Located in Citrus County, and in the heart of the quaint town of Crystal River, is Three Sisters Springs; a complex of three spring areas.
Just 30 minutes west of the Villages of Citrus Hills, you will find Kings Bay, which feeds into Crystal River, which then flows out into the Gulf of Mexico.
Kings Bay itself is fed by a number of warm water springs. There is a complex of three such springs off of Kings Bay that is known as Three Sisters Springs.
This is one of the most beautiful locations in all of Florida.
Visitors to Three Sisters Springs will be stunned by both its crystal clear water and its untouched natural beauty. Nature lovers will be able to view many types of plants and wildlife.
Access to the area is restricted to only kayaks, canoes, and swimmers, so the entire area has a calm, peaceful feeling.
The spring water of Three Sisters Springs remains constant at 72 degrees all year. The warm water temperature makes this area an ideal habitat for manatees; especially during the winter months when the waters further down Crystal River become a bit cooler. On one January afternoon a few years back, there were over 200 manatees counted in the area.
Even during the summer months, you are still likely to find quite a few manatees hanging out around Three Sisters Springs.
If you have heard people talk about seeing and swimming alongside manatees, this is a great place to experience getting up close and personal with the large sea mammals.
As you might expect, the best times to find manatees are on cool days, especially during high tides. Because this area is a manatee sanctuary, the waters are closed to the public during the winter months when the manatee population increases.
Getting to Three Sisters Springs
Because Three Sisters Springs is a designated manatee sanctuary, there are large concrete pillars blocking the entrance for boats. Only kayaks, canoes, and swimmers are allowed to proceed past these barriers. Unless you are an extremely strong swimmer, renting a kayak or canoe is the way to see the manatees.
There are a number of businesses located near Three Sisters Springs that rent kayaks and canoes. They can also provide you with maps of the area and advice on local wildlife. Renting snorkeling equipment to go with your kayak or canoe can also add a great deal of fun to your experience!
Three Sisters Springs by Land
For many years, the land surrounding Three Sisters Springs was privately owned, making the area only accessible by boat. However, in recent years the city of Crystal River was able to purchase the land and build a boardwalk around the water for viewing the manatees by land. The boardwalk is open only during manatee season, November 15th through March 31st. There are also plans to build an educational visitor center, biking and hiking trails as well.
The added option to view Three Sisters Springs by land is opening up the area to many people who felt that taking out their own kayak was just a bit too adventurous.
Whether you are looking to relax on the water or on dry land, Three Sisters Springs is becoming one of the best places to do so in Florida. And the Villages of Citrus Hills residents have it right in their own backyard.