Summer is always a fun time to enjoy Florida’s outdoors, especially on the water, where one can cool down and enjoy the laid-back season. North of Tampa, Florida’s Nature Coast is one of the best spots for a refreshing, natural escape for summer fun. Officially, Florida’s Nature Coast includes eight coastal counties that form Florida’s Big Bend, the area bordering the Gulf of Mexico as the state curves from panhandle to peninsula. The three counties at the bottom of the bend – Pasco, Hernando and Citrus, offer many unique ways to turn up the good times.
Florida’s Nature Coast is one of the best spots to kick your summer into full gear with 3 cool adventures including pristine barrier islands, scenic paddling trails and fun scalloping excursions.
Bayport-Linda Pedersen Paddling Trail
Hernando County, aka Florida’s Adventure Coast, embodies everything that is Florida – from kitsch to the natural outdoors – with beautiful mermaids, endearing manatees, and rural living among emerald green rolling hills dotted by farms and forests.
Florida’s Adventure Coast recently unveiled a new coastal paddling trail at the Bayport Park that is not only an enjoyable adventure but provides a scenic trip through a salt marsh ecosystem. The beauty of this adventure is the immersion into the natural surroundings of a tidal estuary, where fresh water from springs meets the salt water of the Gulf of Mexico. The paddling trail connects Bayport Park to Linda Pedersen Park with a navigable waterway that winds through inlets of cordgrass, cabbage palms and mangroves.
The annual Florida scalloping season kicks off on July 1 on the Homosassa River. Pack up the family for good times and a delicious seafood feast where the towns of Crystal River and Homosassa shift into full swing. The area is known year around for its abundance of fresh Florida springs, but during the summer it is one the most popular scalloping destinations on the entire Gulf Coast. The 2017 summer scallop season extends through September, and has become a tradition for many Florida families. Out on Crystal Bay, acres of shallow grass flats provide fertile scalloping grounds. One of the reasons this area is an ideal home for scallops is the abundance of fresh water flowing from the springs to the salty Gulf of Mexico, creating ideal estuary conditions.
Anclote Key Preserve State Park
Enjoy the blue-green Gulf waters that lap gently along the sandy beaches of the four islands that make up Anclote Key Preserve State Park – Anclote Key, North Anclote Bar, South Anclote Bar and Three Rooker Island. Located three miles off the coast of Tarpon Springs, Anclote Key Preserve State Park is accessible only by private boat or ferry service. The 403-acre park is home to at least 43 species of birds, including the American oystercatcher, bald eagle and piping plover. A picturesque 1887 lighthouse stands as a sentinel on the southern end of the island. Visitors can swim and sunbathe at the beach, fire up a grill and enjoy a picnic, or pitch a tent and enjoy a night of primitive camping under the stars.
For the residents at GlenLakes, an outdoors lifestyle is something they live everyday. Nature and outdoor activities are something that is very important in the day to day at GlenLakes. Living in an area that provides endless opportunities for activities such as the River Tours is just one of the amazing things about being a part of the GlenLakes community. GlenLakes is right where you want to be: in the action, yet surrounded by tranquility. To see what the lifestyle is all about, click here.
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