I am posting old photos of trips we had made in the past. These were taken in August of 2003.
Homosassa Springs State Park is just north of Tampa on the West coast of Florida. It’s a great area and near Crystal River, which is famous for being a great place to swim/dive with the Manatees..
Homosassa River SP is more like a zoo with a lot of beautiful animals and birds. There is adequate parking for a few RV’s, but there are no camping facilities. There is also a free self service pet boarding kennel.
Pelican feeding it’s young
The park is supposed to have only animals native to Florida but this old Hippo named Lucifer was a movie star in his day and has been at the park since it was exotic animal park. When the state of Florida took over the park, he was allowed to stay although he is not exactly native to Florida. He is 50 years old. From what I read their life span is 40-50 years. He leads a sheltered life, so hopefully he will be around a lot longer.
The park is located on the Homosassa River, which is fed by an underground spring. Water continually flows from the springs to feed the river. The water is crystal clear and the year round temperature is 72 degrees. This temperature is warmer than the Gulf of Mexico so the Manatees flock to the “warm” water during the winter months. You can see wild Manatee out on the river, or captive ones in the park that have been rescued and are rehabilitating here. They are slow moving mammals and prone to being struck by a propeller from a boat. I don’t think I ever saw a wild Manatee (except for a baby) that didn’t have scars from boat propellers. It’s very sad.
It’s a beautiful park to spend the day walking around and seeing the sites. The current rates are $13 for adults and $5.00 for children. It’s worth the money in my opinion.