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Waccasassa State Park

Florida Wildlife

 

 

 

Paddling a canoe or kayak, or taking a boat into the many marshes and channels near Cedar Key, is a great way to experience the natural environment of the barrier islands and river estuaries. East of Cedar Key, in Waccasassa Bay, as far east as Yankeetown (on the gulf), the Waccasassa Bay State Preserve protects the delicate marshes, wooded islands, and mainland forests made up of hardwoods and cypress.

The preserve occupies 30,785 acres, mostly salt marsh, with the wooded islands close to the shoreline. These provide breeding areas for hundreds of species of saltwater fish and shellfish, plus bald eagles, black bears, and other threatened and endangered species, including manatees. More than 100 creeks flow into the estuary, providing wonderful opportunities for canoeing close to the forests and wildlife. Among the fish found in the preserve are snook, sea trout, snapper, grouper, and redfish. The preserve is accessed via State Route 24, six miles east of the town of Cedar Key.

Cedar Key Scrub Reserve

Located on the mainland, next to the Waccasassa Preserve, this is a landscape dominated by pine flatwoods, sand pine scrub, and the omnipresent scrub jay. The 4,000 acres has salt marsh at its margin. Because it is a state reserve, and not a preserve, hunting is permitted from September through December.

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