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USA Parks
Florida
North Central Region
Waccasassa Bay Preserve State Park
WACCASASSA BAY PRESERVE STATE PARK
WACCASASSA BAY PRESERVE STATE PARK
P.O. Box 187
Cedar Key, Florida   32625

Phone: 352-543-5567
Accessible only by boat, this preserve is a favorite of anglers because it boasts both saltwater and freshwater fishing. Bordering Florida's Gulf Coast between Cedar Key and Yankeetown, extensive salt marshes and tidal creeks create habitats for saltwater fish, crabs, and shellfish. The park's uplands protect a remnant of the Gulf Hammock that once spanned thousands of acres between the Suwannee and Withlacoochee rivers. Endangered and threatened species-including West Indian manatees, bald eagles, American alligators, and Florida black bears-live or feed within the preserve. Although there aren't any marked foot trails, nature enthusiasts can enjoy wildlife viewing from a canoe. There are several primitive campsites on the Preserve, accessible only by private boat and are available on a first-come-first-served basis. Boat access is from CR 40 in Yankeetown, CR 326 in Gulf Hammock, and Cedar Key.
Nature of the Area
As a virtually undeveloped area the wildlife is mostly undisturbed. Alligators, otters, bald eagles, dolphins, osprey, raccoons, deer, turtles, great egrets, herons, gulls, pelicans, are some of the common wildlife that can be seen. Manatees occasionally visit the park. Less frequently seen are the Florida black bear, bobcat, skunk, and gray fox.
History of the Area
Waccasassa Bay is rich with cultural history dating from pre-Columbian to early pioneers to the Civil War to modern day timber harvesting. Florida's early pioneers homesteaded and hunted deer, turkey and bear here. They cut timber and "cow hunted" as well. Yet their activities did not greatly alter the wilderness character of the land. The hammock played a major role in the development of Cedar Key, providing cedar for the pencil factories and palm trees for the fiber factory. Remnants of the boilers once used in the production of brushes and brooms made from the sable palm fibers can be found within the boundaries of the preserve. Another remnant of bygone industry is Salt Island, named for salt kettles found there which were used to extract salt from salt water during the Civil War. Numerous homesites of early settlers as well as Indian sites and artifacts have been found in the preserve.

Disturbance of these sites and the removal of any artifacts is prohibited.
Camping
There are four primitive campsites within the Preserve. These campsites are accessible by boat only and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Details and directions to the campsites can be found in the Big Bend Segment 6 of the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail.
Nearby Accommodations
Seahorse Landing Condo Rentals - Cedar Key, FLHotels/Motels
Luxury Gulf Front condos with spectacular views. A tranquil spot on this usually quiet island, yet shops and restaurants are within walking distance. Cedar Key is a picturesque artist/fishing/naturalist village with a diverse history. Within 20 min. of several State Federal wildlife refuges parks. A birders paradise. 877-514-5096
7.5 miles from park*
The Gulf Side Motel - Cedar Key, FLHotels/Motels
The only motel in Cedar Key that is located directly on the Gulf of Mexico and is a short 5-minute walk to downtown shopping and entertainment. You can fish from our private, covered pier and boat dock, relax by the water and enjoy our covered picnic area and swings or rent a bicycle, golf cart or kayak and explore all that Cedar Key has to offer
8 miles from park*
Canoeing
The numerous creeks and the shallow waters of Waccasassa Bay Preserve are perfect for canoeing and kayaking. There are no launches within the Preserve. Kayak rentals are available in nearby Cedar Key.

Canoeing is ideal for the nature enthusiast. Endangered and threatened wildlife sighted in the Preserve include manatee, bald eagle, and black bear. The bay and marsh attract large number of osprey, pelicans, rails, wading birds, and waterfowl.
Boating
Boating is accessible only by private watercraft. Boat entrance is available from CR 40 in Yankeetown, CR 326 in Gulf Hammock, and the City Marina in Cedar Key.


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Things To Do in the Area
Riverscape Boat Tours LLC - Ocala, FLBoating
Ride silently on nature tours on the silver river. The most beautiful river in the world. We transport guests back in time to wild Florida as it was thousands of years ago - untouched and untamed. Sparkling clear water that has over a hundred feet visibility. Book the Silver River trip now as the boats fill fast.
Web Site: riverscapesboattours.com
47.2 miles from park*
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Area Accommodations (over 15 miles away)
Wynnhaven Riverside RV Park - Bushnell, FLCampgrounds
Wynnhaven Riverside is located on County Road 48 in the small town of Bushnell, Florida. Whether you are visiting Florida and want sun or prefer to camp in the shade of Florida's grand oak trees, we have units available for both.
Web Site: wynnhavenriverside.com
60.1 miles from park*
Pets
Well-behaved dogs are welcome at Waccasassa Bay Preserve State Park. They must be kept on a 6-foot leash at all times and can not be left unattended for more than a half-hour.
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Directions
Waccasassa Bay State Preserve extends along the coast between Cedar Key and Yankeetown. Waccasassa Bay Preserve State Park is only accessible by boat. Boats can be launched from several ramps located outside the preserve. Boat access is from CR 40 in Yankeetown, CR 326 in Gulf Hammock, and Cedar Key.

USA Parks
Florida
North Central Region
Waccasassa Bay Preserve State Park
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