Deer Island, Off Cedar Key, Levy Co; Pin 0005300000 is aland property for lease in Cedar Key, FL.
Deer Island is a sportsman’s paradise! It offers an incredible tropical island experience just minutes off Cedar Key along Florida’s Gulf Coast! The Outdoor sports are world class in this year-round perfect weather in the crystal blue waters of the Gulf for boating, diving, fishing, crabbing, and other recreation. There are abundant redfish, black drum, trout, and blue crab in the area.
The bay side of the island is fringed with salt marsh and oyster bars. With the national wildlife preserve of over 10,000 acres along the coast, the area offers excellent hunting as well, for Whitetail Deer, Osceola turkey, duck and wild boar. Best of all, it is within reach; just a couple hours from Tampa and Orlando and 45 minutes from Gainesville.
Unique features of Deer Island include:
• Sugar white sandy beach facing the open Gulf running the length of the island,
• New wooden walkway to waterfront,
• Dock is located on the southeast corner,
• Water well and storage tank/tower with a treatment system,
• Power is currently supplied by generator, with plans for solar in the works,
• Two small storage buildings,
• Camper is on the island for overnight stays,
• Deck barge (30-foot) is included in the sale (it was used to bring the camper to the island and is rated to carry up to 12,500 pounds).
• One house with no size limit will be permitted by the county, so long as an advanced secondary treatment septic system is used.
Deer Island is densely forested with large oaks, pines, cedars, and palms with an understory of coonties, wild coffee, palmettos and more. Approximately 1 acre on the south end of the island near the dock has been cleared (except for the trees) for the camp. A narrow unimproved road (a glorified trail!) runs north and south along the spine of the island.
This is a beautiful barrier island with elevations as high as 14 ft above sea level. The parcel is over 90 acres in total area; approximately 45 acres lie below the mean high tide mark and are sovereign. Of the balance, approximately 25 acres are upland and 20 acres are wetland. It is located just north of the historic and charming seaside town Cedar Key on Florida’s west coast, offering nearby shopping and dining, as well as a municipal marina facility for large and small vessels.
The island is located inside the Big Bend Aquatic Seagrass Preserve and adjoins the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge. The historic fishing villages of Cedar Key and Suwannee are 8 miles south and north of the island, respectively. Gainesville, home of the University of Florida, is 50 miles to the east. Access is by boat or helicopter, with deep water access on the northeast corner of island. The existing dock is on the southeast corner in shallower water.
A shallow-water ramp suited for launching kayaks and airboats at any tide is located at Shell Mound, 1.5 miles south of Deer Island, but larger boats should be launched at Cedar Key or Suwannee except at high tide. Most of the run from Suwannee to Deer Island is down the East Pass, which is protected from high winds that sometimes blow off the Gulf. And the fresh water of the Suwannee flushes salt from the motor upon return to the mainland.
This location, just minutes north of Cedar Key, offers its many amenities. Cedar Key is one of the oldest ports in the state, and when Florida's first railroad connected it to the east coast, it became a major supplier of seafood and timber products to the northeast.
Today, it has become a haven for artists and writers, who find the unspoiled environment inspirational to their work. Many people visit each year to walk the historic streets, browse the shops and galleries, explore the back bayous, and enjoy the world-famous restaurants, featuring seafood fresh from local suppliers.
Annually, thousands of visitors come to enjoy the Old Florida Celebration of the Arts in April, the Fourth of July Celebration, and the October Seafood Festival. For the nature lover, besides world-famous fishing and bird-watching, visitors find fabulous nature trails to walk in the nearby Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge.
Federally protected sanctuaries, the Cedar Keys form a chain of barrier islands, ideally suited to a vast range of migratory and shore birds, including the elusive white pelicans, roseate spoonbills and bald eagles. The variety of natural habitats, from salt marshes to Indian shell mounds, makes this truly a nature lover's paradise.
According to an archeology professor at the University of Florida, Deer Island was inhabited at least intermittently by native Americans beginning several thousand years ago, and early Florida settlers reportedly camped and lived on the island, too. Four hearty souls identified Deer Island as home in the 1880 Levy County, Florida census. A house or cabin on the south end of the island that probably served as their home is depicted on the 1951 USGS Cedar Key Quadrangle map; only traces of the old structure remain. The current storage buildings occupy the sites of a former bunkhouse and shed, whose remains were carted off the island.
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