Did you know Florida’s WIDEST waterfall is in Taylor County, Florida, on the way to Steinhatchee?!
Steinhatchee Falls is located about two miles south of Tennille, Florida, on Florida Highway 51. It was formed by a limerock outcropping. Native Americans and settlers crossed the river here for hundreds of years!
Early in the 1900s, people would also use this spot to cross the river with their vehicles, prior to modern bridges being constructed; the flat natural bridge extends completely across the river and the water is only a few inches deep on top of the flat rock shelf! Traces of the old road are still there.
Don’t let the name throw you off. It may be the WIDEST waterfall in Florida, but it’s not very tall: the waterfall only has a drop of 3 feet! You can visit this spot for yourself, but keep in mind, the last mile of the drive to the falls is on a dirt road once you make the turn off of Florida State Highway 51. Also, you can’t really see the falls if the water level is too high!
There is also a great trail to the right of the rope swing. It’s well traveled in the beginning, but becomes more remote as you keep going. Beautiful cypress trees and old forest growth along the river. Definitely worth a trip.
People have enjoyed the cool waters of Manatee Springs for more than 10,000 years, from early Paleo Indians to modern park visitors. The first-magnitude spring releases an astounding 100 million gallons of water daily. This makes it a popular cooling-off spot and a great place to stroll on the park boardwalk and gaze into watery depths.
True to its namesake, manatees can be seen in the cooler months, and birds, mammals and fish are spotted year-round.
This is a great spot to rent a kayak or canoe and head out to the rover or just float near the crystal spring. There is a concession stand with snacks for lunch and several great trails.
Fanning Springs produces 65 million gallons of water daily, making it a second-magnitude spring. Historically, Fanning Spring was a first-magnitude springs as recently as the 1990s. The springs not only offer the perfect 72 degree water to cool down on hot Florida days, it also offers an abundance of underwater wildlife to view such as musk turtles, bass, mullet, freshwater flounder, bowfin, and manatees during the colder days, just to name a few.
Visitors can enjoy grilling and picnicking under the majestic live oaks, kids can swing and run around at the playground, and friends and family can have a friendly game of volleyball on the white sand volleyball court. We have a boardwalk that allows you to step back in time to old Florida as you stroll through a breathtaking cypress swamp with cypress knees standing six feet tall. This boardwalk ends with an overlook allowing you to see the Suwannee River and all it has to offer, including massive sturgeons jumping during the summer months.
White-tailed deer, gray squirrels, red-shouldered hawks, pileated woodpeckers and barred owls are some of the animals that may be seen around the park. An overlook at the park allows you to see the spring in its entirety and has a spectacular view of the boil.
Cedar Key is a fun day trip from the Peach House. It is a small 2 mile island known for its artistic community. There are several restaurants on the water. You can bring some fishing poles and fish right off of their amazing, huge, concrete fishing pier. The pier is also a great place to catch a sunset. We like to check out the Artists’ Co-op gallery while we are there.
We have kayaked with Get up and Go Kayaking in Crystal River to see the manatees at Three Sisters Spring. It is a bit over an hour trip from the Peach House and so worth it! If you aren’t up for a kayak trip, there are trails that walk you out to the overlook. Feeling even more adventurous, there are snorkel tours that get you in the water with the manatees, but be warned it’s chilly!