Crystal River Preserve State Park: Fort Island Trail

W. Dixie Shores Dr., Crystal River, 34429
(352) 563-0450
sunrise to sunset

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Two stops and multiple trails managed by Crystal River Preserve State Park are accessible from CR 44/Fort Island Trail and W. Dixie Shores Dr. Each offers a hike through brief upland forest habitats good for Common Ground-Doves, Common Nighthawks, Eastern Towhees and songbirds in migration, then out to tidal marshes good for wading birds, Clapper and King Rails, Nelson’s Sparrows (winter) and more. To begin, stop at the trailhead parking area on W. Dixie Shores Dr. (make an immediate U-turn to reach the parking area at the intersection with Fort Island Trail). At the large kiosk, consult the trail map and hike southward on the Marsh End Trail and the Hammock End Trail. Additional trailheads (no parking) on W. Dixie Shores Dr. lie to the west of the kiosk on both sides of the road. Here, you can access the Hammock End Trail to the south, or take the West Lake Trail and the Lakes Trail to the north. Farther north on CR 44, the Redfish Hole Trail runs southward to a series of ponds good for wading birds. The wooded area near the entrance has migratory songbirds in spring. Summer is buggy, but there’s something to see every month.

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