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Regulations for In-Water Visitors at Three Sisters Springs

          

What is in-water recreation? Swimming, snorkeling, paddling, etc.

   

There is NO water access at the boardwalk or by taking the trolley tour. In-water recreation at Three Sisters Springs is accessible by launching a boat on Kings Bay and navigating to the springs. Visitors can use kayaks, paddle boards, or motorized boats to get to the entrance of Three Sisters Springs. Please us the map of Kings Bay to navigate safely over to the springs, and please read the regulations for in-water recreation below. 

      

Three Sisters Springs is an important habitat for manatees during the winter months (mid November to late March). Manatee sanctuaries are in effect November 15 - March 31, and are regulated by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service under the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge. The manatee sanctuaries are marked with buoys/signage and are areas where swimming, paddling and other human activities are prohibited. Snorkelers have opportunities to see manatees in the sanctuaries by swimming outside of the roped off areas. All of Three Sisters Springs can be closed as a sanctuary by USFWS when the temperature of the Gulf Of Mexico drops below 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the Gulf of Mexico temperature is warmer than 68 degrees Fahrenheit for more than a 24 hour period, the springs will open again for in-water access. 


Important information:

  • In-water access to Three Sisters Springs is open from sunrise to sunset daily (unless the springs are closed which can occur during manatee season)
  • The boardwalk is separate from in-water recreating - the boardwalk is open every day and is not affected by USFWS in-water regulations. Find out more here
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife regulates manatee sanctuaries in Three Sisters Springs and all of Kings Bay
  • You can find a map of the manatee sanctuaries here
  • You can find out if the springs are open or closed for in-water access by visiting the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge Complex Facebook page
  • In-water access DOES NOT include access to the boardwalk. The boardwalk and property around the springs can ONLY be accessed through the City of Crystal River's services 8:30am - 4:30pm and admission fees apply. 
  • Regulations for in-water access are different in the summer than in the winter (see below)
  • You can find out the temperature of the Gulf of Mexico on the USGS monitoring website for Shell Island at Crystal River

Summer In-Water Recreation

(April 1 - November 14)


Snorkeling 

Diving

Kayak/Paddle craft access

Open daily sunrise to sunset

NO land access

NO motorized vessels

NO tying to any vegetation, rocks or signs

NO kayak launch

Manatee Season

Winter In-Water Recreation

(November 15 - March 31)


Snorkeling

Manatee Season

Manatee Sanctuaries in effect

Open daily, but can be closed by USFWS intermittently 

Kayak/paddle craft access 

NO land access

NO motorized vessels

NO tying to any vegetation, rocks or signs

NO kayak launch


Open daily sunrise to sunset
Open daily sunrise to sunset

Photos by Tiffany Ertle Photography

Three Sisters Springs

Wildlife Refuge & Tours
123 NW US Highway 19

(Behind City Hall on the right)
City of Crystal River, 34428

Click here for Google Map

Ph: (352) 586-1170 
Contact Us

8:30am - 4:30pm EST

Ticket sales end 1 hour before closing

See Calendar for Closures

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