Florida Treasures: Kayak the Chassahowitzka to see caves, springs

Take advantage of Florida's beauty and spend an afternoon spring hopping in Citrus County.

Take advantage of Florida’s beauty and spend an afternoon spring hopping in Citrus County. The Chassahowitzka River – or the Chazz -- allows for a unique adventure.

Mary Morgan from the Crystal River Kayak Company leads a variety of tours in Citrus County. Kayaking the Chassahowitzka is her favorite.

After leaving the boat launch we visited the Seven Sisters Springs and found a series of caves with water that seems to sparkle. People do swim through them, but be extremely careful.

Next, we paddled down the river toward Baird Creek, making a stop at Snapper Hole. In the winter, you’re likely to see manatees in this area. We then entered an area that locals call the Crack. Here, there’s a linear fracture in the lime rock. This has created a saltwater spring surrounded by the freshwater river. This is a good place to get out of your boats, walk around and have a snack.

Morgan then likes to take her tours to Salt Creek to see birds and wildlife. This area is very shallow.
During our trip, we saw crabs, schools of mullet and other fish through the clear water. We saw anhingas and even an owl. We found emerald pools of water and passed beautiful trees.

We didn’t see manatees on my tour but I bet we will this winter. Morgan also says you might see bottlenose dolphins.

Plan to be on the water for about three hours. Or, plan on a longer day and paddle to the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge or out to the Gulf of Mexico.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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