Step into a world of wonder at Homosassa Springs State Park. Your tour through the park begins at the visitors’ center where you can read literature about the park and visit a gift shop. Once you are ready to embark, you pass through the admissions gate and are led downstairs to a pontoon docking station. One of the park rangers will help tourists board the boats for a 20 minute ride along the Homosassa River into the heart of the park. For those who choose not to take the boat, a tram is also available to transport visitors back and forth from the entrance to the park. The pontoon tour takes passengers along the twisting river, shaded by magnolias, pines, cypress, palms and other stunning native flora. Wildlife can be seen on the banks of the river including alligators, turtles, eagles and egrets. Your friendly boat captain with regale you with interesting facts, antidotes, and park history as you journey along.
Once you arrive at the main park, you can follow boardwalks to one of several areas. The most visited spot in the park is likely the underwater observatory with is a reinforced glass view ports that descend below the surface of the springs and which sits directly over the limestone fissure that marks the mouth of the spring. Here, water welling up from the underground aquifer is warmer than surrounding waters and fish and manatees swarm within feet of the glass observation ports.
A short distance from the underwater observatory is raised stadium seating for lectures on the park wildlife. Here rangers speak about the native Florida manatees, the unique eco-system of Homosassa Springs, and the history of the area. Nearby is the a boardwalk that takes tourists through the zoo portion of the park.
Homosassa Springs State Park is home to many resident wildlife species and also some exotic animal species also. One of the park’s celebrities is an African hippo that stared in several television shows and movies. Other creatures that make the park home include wolves, cougars, bobcats, eagles, various bears, otters, Florida dwarf deer, owls, and snakes and reptiles.