magnolia Spring and the scenic boardwalk that surrounds Three Sisters Springs.
In an effort to preserve the shoreline vegetation, control erosion and maintain water clarity, Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge does not allow water access to visitors from this site, nor do they allow land access from the water.
HOW DO I GET TO SWIM OR KAYAK IN THE SPRING?
You have to launch a kayak on Kings Bay and navigate your way to the springs. We recommend checking out Hunter Springs Kayaks, which has a large selection of kayaks and stand up paddle boards near Three Sisters Springs.
Three-hour rentals start at $35. Click here for more ticket information.
Public kayak launches can be found at:
- Hunter Springs Park, 18 NE 2nd St, Crystal River
- King's Bay Park, 268 NW 3rd St, Crystal River
Visitors must arrive by paddle craft or motorized vessel to get to the spring run at Three Sisters Springs; however, motorized vessels are not permitted inside the springs. Paddle-crafts are permitted inside from April 1 to November 14.
Three Sisters Springs is located at 601 Three Sisters Springs Trail, Crystal River.
For more information, click here.