Points Of Interest In Levy County, Florida
Levy County Parks
Henry Beck County Park
Located on CR 343, one-half mile from CR 326, about
5 miles east of Gulf Hammock on the Wekiva River.
Open from April 1 through
September 30. Picnic pavilions, swimming,
basketball, volleyball, horseshoes, kids’ play area, shower,
Blue Springs County Park/ Devil's Hammock
Located at the end of CR 339-A north of Bronson. Open year round. Picnic pavilions, swimming, platform diving dock,
volleyball, swings, kids’ play area, restroom facilities. Devils Hammock is an undeveloped 3,200-acre area which adjoins Blue Springs Park. Hunting and public access with a
manned checking station during hunting season.
4550 NE 94th Pl.
Fanning Springs State Park
Located on U.S. Hwy. 19/98 in the town of Fanning Springs. A hub of the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail and easily accessible from US 19, this park offers visitors a chance to hike through nature trails, watch white tailed deer, manatees and other animals in their habitat, swim or snorkel in crystal-clear water or rent one of five cabins for a weekend getaway. The park is open year-round from 8 a.m. until sundown.
Manatee Springs State Park
Located on Hwy. 320 just west of the town of Chiefland. A first magnitude spring, Manatee Springs discharges an average 100 million gallons of water every day. This water comes from rain that falls on lands within a 40 mile radius from the spring. Geologically the surrounding lands resemble a sponge, with sand and the underlying limestone quickly transferring rainfall into deep caverns that deliver the water to the spring from every direction, but mostly from the south and east. The spring is a source of life for many species of fish, reptiles, mammals, birds and invertebrates. From November through April, manatees use the spring's life-giving waters for warmth. During those months the Suwannee River and Gulf of Mexico waters are colder than the constant 72 degrees of the spring. Popular for swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving, the headwaters of the spring are an outstanding year-round experience for people as well. The spring run forms a sparkling stream that meanders through towering cypress, tupelo and other wetland trees to join the Suwannee River. During the summer months, huge prehistoric-looking Gulf sturgeon can be seen leaping out of the river as they have done for eons. Enjoy the spring run view by canoe/kayak or on foot along our boardwalk. Children can enjoy a playground in the picnic area, where tables, grills and pavilions are available for family fun. Hiking and biking adventures await on the north end trail system. The full-facility campground is surrounded by hardwood hammocks and upland pine habitats.
Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge
The 53,000 acre Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1979 to protect one of the largest undeveloped river-delta estuarine systems in the United States. The constant influx of nutrients from the river combined with numerous off-shore islands and tidal creeks create excellent wildlife habitat. Swallow-tailed kites, bald eagles, West Indian manatees, Gulf sturgeon, whitetailed deer, and eastern wild turkeys are but a few of the wildlife species that inhabit the Refuge. Natural salt marshes, tidal flats, bottomland hardwood swamps, and pine forests provide habitat for thousands of creatures – both large and small.
The Refuge offers recreational and educational activities for everyone. Bird and wildlife observation, wildlife photography, fishing, canoeing, hunting, and interpretive walks are all available. A new Wildlife Drive is under construction and several boardwalks and observation towers offer unique views of Refuge wildlife and habitat.
The links to the left offer a vide variety of information on the Refuge. We encourage you to explore these links then come explore your Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge.
Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge
The term “Keys” comes from the Indian word “cayo”, meaning “small island”. This is a very appropriate term for this unique area! Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge is a group of fragile coastal islands just off the village of Cedar Key, Florida. Established in 1929, Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge contains significant natural and cultural resources from pre-historic and historic times. Today, the Refuge consists of 13 islands ranging in size from 1 to 120 acres, totaling 762 acres. Ancient Indian cultures once used these off-shore islands as camps, later creating living areas – where food from the Gulf was plentiful and readily available. In more recent history, the famous Faber Pencil Mill was located on Atsena Otie Key where its remains can be seen today.
Wading birds, shorebirds, fishes, manatees, bald eagles, crabs, and even reptiles are some of the species of wildlife that find suitable habitat on the islands and marshes that make-up Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge. An historic lighthouse, now leased by the University of Florida as a Marine Science Lab, sits atop the Pleistecene dune relic, Seahorse Key. Their goal is to conduct important research while at the same time educatinge future conservation leaders about the importance of this unique ecosystem.
Most public use at Cedar Keys N WR is focused on Atsena Otie Key which is owned by the Suwannee River Water Management District and managed as part of the Refuge. Here visitors will find a pier, time line information, toilet facility, and a walking trail to a 19th century cemetery.
Goethe State Forest
Division of Forestry provides for multiple uses of the forest resources which includes timber management, wildlife management, outdoor recreation and ecological restoration.
Goethe State Forest has more than 15 different natural communities. A few examples are scrubby flatwoods, dome swamp, sandhill, and basin swamp. Goethe State Forest may contain the largest tract of contiguous, old-growth longleaf pine flatwoods in the state.
This extensive old-growth forest has one of the largest red-cockaded woodpecker populations on state lands in Florida. Other rare animal species found on the forest include the Florida black bear, gopher tortoise, Sherman's fox squirrel and bald eagle. Rare plants include the hooded pitcher plant and coontie.
Shell Mound County Park
Located on CR 326 off CR 347 north of Cedar Key. Open year round. 20 campsites with water and power hookups and 10 primitive camping sites. Restroom, shower facilities and RV dump station. Boat ramp and fish cleaning area. Volleyball, basketball.
Waccasassa Bay Preserve State Park
Located at the end of CR 326 west of Gulf Hammock on the Waccasassa River. Open year round. Popular boat launch site for Gulf access. Boat launching and docks for tie-up. Bank fishing, picnic tables, grills, benches. Restroom facilities.
Bird Creek County Park & Boat Ramp
Located at the end of Highway 40 in Yankeetown. Picnic area and small beach for swimming and sunbathing. Pavillions with picnic tables and grills. Restroom facilities.
The Withlacoochee Gulf Preserve
The Preserve is a 413-acre passive nature park located within the town limits of Yankeetown, FL. It features a boardwalk, nature trails, and a 30-foot observation tower overlooking tidal wetlands. The Preserve is open from 9:30 a.m. until Sunset everyday. The physical address is 1001 Old Rock Road, Yankeetown, FL 34498.
Located within the park are Picnic Areas, Tables, Comfort Areas, Restrooms, Trails, Unpaved Hiking/Walking Trails, Biking Trails, Wildlife Observation Areas, Water Access, Kayak/Canoe Launch and an Observation Pier.
Places of Interest to VisitCedar Lakes Woods & Gardens, Inc.
4990 NE 180th Avenue
Located on Alt 27 in Williston, just before the Devil’s Den. Come visit over 50 separate gardens and numerous waterfalls and koi ponds that were born in a 100 year old retired lime rock quarry. It has become a sanctuary home and refuge to many of God's creatures great and small. The quarry walls are lined with concrete and rock planters filled with hundreds of species of plant and flowers to create a unique paradise. There are many benches and picnic tables to allow one to sit, rest, have lunch, or just take it all in. Trees and topography of the quarry allow temperate and semitropical plants for flourish year round. Birds of prey, owls, doves and numerous songbirds, butterflies, turtles and Big Ben, the 100 lb. blue catfish may also be encountered. You may also wander though surrounding woods and enjoy the Oaks, Cedars, Pines, Pecans, Hickories and Dogwoods in an adjacent 54 acre nature conservation easement maintained by the Conservation Trust of Florida.
Levy County Quilt Museum
11050 NW 10th Ave
Located between Chiefland and Bronson, this is the only quilt museum in the Sunshine State. Offers a chance to view local quilters at work and appreciate the centuries-old tradition of quilting. Festivals and shows provide a chance to purchase these hand-made masterpieces.
Visitors are welcome at the museum. Please call ahead for hours and days of operation.
Established in 1985 by Dr. Max Rittgers and his son Rob, Dakotah Winery & Vineyards grows its own grapes. The tasting room allows guests to participate in free wine tastings Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Closed on Sunday. The vineyard offers a peaceful haven where guests can relax beneath the arbor and enjoy the scenic view, including a bird sanctuary, “babydoll” miniature sheep, Canada geese and a pond with hundreds of Japanese Koi.
14365 N HWY 19
Chiefland, FL 32626
Cedar Key Historical Society Museum
Step back in time to the days when native Timucua Indians lived in the area. Follow the path of history as the white man arrived in the early 19th century and established a tiny village. Witness the devastation of the Hurricane of 1896, which changed the direction of the small, but growing town. Learn how the cross-Florida railroad and the pencil manufacturing mill influenced the town.
At the Cedar Key Historical Society Museum, visitors take a self-guided walking tour and examine photographs, exhibits, artifacts and memorabilia that tell the story of this quaint Gulf Coast island community. A collection of prehistoric relics of local land and sea creatures, extensive photographs, and clippings are on display at the museum.
November – April
Monday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday: 2 to 5 p.m.
May – October
Sunday – Thursday: 2 to 5 p.m.
Friday & Saturday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
$2 adults, 50¢ children
2nd Street at State Road 24
P. O. Box 222
Cedar Key, FL 32625
Cedar Key Fishing Pier
Downtown Cedar Key on Dock Street
The Levy County Board of Commissioners provided a brand new modern fishing pier which was completed and dedicated in late 2008 after the old dock was destroyed by a hurricane several years earlier.
Cedar Key Museum State Park
12231 SW 166th CT
Picturesque Cedar Key was once a thriving port city and railroad connection during the 19th century. Explore the town’s colorful history with a visit to the Cedar Key Museum State Park. Part of the collection has seashells and Indian artifacts collected by Saint Clair Whitman, the founder of the first museum in Cedar Key. Whitman’s house is located at the park and has been restored to reflect life in the 1920s. A short nature trail gives visitors the opportunity to see wildlife and birds, as well as native vegetation. Small gray squirrels, doves, mockingbirds, blue jays, woodpeckers, and green tree frogs can be seen on the museum grounds and along the walking trail.
Two Tails Ranch and All About Elephants
18655 NE 81st St, Williston, FL 32696
(352) 528-6585 - Cell (352) 359-6676
All About Elephants has an educational program available for fairs, exhibitions and special events. This program is a result of a lifelong commitment to exotic animal conservation by owner and operator Patricia Zerbini.
The Mission Statement: "To provide for, learn and teach all about elephants, past, present and future. Our goal is to instill awareness through educational programs on site for schools and professionals in north central Florida."
This project is based out of Patricia's ranch located just west of Gainesville and Ocala, Florida, this spectacular haven has been a training, medical, breeding and retirement facility for hundreds of elephants and exotic felines for over 20 years.
Two Tails Ranch is licensed by the USDA and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Department.
Visitors are welcome however it would be best to call first.
visit website Email
Patterson-McInnis Train Historic Marker and Locomotive
A stones throw north of the intersection of US 19 and CR 326 in Gulf Hammock 18 miles south of Chiefland
This locomotive, known locally as "Three Spot," often pulled 30-40 cars as it transported logs from area woodlands to the Patterson-McInnis Sawmill, originally near here. The service ended around World War II and the locomotive was donated to Levy County by the Patterson-McInnis Lumber Company in 1969 and is maintained by the Florida Department of Transportation in the Gulf Hammock Wayside Park.
Dan May Island Lodge (near Cedar Key)
Hidden at the foot of the Suwannee River and Gulf of Mexico on Dan May Creek this historic lodge is also within the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge. This beautiful and privately owned island features nearly a century old lodge that has been authentically restored to provide rustic lodging and wilderness camping. Accessible only by kayak, canoe, boat or airboat.
For transportation to Dan May island: See THINGS TO DO-Outfitters and Boat Tours (Cedar Key, Chiefland, Inglis & Yankeetown)
Andrews Wildlife Management Area - Fanning Springs
This management area features one of the largest remaining hardwood hammock forests, as well as 800 acres of river bottomland bordering the Suwannee River. Nearby slash pine plantations are being converted to longleaf pine to improve habitat for wildlife. There are six walking nature trails, as well as several narrow dirt roads. Five clearings have been planted with grass and grains to attract wildlife.
Travel north of Chiefland on U.S. Highway 19 for 4.7 miles. Turn left onto County Road 211 and drive 0.9 mile to entrance kiosk. Hiking, Wildlife observation, Observation platforms, Hunting, and Nature photography. Management Area runs along the Historic Suwannee River in Levy County.
Devil's Hammock Wildlife Management Area-Bronson
Devil's Hammock is a Levy County & Suwannee River Water Management District managed property. Levy County Parks and Recreation. Management Area allows: Driving tour, Hiking, Biking, Horseback riding, Swimming, Picnicking, Wildlife viewing, Nature photography, Hunting (seasonal). Hunting information contact Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission at www.myfwc.com for information on hunting seasons and rules
Seaforest Gifts Shell Factory
Open 7 days a week (weather permitting) 9am-5pm
14440 SE Hwy 19, Inglis, FL 34449
Seaforest Gifts has a huge section of the most unique and unusual gifts you will find anywhere. Come in and shop or just browse.
Trap and Skeet Shooting
Rhino Skeet Shooting Facility
21890 NE Hwy 27
Williston, FL 32696
Office Hours: 8:30-5:00pm EST Mon-Fri
Cedar Lakes Woods and Gardens
Two Tails Ranch and All About Elephants (by appointment only)
Kirby Family Farms (Open for Special Events)