By  Mike Miller Updated August 7, 2023

Ozello, Florida is on Florida's west coast between Crystal River and Homosassa.  Although it is not incorporated, it is a tight knit little community of about 400 people.

A Google Aerial View of Ozello, Crystal River, and HomosassaA Google Aerial View of Ozello, Crystal River, and Homosassa

That's not many people unless you compare it to the 49 people who lived there back in 1910.

Most residents of modern times pronounce their little town "Ozella."

Ozello is the general name for a series of small keys that are connected by a winding road known as The Ozello Trail.

The trail is designated on the maps as Country Road 494, and extends west from US-19 south of Crystal River.

A View From The Ozello TrailA View From The Ozello Trail

The Trail is a curvy road that meanders for 10 miles through the salt marshes to the furthermost point of Ozello.  Motorcyclists and sports car enthusiasts love this lightly traveled paved road.

Ozello was recognized for many years as "The Isle of Knowledge" featured in Ripley's Believe It Or Not cartoons.  The isle referred to the small key where the schoolhouse was located.

Ozello Island School by Epie BoatrightOzello Island School by Epie Boatright

Local children in the early days rowed a boat to school;  in more modern times they were picked up by a school boat.

The old schoolhouse no longer exists.  Kids today go to school on the mainland.

The community's isolation is probably preserved forever because of its location adjacent to the 23,000 acre St. Martin's Aquatic Preserve

The preserve is owned by the State of Florida and managed by the state's Department of Natural Resources. 

Ozello Residential CanalOzello Residential Canal

Residents and visitors to Ozello are water oriented.  Fishing and nature watching are popular.

You will see a fair number of kayaks, small motor boats, and air boats.  Some of the keys have canals and people keep a boat behind their house.

Ozello Island ChurchOzello Island Church

The center of Ozello is noted for its small civic club, church, fire department, and water tower.  Several businesses offer boat tours and rentals.

Captain Harvey's Redneck Tours SignCaptain Harvey's Redneck Tours Sign

The elevation of most of Ozello is only about three feet above sea level.  Most newer homes are built on columns to elevate them several feet above ground level.

Ozello HomesOzello Homes

Ozello has a water system, but no sewer system. 

All homes and business are serviced by septic tanks that have to be elevated above the groundwater table. That's the grassy mound you see in the photos of the houses above.

There are three nice restaurants with the Old Florida feel in Ozello.  It is amazing to find this kind of good food and ambiance in such a small community.

Backwater Fins RestaurantBackwater Fins Restaurant

The first one you will see on your left as you come into Ozello is Backwater Fins Restaurant.  It is a casual place with good seafood and both inside and outside dining. 

Island Outpost RestaurantIsland Outpost Restaurant

The next one on the right looks like a convenience store but is also a nice barbecue, shrimp, and wings place called Island Outpost with both inside and outside dining.  

Peck's Old Port Cove RestaurantPeck's Old Port Cove Restaurant

Further down the road, near its end, you will find Peck's Old Port Cove Seafood Restaurant.  It has great seafood and both inside and outside dining.

Ozello Birdseye View Courtesy of NatureCoaster.comOzello Birdseye View Courtesy of NatureCoaster.com

The birdseye view above shows you what the very end of Ozello Trail looks like. 

The small sandy area in the upper right is a community park and boat ramp. 

The day I was there the park had a very welcome porta john.



139 North Ozello Trail
Crystal River, FL 34429
Tel: 352-795-2806

Peck's Old Port Cove has a Crystal River address but is actually in Ozello, a small village at the end of a long road that begins on US-19 between Crystal River and Homosassa on Florida's west coast.

The 10 mile long meandering road through the salt marshes is a favorite drive for bikers and sports car enthusiasts.

It is also a favorite drive for seafood lovers.

Read more about Peck's Old Port Cove.


Our Facebook page has more than 129,462 followers who love off the beaten path Florida: towns, tourist attractions, maps, lodging, food, festivals, scenic road trips, day trips, history, culture, nostalgia, and more.  We post articles every day.  Please check it out and if you like it, we would appreciate a "like" from you.