Frequently Asked Questions


Fishing is not permitted at Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park.

The use of metal detectors is allowed in certain designated areas in Florida State Parks. Metal detectors may be used at coastal parks between the waterline and toe of the dune, as determined by the park manager, except at archaeological sites within the zone.

Metal detectors may also be used during authorized archaeological research projects, and to recover lost personal items, with supervision of a park staff member. Please check with the park of your choice for special details and arrangements.

Florida’s state parks are managed as natural systems. All plant and animal life is protected in state parks. Limited hunting with a special permit from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is allowed at Rock Springs Run State ReserveCedar Key Scrub State Reserve, and the Marshall Swamp area of the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway.

To fully enjoy the experience of visiting a wilderness area it is recommended that you contact the reserves in advance of your visit. 

Resource protection is foremost at all state parks and swimming with manatees is NOT allowed. However, the endangered Florida manatee can be seen every day at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. Visitors can go below the water’s surface to view these gentle giants from the underwater observatory in Homosassa’s main spring. 

Yes, please contact: Annie Yandoh, (941) 416-3810. For group reservations please contact the state at (352) 423-5564

Wi-Fi is available at the Visitors Center & the West Entrance.

Seating throughout the park. Completely ADA accessible – including ferry boats & trams!

Wildlife ambassadors may not all be available every day. The park hosts many species of animals including manatees, Lu the Hippo, reptiles including alligators, and many other furry & feathered friends. Conservation through education.

Please see the daily board at the West Entrance for programming available that day, as it is currently changing daily. Manatee programs are 11:00 am & 1:00 pm most days.

Kayaking Eco Tours coming soon! No private launches or swimming.

Ferry leaves every half hour, starting at 9:30 am, until 3:00 pm from Visitor Center, and 3:30 pm from West Entrance.

The Fish Bowl Underwater Observatory floats in the main spring and allows up-close views of the spring, fish, and manatees. Stairs are necessary.

After entering the park, the manatee viewing area is to the left. Depending on the time of year, Manatees can be seen throughout the winter and spring. The Underwater Observatory provides an up-close underwater view of the residents of the spring.

The ferry boat brings guests from the the Visitor Center located off US-19 building to the actual park’s West Entrance located at 9225 Fishbowl Dr. The ride lasts around 15 minutes. Guests are welcome to walk the 0.75 miles or take the tram instead. This boat is first con first serve and tickets can be purchased at both admission locations.

The Wildside Cafe, located at the park entrance, serves salads, handhelds, snacks, and more.

Gator Bites, located across Lu the Hippo, serves an assortment of snacks and drinks.

The Grill at Pepper Creek, located at the Visitor Center, serves breakfast items, entrees, salads, and sandwiches.

Lu is a Hippopotumus that is over 60 years old. To learn more, visit Lu at Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park.

The ferry boat ride is $3.00 person (Pricing is subject to change)

There is no swimming allowed in the park. Guests must stay on the designated walking paths.

Kayaking is currently not permitted, but we are working to bring this activity to the park

Although there are resident manatees, he area in which they have access to is large and there is no guarantee they will be where you can see them. During the winter months, the gates are opened and depending on the temperature, many wild manatee will make their way into the head spring.

The 0.75-mile Pepper Creek Birding Trail runs from the visitor center parking area and loops through the parking areas at West Park Entrance. This trail, one of 20 birding trails in Citrus County, is part of the Great Florida Birding Trail.

“We allow Service Animals.. We do have complementary Kennels available for use if you would like to bring your furry friend on the drive. When you pull into the entrance and look at the visitor’s center building, to your left is staff & tram parking. Right past that area are the shaded kennels.

Just a few reminders if you use the complementary kennels:

  • Remember to bring a lock, as one is not provided.
  • Please ensure there is food & water for your pet while you enjoy the park.
  • Kennels are NOT attended; our staff is not responsible for caring for your pet.

We have an amazing non-profit volunteer group called the Friends of Homosassa Spring Wildlife State Park that provides complementary wheelchairs and strollers inside the Wildlife portion of the park. The wheelchairs are on a first come first serve basis and there is a donation box next to the storage location to leave a donation if you would like to support this amazing group.