RECREATION SITE INFORMATION
APALACHICOLA RANGER DISTRICT
1 BIG GULLY LANDING 8-3 I 5 BB
2 CAMEL LAKE C-2 2 flEBEUEEC
3 COTTON LANDING B-4 UIoIoCCC
4 FORT GADSDEN HIST SITE C5 DEI UMI1
5 HICKORY LANDING B-5 O]F32MOUCC
6 HITCHCOCK LAKE E-4 H0BB 101
7 PORTER LAKE E-3 001021 50B
8 REVELL LANDING E-4 no1
9 WHITEHEAD LAKE E-3 JW CCbEI B
10 WHITE OAK LANDING B-4 I
11 WRIGHT LAKE B-5 R BBISIrHP l
WAKuLLA A&NiCE OT.iiCT
12 BLUE ":-I'. '- 51 5
13 BUC"'':...'..... '. O DWFnI U
14 LEOlI ... ~ OI!U
15 LOST-" ', o n ll
16 MAC .' D U E
17 PINE L' IIr' D
18 SILV:i -.t. i... -:- D O r0 CE
19 TRO T' :.n g_r
20 woc :.-... OoBrao[e
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INDEX TO ITOPOGRAPHIC MAPS
- Primary Highway
- Secondary Highway
- Improved Road, Paved
Improved Road, Gravel
Improved Road, Native Dirt Sudace
Unimproved Road, Includes 4WD,
Not Maintained for Passenger Cars
_.. Florida National Scenic Trail. (FNST)
Forest Headquarters I
S Ranger District Office Fires
& Other Forest Service Facility
Horizontal Control Station
o Loated or Landmark Object
52 Mining Activity, Gravel or Borrow Pit
* House, Cabin or Other Budtding
I School, Church
W National Forest Boundary
Ranger District Boundary
S- Special AreaBoundary
Apalachicola National Forest
National Forest Wilderness
S [ --- Tates Hell New River Purchase Unit
Other Federal Land
O State Land
0 Travel Restctons
B C ..
TOWNSHIP AND SECTION LINE CLASSIFICATION
Sureyed, location rehable
.. Surveyed, location approximate
U- rsunreyed, (Bureau of Land Management
H 5' VI
APALACHICOLA NATIONAL FOREST
(APALACHICOLA WAKULLA RANGER DISTRICTS)
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3 4 5 Miles
Quiet solitude and forest scenery await horseback riders using the 28-mile Vinzant Riding Trail located 10 miles west of Tallahassee
kI NM R St K I< !
Fishing is a popular pastime on many furet ponds and strneams
The 564,000-acre Apalachicola National Forest
is the largest of Florida's three national forests.
Established in 1936, it is one of 156 national
forests managed by the USDA Forest Service.
The Apalachicola National Forest is located
within six watersheds: Apalachicola River, New
River, Ochlockonee River, Sopchoppy River,
Lost Creek, and Wakulla River. These rivers
and streams provide a steady freshwater flow to
productive coastal bays or estuaries.
Apalachicola Bay and Ochlockonee Bay are
known for shellfish and other commercial
The Apalachicola provides an abundance of
fresh water to creeks and rivers. The ground
water table in over half of the forest fluctuates
from near the surface to about 3 feet deep. The
forest contains about 2,735 acres of lakes. The
only spring is within the Morrison Hammock
Scenic Area (F-4 on the map).
With portions of the forest in wet lowlands,
trees such as cypress, oak, and magnolias are
common. Stands of slash and longleaf pine
cover the sandhills and flatwoods.
Halchling gopher tortoises are endemic residents of the
sandhill, longleaf pine ecosystem,m which is just one oj the unique
ecologicalt omm inies found on the Apalachtiola National
More than 300 species of mammals, birds,
reptiles, and amphibians make the Apalachicola
National Forest their home. Some of the popular
game species are whitetail deer, turkey, and
squirrel. The forest is inhabited by several
species of special concern, such as the gopher
tortoise, osprey, alligator, and snowy egret. If
you're lucky, you may see some black bears.
Red-cockaded woodpeckers, bald eagles, and
indigo snakes, all Federally listed as endangered
species, are also found in the forest.
Watching wildlife, hunting, and fishing are
popular recreation activities in this forest.
Visitors also enjoy swimming, picnicking,
boating, and camping in dispersed or
developed sites. Camel Lake and Wright
Lake Recreation Areas are the most highly
developed campgrounds on the forest. The
facilities at these sites, as well as those of
13 other recreation areas, are listed in the
chart in the upper left corner above the map.
Campers who want secluded sites have
a choice of various recreation areas
The forest offers several other attractions Leon
Sinks, which includes five major limestone
sinkholes, is an unusual geological area It is
about 4 miles south of Tallahassee, just off U S.
Highway 319. Two wilderness areas will give
you an idea of what large parts of Florida looked
like before "civilization" arrived. A little-known
part of Florida's history, the site of Fort Gadsden,
awaits your discovery at the southwestern tip of
the forest (C-5). From Sumatra, drive south on
State Highway 65 about 3 miles to Forest Route 129
The fort is in a Recreation Area about a mile west
on Route 129
Little evidence exists of significant Indian
settlement on the forest. Apalachee Indians,
however, are known to have settled north and
south of the forest. The name Apalachicola
comes from an Indian word meaning "the
people who live on the other side."
Following the Apalachees came the Creek
Indians. They were allied with Britain, but
British development was small in this area
Later, the Spanish had some influence over the
area until a series of United States invasions.
Once the United States obtained Florida, much
of the area went into private ownership. Of
early commercial importance were the area's
naval stores, also known as turpentine industries.
The Federal Government acquired most of the
Apalachicola during the depression years of the
1930's. During that time, many Eastern national
forests were established through purchase and as
acquisitions of abandoned land. The land had
been heavily cutover and burned frequently.
With sound national forest management, much
of the land has been restocked or planted. It is
once again covered with a diversity of trees and
The Apalachicola has three types of special
interest areas: scenic, geological, and botanical.
The scenic areas offer outstanding beauty and
they are managed to preserve this beauty. The
scenic areas on the forest include Rock Bluff
and Morrison Hammock. Rock Bluff is about 15
miles west of Tallahassee; drive west on State
Highway 20 to Bloxham, then south on Route
375 for 2 miles and turn right onto Forest Route
390 and proceed less than a mile to the bluff (E-
2). Morrison Hammock is about 12 miles south
of Crawfordville via U.S. Highway 319 to
Sopchoppy, where you turn west on State
Highway 22, and then south on State Highway
399 where you walk about a mile into the
Leon Sinks is a geological area, noted for its
unique limestone sinkhole features.
Along the 4.5-mnie Leon Sinks Geological Area tad, the Fisher
Cl eek footbridge spans the creek as it enters Lost Rives Sitnk
Another scenic treasure consists of open, wet,
grassy areas called savannas. Few trees grow
here. Savannas contain an unusual combination
of grasses, sedges, and wildflowers. Orchids and
insect-eating plants are some of the most inter-
In the western end of the Apalachicola, part of
State Highway 379 forms part of the 31.5-mile
Apalachee Savannahs Scenic Byway. You can
observe cypress swamps, stands of native
longleaf pine, savannas with blooming wild-
flowers, and many creeks and sloughs. The by-
way is part of a nationwide program to provide
viewing opportunities of well-managed and
pleasing forest landscapes.
Bradwell Bay and Mud Swamp/New River are
the Apalachicola's two wilderness areas.
Bradwell Bay, with more than 24,600 acres of
dense, remote swamp, is the Apalachicola's
biggest wilderness area (F-3). It offers a per-
sonal challenge for experienced, adventuresome
hikers. In the heart of the area are hardwood and
titi swamps, scattered small ponds, and areas
intermingled with scrubby pond pine. This wil-
derness area is usually wet, with I to 4 inches of
standing water most of the year. Only properly
equipped hikers should venture into the core of
Bradwell Bay, where no trails or old roadbeds
exist. The Sopchoppy River, flowing on the
eastern boundary of Bradwell Bay, can be
canoed if rains have sufficiently raised the water
The Mud Swamp/New River Wilderness covers
about 8,000 acres (C-4, D-4). It also is generally
wet, swampy, dense, and covered with titi and
slash pine. The New River runs through this
wilderness into Tate's Hell Swamp. During high
water, many visitors enjoy canoeing on New
River. High water offers opportunities to test
your maneuvering skills on common obstacles
such as low hanging branches.
To maintain the wilderness attributes of these
areas, certain restrictions are necessary. Prac-
tices that could alter wilderness values, such as
using motorized equipment or mechanical
devices, are not permitted.
HIKINI l .SNID.I \M) 'I, tI \ I
Trails are available for hiking, horseback riding,
and canoeing. Hikers looking for overnight trips
can walk 60 miles over the Apalachicola seg-
ment of the Florida National Scenic Trail. You
can begin at U.S. Highway 319 on the south-
eastern comer of the forest, west of Medart (G-
4). The trail stretches across the forest to the
northwest, where it leaves the forest at Florida
Highway 12, about 10 miles south of Bristol.
For shorter excursions, from a few minutes to a
few hours, consider hiking the trails at several
of the recreation areas: Silver Lake Trail (G-1),
Trail of the Lakes at Camel Lake (C-2), Wright
Lake Trail (B-5), Leon Sinks Trail (H-2), or
Discovery Trail at Trout Pond Recreation Area
(G-2). Trout Pond facilities are specially de-
signed for use by disabled visitors.
Horseback riders are welcome on Forest Service
roads and on the Vinzant Riding Trail that
covers portions of the Apalachicola east of the
Ochlockonee River. Vinzant trail maps are
available at some Forest Service offices. The
trail is about 11 miles west of Tallahassee via
State Highway 20 to Fort Braden and then, just
west of Fort Braden, turn south on either Forest
Route 326 or 342 to intersect the trail in less
than a mile (F-I).
You can canoe on a variety of waterways:
* Bradford Brook (G-1, H-1), on the western
outskirts of Tallahassee;
* Lost Creek (G-3), which intersects State
Highway 368 on the western outskirts of
* Kennedy Creek and River Styx (B-3, B-4),
near the western edge of the forest;
* Sopchoppy River (F-3, F-4), forming part of
the eastern border of Bradwell Bay Wilder-
ness and extending both north and south of
* New River, which enters the forest at the
southeastern comer of the Mud Swamp/New
River Wilderness (C-4) and extends north-
ward (C-3); and
* Ochlockonee River (E-2 to E-4, F-5), which
divides the forest almost in half.
Each quiet waterway offers its own unique
challenge. Several of these creeks and rivers
experience extreme water level fluctuations and
during periods of drought some are impassable.
The best time to canoe is February through
7)out Pond Recreation Aiea. 12 miles southwest of Tallahassee.
offei s daytime teci ation facilities a cessible to persons with
disabilities and to the general publu
The Ochlockonee River is usually passable. You
can comfortably canoe the 64-mile Ochlockonee
in about 3 days. The Apalachicola River is
accessible year-round from its tributaries. It
attracts many power boaters, occasional com-
mercial river traffic, along with canoeists.
With no rough, white-water challenges, canoe-
ing conditions are relatively safe; however, even
the most cautious canoeists can capsize their
craft. Florida law requires a Coast Guard-
approved flotation device for everyone aboard.
OI l-ROk ) % IClt LES
Most off-road vehicle (ORV) use occurs on old
logging roads covering miles of forest. Addi-
tional areas are open for ORV use, contact a
district ranger office for more information.
It \ I'l \, NI) I I-H11N;
The Forest Service, working cooperatively with
the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Com-
mission, manages wildlife on the Apalachicola
National Forest. While the Forest Service
concentrates on providing quality wildlife
habitat, the Commission sets seasons, bag
limits, and issues licenses. Rule and regulation
handbooks, hunt maps, and other related infor-
mation can be obtained through either agency.
down to fine ashes, then mix the ashes with
soil and water. Be sure the fire is out by
touching the ashes. If fire conditions for the
forest are in the danger zone or if it is a
windy day, forget the campfire and use a
campstove. Dispersed-area campers who
want to build an open fire may need a few
sticks of fuel wood. When collecting fire-
wood, pick up only dead and down timber.
Cutting dead or live standing trees without a
permit is against regulations.
gathering wild grapes and berries can be a
fruitful outdoor venture. Apalachicola
edibles such as blueberries, huckleberries,
wild plums, and summer grapes "come in"
from early-spring to midsummer. Muscadine
grapes and persimmons ripen by late sum-
mer to early fall. These forest fruits gener-
ally grow best along trails, old roads, or
recently cutover areas that are exposed to
plenty of sunlight.
Canoeits on the AplahIt ilt ola National Fore.t will find 8
rni'l s wilh oover 85 milet, oJ navigablee water
Whitetail deer are the main attraction for most
hunters. Small game species, such as bobwhite
quail, rabbits, gray squirrels, and mourning
doves, are also hunted. Waterfowl are taken on
the forest, as well. Habitat is limited for some
species except wood ducks, which are fairly
Good fishing opportunities are available
throughout the forest. Anglers frequent the
Ochlockonee (E-G, 1-5) and Apalachicola
Rivers (B 1-5), as well as many of their tributar-
ies and smaller forest streams, such as Kennedy
Creek, River Styx, Lost Creek, Fisher Creek,
and Owl Creek. Several lakes, including Camel
Lake, Trout Pond, Franklin Pond (C-3), and
Moore Lake (G-l). are also favorite fishing
spots. In addition, fishing is productive in the
many unnamed smaller streams, creeks, and
natural lakes scattered throughout the
All anglers must have a license, except children
16 and under and Florida residents age 65 or
older. Nonresidents can purchase a 7-day li-
cense at a tax assessor's office or from many
sporting goods stores.
Campers can enjoy the Apalachicola National
Forest year-round. Most campgrounds require
a nominal fee.
At developed fee areas, look for signs that state
the fee amounts and payment procedures.
Designated primitive camping sites along the
Florida National Scenic Trail have no facilities
and are accessible only by foot travel. Contact a
district ranger office for more information.
Camping outside designated areas, called
dispersed camping, is usually permitted
throughout the forest. All forest visitors should:
* camp only in developed or designated areas
during hunting seasons, usually from No-
vember through January. During that time,
for your safety, dispersed camping is not
always treat "raw" water before drinking.
Natural water from lakes, ponds, and
streams can harbor disease organisms. Boil
the water for 5 minutes, to be safe. Consider
bringing drinking water on a campout.
attend campfires at all times. Use fire rings
when available. Otherwise, clear the fire
area of all dry grass and duff. Build fires on
bare, mineral soil and keep them small.
When it's time to douse the fire, let it bum
Trumper pitcher plants, insea -eating plants, can be found in the
forest's wet savanina
remember to remove all garbage and trash;
"pack it in. pack it out." The "no trace" ethic
is every forest visitor's responsibility.
Leaving no trace can be a challenge, but
everyone's help is needed to maintain the
area's natural state and protect it from over
use. Leave vegetation intact. "Stop to smell
the roses," but don't pick them, chop tree
limbs, or dig up plants. Preserve the natural
water systems. Don't wash clothes or dishes,
dump garbage, or deposit waste material
within 100 feet of a water source. Replace
rocks, sticks, and logs moved to clear areas
for campfires or sleeping. Erase evidence of
your presence to keep each individual's
impact on the forest to a minimum.
Numerous picnic areas are located throughout
the forest. Some sites have tables to accommo-
date family reunions, church get-togethers, or
community gatherings. Picnicking outside
established areas is also popular.
rhe 1 S Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all
acivities on the basic of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age,
disability, political beliefs sexual orientation, and marital or family status.
(Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs Persons with disabilities who
require alternative means for communications of program information (Braille,
large print, audiotape, ect) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at 202-
720-2600 (voice and TDD))
To file a complaint of discrimination, wrnte USDA. Director, Office of Civil
i i en Building, 14th and Independence Avenue
......: .)-9410 or call 202-720-5960 (voice or TD)
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer
Recreation Guide R8-RG 2
Printed on recyclable paper
Cover photo by K. Westly
Revised May 1999
The Supervisor's Office of the National Forests
in Florida is in Tallahassee. Contact that office
for information about our other forests. The
Apalachicola National Forest is divided into two
units: the Apalachicola and Wakulla Ranger
Districts. For more information about the forest,
call or visit either of these district offices. The
Apalachicola Ranger District has an office in
Bristol, shown in the upper left corner of the
map (C-1). The Wakulla Ranger District's
office is north of Crawfordville (G-3). Both
ranger districts are staffed with clerical, techni-
cal, and professional personnel. The addresses
and telephone numbers of these offices are
listed at the right side of the map.
Humid, almost subtropical conditions are
associated with this part of the country. The
average annual temperature is about 68 degrees.
The mild winters are fine for camping. The
coldest temperatures occur between December
and March, dropping to freezing about 20 times
On summer days, the abundant water resources
entice many visitors to enjoy a cool dip or
breezy boat ride. Summer temperatures range
from 70 to about 100 degrees. Annual precipita-
tion ranges from 31 to 104 inches, with an
average of 57 inches. The wettest month is July.
Two dry periods occur during April and May
plus October and November.
GENERAL CAMPGROUND RULES '
1. In developed recreation areas, put vehicles, tents,
and trailers only in places provided.
2. A campsite unoccupied for more than 24 hours
becomes available to other campers.
3. Camping is not permitted in day-use areas such
as picnic sites, swimming areas, or boat ramps.
4. The maximum length of stay at any one area is
normally 14 consecutive days.
5. Only campers are permitted inside campgrounds
during established night hours, which are usually
6. Build fires only in stoves, grills, fireplaces, and
7. Operating unlicensed vehicles within recreation
areas is prohibited.
8. Help preserve all facilities and vegetation. Protect
recreation areas for future generations.
GOOD NEIGHBOR CAMPING
1. Use containers provided for garbage and unbumable trash.
3. Clean up campsites before departing.
4. Keep pets quiet and on a leash.
5. Refrain from making disturbing noises between 10 p.m. and 6 am.
6. Put nothing in toilets that might damage or clog them.
8. Motorbikes and all-terrain vehicles are to be used only to enter or leave the area. Noisy vehicles,
such as those without mufflers and "gunning" of engines, are prohibited.
9. Observe speed limits. Drive carefully. Park only in areas provided.
10. Keep all vehicles on roads and spurs.
11. Shooting and fireworks are prohibited.
CAMPFIRES AND OTHER USES OF FIRE
Forests are vital to our nation. Practice deliberate wildfire protection always!
I. Extinguish matches. Break them in half before discarding.
2. Stop in a safe place to smoke. Crush out cigarettes on mineral soil or rock -never toss them in
dry grasses, leaves, or needles.
3. Never leave a campfire unattended put it out before leaving.
4. Be especially careful with fire when the wind is blowing.
5. Never try to "smoke out" game.
6. Drown campfires, stir the ashes, and drown the fire a second time. Make sure the fire is out
GOOD NEIGHBOR WATER SPORTS
1. Keep glass away from beaches.
2. Keep pets away from beaches and swimming areas.
3. Leave alligators alone they can be dangerous!
Animals will scatter buried trash, so be sure to carry
out what you carry in. Bury body waste in a hole 4 to
6 inches deep, at least 100 feet away from the nearest
1. Leave nothing but tracks.
2. Usually it's best to stay on the trail, but if you do..
leave the trail, please don't blaze a new path...,.
3. Never travel alone and tell others your antici-
pated time of returnm.
4. Take along a good map and compass. .
5. Check the weather forecast.
6. Check with the Florida Game and Fresh Water
Fish Commission for licenses, open seasons, and
regulations regarding hunting and fishing.
7. Carry drinking water or treat water from streams,
rivers, or lakes by boiling it for at least 5 minutes.
8. Carry a first-aid kit.
9. Read regulations posted at parking areas.