Three Sisters Springs is a beautiful natural manatee sanctuary here in Crystal River, Florida. Three Sisters Springs is a complex of three spring areas. These springs help feed Kings Bay which is the headwaters of Crystal River. These waters maintain a temperature of seventy degrees year round making this a winter herding place for the endangered Florida Manatee. The springs are a protected, natural wildlife refuge that is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The park is open to the public. Open houses are offered, free of charge, giving visitors a great opportunity to see the pristine beauty of the springs and the fascinating manatees. Volunteers are eagerly waiting to walk guests down the boardwalk that showcase the springs and encounter the manatees. Throughout the walk you will notice bubbles coming up from the waters and then a nose peeking through. This is the manatees coming to the surface for a breath of air.
During the winter months the manatees congregate at the springs to enjoy the warm waters. It is crucial for the survival of the manatees to stay in waters with a temperature higher than sixty eight degrees. With the crystal clear, warm spring waters and the rich vegetation around the springs it is an ideal location for the manatees to breed and give birth.
If just seeing the manatees from land is not fulfilling enough for you, you may choose to get a closer look by taking a swim into the springs. Three Sisters Springs offers you the opportunity to actually swim with the manatees. At the mouth of the springs there are three concrete posts that keep out all traffic except for kayaks, canoes or swimmers. Many local shops offer diving equipment, rental canoes and kayaks for your manatee viewing needs. The giant size of the manatees can be very intimidating to a person that is unaware of their gentle ways. The manatees are known as gentle giants. They are virtually harmless. They just spend their days swimming though the waters eating vegetation.
Click here to see the springs area on a map!Share