PRODUCTS OF THE FOREST. .DISCOVERING WILDLIFE ...
People look at the forest in many different ways. Some see the forest mostly as a relaxing interlude on a slowly- Many kinds of fish and wildlife make their home in the Apalachicola Forest. Whether you want to hunt, fish,
moving stream while waiting for fish to take the bait. Others may view it as a storehouse of natural resources photograph, or just see wildlife in its native habitat, you'll find enjoyment here. The Florida Game and Fresh
that are constantly being replenished for a Nation's needs. Some may seek the peace and solitude of the deep Water Fish Commission and the U.S. Forest Service work together to provide the food, shelter, and protection
woods. The well-managed forest is able to meet a variety of these desires both for the material and esthetic. needed by wildlife. Forest management practices are modified to give greater benefits to wildlife. Openings are
The Apalachicola National Forest. located in northwest Florida, is a working, producing forest. It is managed created to provide a vaiety of food supplies for wildlife. Controlled hunts are designed to keep the number
by the U. S. Forest Service to provide the American public with the optimum blend of wood. wildlife, recreation, of animals in balance with available food while also providing recreation to sportsmen. The entire Forest is a
and pure water. Conflicts between the uses of these resources are minimized when the forest is properly managed wildlife management area, and special hunting permits are required. Firearms are prohibited except in connection
under the administration of trained professionals. with the hunts.
An observant driver can spot many interesting facets of the Forest during a leisurely drive down some of the In addition to game animals, hundreds of non-game species make the Apalachicola Forest their home. Stalking
hundreds of miles of backroads that cross the 557,000 acres of the Apalachicola. One of the more unusual sights these elusive animals and birds with camera or binoculars can be a rewarding past time. The best opportunities
is a group of peoplegathering worms to be sold commercially for fish-bait. In local terminology, they are "grunting" are during the morning or evening hours when wildlife is most active.
the worms. A wooden stake, driven into the moist soil. is rubbed along the top with a piece of heavy iron, You may see the wood duck (considered by many to be North America's most beautiful bird) in the swamps
thus producing underground vibrations (with a "grunting" sound) that drive the worms up to the surface of and streams of the Apalachicola. This duck, unlike most pond ducks, nests, feeds, and roosts in thick woods
the ground where they can be picked up by hand. The Apalachicola yields millions of worms for these bait where the water is shallow. Ducklings feed primarily on insects, the adults consume large quantities of acorns
harvesters each year. and the leaves and tubers of aquatic plants. Many people call this duck the "squealer" because of its call when
During your tour of the backroads you may see timber being harvested. These logging operations are carefully flushed from a hiding place.
planned by professional foresters, wildlife biologists, and landscape architects to minimize the visual effects while Some animal populations have fallen to such a low number that their future existence is in question. The
obtaining the best production of timber species are classified as rare, endangered,
,, B *i~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~rf Th t h~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~species are classified as rare, endangered,
and browse for wildlife. The trees to be or unique, depending on their numbers.
cut are marked b Forest Service crewso n e r
acutd are makthe bmiyg orca ifcieOhpccaltsrabtacnrpotey m neiest Sbiddtpansinteervc crws logsgf a The Apalachicola is home for the southern
and sold to the highest bidder. A logging bald eagle, red-cockaded woodpecker,
operation is interesting to watch. The trees sand cane, alligator, ospeyean
are felled, the tops removed, and the plogs anther all cnider re osre enda
"skidded" to waiting trucks. The logs arel geed Ths anml rnoerea fro denan-
carried by truck to a sawmill or paper mill grd Te a rte fo ain
to be converted into the many wood pro- ing civilization and seek undeveloped
ducts we use every day. After the removal areas like the Apalachicola. National For-
of one generation of trees, a new generation est management is concerned with main-
is planted, insuring a continuously pro- training the vegetative conditions these
ducingpforestr creatures require.
The red-cockaded woodpecker is a good
Honey production is another interesting example of a species that needs our help.
operations that you mayr s w psee. The Ochockne River a r e ose verA sharp-eyed observer may notice whitebani a
Apalachicola National Forest includes
Apalachicola National Forest includes ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~sap dripping down the trunks of the old
vast swamps (or bays) covered with m
pin tresthere-cockaded woodpecker
scrubby titi and gallberry. These impene- OUR pine trees the red-
uses for its home. This small bird makes-
trable areas are valuable even though they AP fATACH1OLA his nest hole only in pine trees which have
contain no merchantable-size w trees. The aeDsicRngrfotaelnoraPinA eassoeprinouLmnuaaCHICOLajuzs rjod lcstolooA rotted in the center. For this reason, old
professional beekeeper sees the billions of decadent ,tr leIf ft f eth bd'
blossoms in these areas as a source of nec- ngegdstinhg, o T AA ie are or e i
tar to be turned into tens of thousands of NATIL e isheda in ase pchiola
The fisherman finds the Apalachicola
pounds of honey. The beehives are located :usa
adjacent to roads and are usually sur- FORa ran
t~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~~~~~e, rivers, and winding streams offer enjoy-
rounded by electric fences to keep out the h erirsanwndgstam ofrejy
bealorsidthat seem321. tFor thave aenasturaln poraviongcnatheDsrtRneP.0Bo flflflflFlorfida 32327able fishing from a boat or from the bank.
foears that seem to have natural craving PROIJUCINu The principal fish caught are bass, bream,
for honey. warmouthw and catfish. A State fishing
FOR YUU! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~license, a minimum of equipment, and a
FOR YOU! l little skill are all that is required.
RECREATION LITTLE THINGS
A sprawling forest like the Apalachicola
The magic of the Forest isitsability tois made up of countless little things that
slow down the fast tempo set by city life. are fascinating to examine. Hundreds of
bringing it in step with unhurried nature.
different kinds of wildflowers add color
Whether you seek a quiet canoe trip, a trip and interest to the landscape. Some, like
to photograph wildflowers, or an extended
camingvacation, you should be able to the showy9 orchids and lilies, are beautiful
camping tocation, you should be able t look at. Others, like the pitcher plant
find variety on the vast Apalachicola ap
National Forest. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~and bladderwefts which trap very small
animals, are interesting to examine.
Camping on the Apalachicola is The best time to see wildflowers is dur-
designed for families who enjoy a forest- ing spring and early summer. Take a
type atmosphere. Each camping unit pro- leisurely drive over the backroads of the
vides a table, fire grill, garbage receptacle, Forest. Stop the car at almost any point
and space for a tent or medium-size recrea- --- I and walk fifty feet into the woods. You
tion vehicle. The principle areas (Silver
Lake, Wright Lake and Camel Lake) have -C:. will probably find plants you never
modern restrooms, water hydrants, and realized existed. The important thing is
attractive swimming beaches. The remain- not to worry about the names of these
plants, but rather develop an appreciation
ing areas are more secluded and have wells of their natural diversity.
with hand pumps and vault toilets.
Camping at these areas is on a first-come,Thtrmnosvieyfwldoes
~~~~~~~The tremendous variety of wildflowers
Camping at these areas is on a first-come, ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~is caused by the differences in soil and
first-served basis. Visits are limited to 14 wated on the forest. An elea-
water conditions on the forest. An eleva-
During the fall deerhunting season, all
consecutive days at any one campground. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~tion change of only a few feet greatly affects
During musthbef deerhunting desead cal the amount of water available to plants.
campingtmustebeswithin.designated camp- The sandy soils on the "ridges" retain very
little water and support dry site flowers
Picnic areas are located to take advan- .such as prickly pear cactus and lupines.
tage of pleasant forest settings; they usu- Only a f ew hundred feet down the road
ally are adjacent to attractive lakes in con-
nection with swimming or camping facilities. Other picnic facilities are at boat-launching ramps on the blackwater you may find entirely different plants in the wet soils of a swamp or bay.
streams (sloughs) that flow into the Ochlockonee and Apalachicola Rivers. Pitcher plants are a good example of adaptation to environment. Look for these in the boggy, treeless areas
Recreation facilities for the handicapped are provided at Trout Pond Recreation Area, 12 miles southwest of called savannahs. The yellow or green trumpet-shaped tubes that are 8-18 inches high form an enticing trap
Tallahassee. Designed and operated exclusively for handicapped individuals and their families, the facilities include from which there is no escape for the unwary fly or ant. The digested insect supplements the limited nutrients
a sheltered picnic area, swimming pools, restrooms, first aid building, fishing pier, and an interpretive trail. The that the pitcher plant can extract from the soil.
area is open daylight hours from April-September: the remainder of the year it is operated by reservation only. On drier areas you may see the hardy resurrection fern that grows on live oak trees. During dry periods this
Portions of the Forest are popular with horseback riders. The Vinzant Riding Trail is a series of three marked plant turns brown and appears dead: following a rain it returns to its original green fern-like form.
trails that total 33 miles. The trail leads riders through a variety of open pine and hardwood forests. Flowing water is always fascinating. Stop your car on one of the large culverts through which a stream flows
A canoe offers an ideal wav to leave civilization behind and explore the dark, slowly moving streams that from one of the many "bays" or swamps. The dark color in the water is tannin which comes from the fallen
wind through the vast hardwood swamps. The Ochlockonee River canoe trail offers 67 miles of scenic river leaves through which the water seeps. These waters mirror the reflections of picturesque cypress, blackgum, and
with very few places where man's activities are visible. Portions of New River, Sopchoppy River, and Lost Creek bay trees in the still,early morning hours.
can be floated when the water is high. Contact the District Rangers for travel information because some portions Young, managed pine plantations are good places to look for wildflowers and small animals. Harvesting or
of these three streams cannot be traveled by canoe. thinning removes some trees which would ordinarily shade the ground completely, letting sunlight reach the
Your cooperation is needed to help us maintain a pleasant atmosphere for an enjoyable recreation outing. Please ground and stimulate the growth of young, vigorous plants. These plants provide rich sources of wildlife food.
leave the area you use as you would like to find it. Regulations of use are posted in recreation areas. A self-guiding interpretive trail at Silver Lake can help you learn more about the relationship between plants
For information on the Forest west of the Ochlockonee River. contact the District Ranger. P.O0. Box 578, Bristol, and their environment. The trail begins on a boardwalk through a cypress swamp and winds through several
Florida 32321. For the eastern portion. contact the District Ranger, P.O0. Box 68, Crawfordville, Florida 32327. different plant communities. Labels along the trail explain what you are seeing.