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Carney Island Recreation & Conservation AreaAmenities:
- Boat Ramps
- Hand Launch
- Picnic Pavilion
- Picnic Tables
- User Fee
- Parks and Recreation
Hours of operation:
April - October 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
November - March 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Daily user fee $7/vehicle
Pets and animals are NOT permitted
at Carney Island Recreation and Conservation Area.
A hard freeze in 1894 wiped out the citrus trees around Lake Weir. Most groves were re-established, and citrus groves remained an important agricultural industry until another widespread freeze in 1984.
Over the years, several fruit growing companies had interest in the Carney Island property, and it was eventually acquired by the Coca-Cola Company in 1960 when they purchased the Minute Maid Corporation. In 1990, officials with Coca-Cola agreed to sell the Carney Island property to Marion County at a price below market value. The property was acquired using funds from the “Pennies for Parks” program. The site, which includes over 750+ acres of sandhill islands, causeways, wetland systems and shoreline beaches was acquired by Marion County to protect its ecological character and to provide a resource-based recreation area.