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Florida Coastal Access Guide - Levy County at a Glance Quicklinks
Levy county highlighted on a map of Florida
Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge

Levy at a Glance

Coastal Cities Cedar Key, Yankeetown
Popular Spot Cedar Key
Sandy Beaches 3 miles
Public Accesses 4
Great Florida Birding & Wildlife Trail 9 sites
State Parks & Lands Acres
Cedar Key Museum State Park 19
Fanning Springs State Park 198
Manatee Springs State Park 2,448
Waccasassa Bay Preserve 34,099
Big Bend Seagrasses State Aquatic Preserve (Taylor, Dixie, Jefferson, Wakulla) 982,000
Andrews Wildlife Management Area 582
Cedar Key Scrub State Reserve 5,031
Cross Florida Greenway State Recreation & Conservation Area (Citrus, Marion, Putnam) 79,526
Goethe State Forest (Alachua) 53,587
Nature Coast State Trail (Dixie, Gilchrist) 474
Upper Waccasassa Conservation Area (Alachua) 4,335
Federal Lands Acres
Cedar Key National Wildlife Refuge 891
Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge (Dixie) 51,984
Bays & Inlets
Lows, Waccasassa and Withlacoochee bays, Suwannee Sound, Lake Rousseau
Rivers & Paddling Trails
Suwannee, Waccasassa, Wekiva, Withlacoochee rivers, Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail, Gulf Intracoastal Waterway

Levy County is largely rural like most of the other Panhandle Big Bend counties. Only three paved roads lead to its sparsely populated, 40-mile coast edged by wilderness, salt marsh and the Big Bend Seagrasses Aquatic Preserve. The Suwannee and Withlacoochee rivers form Levy's north and south borders. Nearly 25% of the land is in state and national sanctuaries. Three small man-made sand beaches are on the mainland-a small inlet in Cedar Key, Sand Spit Park on Cedar Key's gulf and Yankeetown Park (100 feet) at the mouth of the Withlacoochee. Seahorse and Atsena keys, accessible by boat, have several nice beaches.

Levy's only coastal towns are Yankeetown and Cedar Key, a small fishing village on the largest of the Cedar Keys, a chain of thirteen barrier islands and tiny keys in the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge. Its salt marshes are home to white pelicans, roseate spoonbills and bald eagles. Native American artifacts found here date back more than 2,000 years. Cedar Key is "Old Florida," once a lumbershipping port; it is now a quiet village known for clamming, fishing, writers, artists, seasonal tourists and quaint streets lined by antique shops, galleries and seafood restaurants. The Withlacoochee Gulf Preserve in Yankeetown is a 413-acre tract of unspoiled wetlands, pine and hardwood forests, estuaries and salt marshes. Enjoy the hiking trails, birding, nature wildlife, and fishing pier, all within a few hundred feet of the Gulf of Mexico.

The gulf's oldest (1854) lighthouse, now a marine biology research center run by the University of Florida, can be seen 15 miles away on a 52-foot sand dune on Seahorse Key. This coast is edged by sanctuaries-Waccasassa Bay Preserve State Park (reached by boat), Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge and the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge, which runs from Cedar Key north to the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail protecting manatees, bald eagles, alligators, black bears and more. Birdwatching, salt and freshwater-fishing, boating, and primitive camping are popular here.

The Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway stretches across the state through Levy and Citrus to the St. Johns River. Formerly called the Cross Florida Barge Canal, this 110-mile corridor spans a variety of habitats, trails and recreation areas. Inland, West Indian Manatees gather at Manatee Springs State Park where a first magnitude spring sends 100 million gallons of fresh water daily to the Suwannee River. Smaller Fanning Springs State Park's second magnitude spring is further inland on the Suwannee. Levy County is named for David Levy, one of Florida's first two U.S. Senators.

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Last updated: October 28, 2015

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