The Crystal River Preserve State Park is truly a unique area on Florida's Gulf Coast. Being situated at a transition between temperate and sub-tropical zones it has plant communities that occur in each. In addition to the climatic zones, it also protects expansive grass flats that extend many miles into the gulf. The estuarine system is fed fresh water from seven rivers in the county and...
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Crystal River Preserve State Park is a remnant of the Florida coastline that has changed little since Europeans arrived 500 years ago. The preserve covers more than 27,500 acres of scrub, pinewoods, hardwood forests, salt marshes and mangrove islands. Management of the property was transferred to the Florida Park Service in July 2004. Several of the larger parcels added to the park over the years were acquired from families that homesteaded in the county. One tract was part of the turpentine industry in the early 1900s. Much of the property is still untouched, allowing visitors a glimpse at what this area of Florida looked like centuries ago.