This week’s Levy Living feature focuses on the Fanning Springs area, a microcosm of all things that are wonderful about living and exploring life along the Nature Coast.
From beautiful waterways on the Suwannee River to the natural springs at Fanning Springs State Park, eco-tourism opportunities abound in and around the Fanning Springs area. Most of the region is still natural, making it a haven for nature lovers, wildlife watchers, and outdoor sports enthusiasts alike. Some of the best wildlife viewing in the world is available here along with a myriad of recreational opportunities include boating, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, camping, and hiking.
For those who enjoy outdoor adventure, Fanning Springs is also the hub for the Nature Coast State Trail, developed by the state of Florida for horses, walkers, joggers, and bike riders. This trail offers 30 miles of paved trails that wind from the city of Trenton to Cross City and then south to Chiefland. Visitors and residents can enjoy the natural beauty of North Florida as you cross the historic Suwannee River on the old trestle bridge that is part of the Nature Coast State Trail.
In addition to supporting a lush landscape and a wonderful wildlife population; the rivers, the springs, and the Gulf of Mexico are key to the area’s rich agricultural and aquatic traditions. Many hours can be spent drifting around the many small islands and fishing in the creeks or offshore in the Gulf. From salty little fishing villages on the coast, to quaint island towns and hamlets, the day traveler will find little-known and long-remembered delights. Shops, restaurants, museums, and special events throughout the year provide one pleasant surprise after another.
And all of these opportunities exist within easy driving distance of The Riverwalk of Fanning Springs, a gated, planned community of 220 home sites nestled into 172 acres of soft green pastures with a forest of century-old Spanish moss-draped live oaks. Only 30 minutes from the Gulf with its beautiful salt creeks and estuaries that are home to both fish and wading birds, this rural community is reminiscent of the graceful southern living that has charmed people for decades.
Levy Living had the opportunity to visit with three families who live in The Riverwalk and found out first hand what led them here and why they enjoy living along the Nature Coast.
When asked to share their favorite aspect of living at The Riverwalk, Dena McCusker had this to say, “Our family stays extremely busy, as do most families these days. The convenience of the gym, clubhouse, pool, and trails all work well with the things we try to include in our lives.” For Mac and Michelle McNerney, tranquility was at the top of their list; “It is great to have ownership in a neighborhood like this surrounded by nature and with such serenity.” For Bob Durham, being able to settle in The Riverwalk and the Fanning Spring community meant an escape from busy Fort Myers; “It was like shifting from one extreme to the other moving here. In Fort Myers I had to contend with over building, cars, and too many people. But here in Fanning Springs, I’m surrounded by peace, quiet, and I can enjoy nature just outside my front door.”
One thing all of these families have in common is a love for nature and that enjoyment is realized now as a lifestyle they are living at The Riverwalk of Fanning Springs. For Dena McCusker, she immensely enjoys the close proximity and connectivity the community offers for nature lovers. “The trails offered within the community that connect to the Nature Coast Trail are one of our family’s favorite. Whether walking, biking or running, our family really enjoys the untouched nature that surrounds our lovely community. Swimming is also a favorite pastime at the pristine springs or at the pool; summer is all about the water for our family.” Mac and Michelle McNerney love the water as well; “We really enjoy Fanning Springs State Park and we enjoy the Springs nearly year round. We also love that we can fish at the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico which isn’t far away or just down in the Crystal River area.” And still with Bob Durham, someone accomplished at fly-fishing, the water holds a special attraction, “I love to fly fish on the area waterways and I love that I have easy access to saltwater fishing as well.”
Clearly the love of nature and recreation so abundantly available is best enjoyed if shared. So we asked these Riverwalk families what part of their local lifestyle they most enjoy sharing with their out of town guests. For guests of Dena McCusker, “The natural springs are always a favorite; however, the aspect most commented on by our guests is the serene surroundings. They are always impressed by the quiet and calm atmosphere within The Riverwalk.” And there are similarities found in Mac and Michelle McNerney’s response. “Our guests all tend to comment on how quiet and laid back it is here. Not just The Riverwalk, but the entire area. We always hear guests comment about how serene and beautiful it is here.” Bob Durham enjoys sharing with his guests not just the immediate area, but other nearby points of interest. “The local springs are always a hit including nearby Ginny Springs. Our guests also enjoy dining with us at the local restaurants and all that nearby Gainesville or Crystal River has to offer.”
Besides the natural surroundings, the residents of The Riverwalk of Fanning Springs also enjoy a unique level of comfort contributed by the development’s on-site amenities that include a beautiful clubhouse, community resort-style swimming pool, tennis courts, sauna, library, and more.
We ask both our local readers and others to come visit Fanning Springs and take a minute to visit The Riverwalk of Fanning Springs. You truly have to see for yourself the magic and serenity that takes place when a well planned residential development merges with the beautiful natural landscape that is found along our Nature Coast. Whether you seek a safe, natural environment in which to raise your family or a serene area to retire with an active outdoor lifestyle, The Riverwalk of Fanning Springs is for you!