Accessible only by boat, this preserve is a favorite of anglers, boasting 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.
The salt marshes and hammocks of the Waccasassa Bay Preserve State Park attract many different varieties of birds, particularly during Spring and Fall migration.
Waccasassa Bay Preserve is accessible by boat only. Boat ramps are available in Yankeetown, Gulf Hammock, and Cedar Key.
The numerous creeks and 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.
Fishing is abundant with many varieties of salt and fresh water fish, including shellfish. The area has tidal creeks and an immense salt marsh. A Florida fishing license may be required.
As a virtually undeveloped area the wildlife at Waccasassa Bay is mostly undisturbed. Alligators, otters, bald eagles, dolphins, osprey, raccoons, deer, turtles, great egrets, herons, gulls and 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.
Three primitive campsites, accessible by boat only, are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Details and directions to the campsites can be found in the Big Bend Segment 6 of the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail.
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.