The Place to Share
Canoeing & Kayaking

Citrus County Canoe Trail, Florida USA
By reading further, you agree to our Terms of Use

Copyright 2003 Alfonso Vazquez-Cuervo - See Terms of Use

Our Route Summary

  • Submitted by: Charles Flanagan
  • Date Submitted: 2/2003
  • Location: Near Ozello, Homosassa Springs, and Crystal River (N 28 degrees 54.03' W 82 degrees 39.11' to Chassahowitzka River N 28 degrees 42.89' W 82 degrees 34.57', Citrus County, Florida USA
  • Class: 1
  • Distance Paddled: We paddled 8.7 miles, from John Brown Park near Ozello to Encore RV Park. The overall trail length is about 27 miles.
  • Water Level: It is tidal. We started a couple hours before low tide and seemed to catch the tide flowing through all the narrow channels at the right time. The max tide range on the day we paddled was 3.45 feet.
  • Water: Brackish
  • Wildlife: Raccoons, bald eagles, ospreys, kingfishers, loon, great blue herons, great egrets, snowy egret, tri-colored heron, brown & white pelicans, black skimmers, white ibis, turkey vultures, alligator, northern harrier.
  • Special Regulations: (No overnight permitted at John Brown Park and vehicle security issues at this remote site are unknown.


  • Directions: Take Hwy 98 from either Crystal River or Homosassa Springs.  Half way between the two, take Hwy 494 west towards Ozello.  Approximately 4.75 miles out, you'll cross the trail on a highway bridge.  At 5.3 miles, turn left on John Brown Rd.  The put in is in a small park you'll see on the left 0.2 miles in.
  • GPS: N 28 degrees 49.88' W 82 degrees 39.35'
  • Fee: unknown
  • Description: The put-in at John Brown is an unpaved boat ramp.
  • Parking: Bare graveled lot. Adequate parking is available.
  • Facilities: none
  • Handicap Access: Bare graveled lot.


  • Directions: We only did about 1/3 of the overall trail and were shuttled back.  There are only 4 access areas to the trail.  From the north, these are: Crystal River area, Ozello area, Homosassa Springs, area, and Chassahowitzka area.
  • GPS: N 28 degrees 54.14' W 82 degrees 37.48'
  • Fee: unknown
  • Description: Encore RV Park
  • Parking:
  • Facilities: restrooms
  • Handicap Access: none

What We Saw

There is a free "Boating and Angling Guide to Citrus County" map available at a variety of locations in this area.  It's produced by the Florida Marine Research Institute (727-896-8626).  NOAA charts for this area are: #11408 and #11409

We copied the Citrus County map data into our GPS and used it to plot our route.  However, the trail is well marked with numbered signs and channel poles, so that was really unnecessary. 

Virtually all of the route is protected and we encountered no problems with tide or wind. 

Once we started, we saw only one other boat (crabbers), until we hit the Salt River, leading east to Crystal Springs. 

At several points along the way, we found huge shell mounds like the one in the photos at left.  These were our first and gave us a touch with early Americans.

We did a day trip w/shuttle, and only did about a third of the over all trail.  The entire trail can be done as a multi-day trip (with shuttle) or as multiple day trips from any one of the four access areas.