It might have a funny name, but Florida visitors who want to see what the state is really all about will take the time to visit the Chasshowitzka National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Here visitors will see Florida’s wildest of residents and take in the natural beauty Florida is truly known for.
The refuge itself is located in Citrus County, north of Tampa. It offers hunting and fishing possibilities in season and lots of bird watching adventures otherwise. Its grounds offer viewing of some of Florida’s most natural of habitats, too, giving visitors a better idea of what the state’s true appearance is.
The refuge is overseen by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and is open, in some locations, for visitors to see what the Florida outside of the metro areas is really all about. The wildlife service, in fact, oversees several other refuges in the state, including the Crystal River, Tampa Bay, Passage Key and Pinellas Key refuges. Destinations such as these and other protected areas work together to help ensure that much of Florida’s wild side remains preserved for residents and visitors alike today and in the future.
At Chasshowitzka, visitors will find bird watching is perhaps one of the best pastimes here. The area is home to more than 250 different species of birds, in addition to more than 50 species of reptiles and amphibians and a whole host of mammals, as well. Spotted within the refuge’s boundaries have been such creatures as manatees, bald eagles and sea turtles. This is not to mention the fish and other critters that call the area home.
The area is open to hunting and fishing in season with the correct permitting and also, with permission, is passable by air boat and other watercraft. Its nine-person staff oversees a management budget of nearly a million dollars annually and about 35,000 visitors make their way to the area each year.
In addition to the refuge, the Homosassa area is also home to the historic Chasshowitzka Hotel and some of Central Florida’s best fishing. Those who choose to stop by the wildlife refuge with a funny name will also find themselves close to other Florida attractions, including Tampa, St. Petersburg and more.
A little off the beaten path, Citrus County is ideal for Florida vacationers who want to see more of the state’s wild side.