Met up with an out-of-state friend passing through Florida down at Crystal River. She only had time for a short trip so we paddled out to Three Sisters Springs then around the nearby canals. With the weather cooling off we saw lots of manatee and a few water birds.
If you have only a short time at Crystal River, we suggest you put in (or rent) at the Crystal River Kayak Co. dock. From there it is only a 10-minute paddle down canals to the entrance to 3 Sisters Springs. Depending on the weather you may or may not be able to paddle into the actual springs area. If you can’t there are ropes outside to tie off your kayak then you can wade/swim up the entrance into the springs area. However, when the weather gets very cold the Refuge may close off the area entirely so the manatee can rest without being disturbed.