Fort Island Trail Park can be found half an hour due west of Inverness, Florida at Crystal River. This small man-made beach cannot compete with the ever popular Clearwater Beach two hours to the south but it is a popular spot among the locals. The nine mile drive through salt water marsh offers a scenic perspective to Florida's inner coastline with many places to stop and admire nature.
Fort Island Trail Park is a nice family beach outing. There are bathrooms and ample parking but be early on weekends as parking can fill up quite quickly.
A short boardwalk through through tall palm trees leads to a fishing pier with views of the Crystal River nuclear power plant. Look for dolphins, rays and manatees.
Not an exceptional birding location but good for shorebirds like black skimmers, terns, sandpipers and such. During migration fallout migrants may also be found.