Picayune Strand Wildilfe Management Area

Managed in cooperation with
Florida Forest Service
South Florida Water Management District

 

photo of swallow-tailed kite
Swallow-tailed kite

Picayune Strand WMA consists of more than 76,000 acres in Collier County two miles east of Naples south of I-75 and north of U.S. 41. This land was logged for cypress in the 1950s and 1960s and was then ditched and roads constructed for South Golden Gate Estates, a famous "swampland in Florida" scam. In 1985 under the Save Our Everglades program, the state began acquiring this land from thousands of absentee landowners.

Today the area is a mix of pinelands, cypress, marshes, and pasture, and provides habitat for wide-ranging Florida panthers as well as black bears, bald eagles, wood storksfox squirrels, and swallow-tailed kites. Hunting is available on the area. The Sabal Pine Hiking Trail, jointly owned by Collier County, consists of two short loops (1.9 and 1.3 miles) and traverses a dwarf cypress forest. The trail can be accessed from Sabal Palm Road. A 22-mile horse trail winds across the Belle Meade Tract from Miller Boulevard to Benfield Road.  Children under the age of 16 are required to wear a helmet when horseback riding on public lands.  For more detailed information go to Nicole's Law PDF.  All horseback riders must have proof of current negative Coggins Test results for their horses when on state lands. An oak-shaded primitive camping area can be found near the mid-point of the trail. A campground is located on 52nd Ave SE near the Florida Forest Service Office. Camping is allowed by special-use permit from the Florida Forest Service. The numerous canals on the area are available for fishing and small boats. A boat ramp is located on the Fakaunion Canal.  Parts of the area will be closed at varying times due to Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Project construction.

Rules Regarding Dogs

  • For purposes other than hunting, dogs are allowed, but must be kept under physical restraint at all times. Dogs are prohibited in areas posted as "closed to public access" by FWC administrative action. No person shall allow any dog to pursue or molest any wildlife during any period in which the taking of wildlife by the use of dogs is prohibited.
  • Hunting dogs may be taken onto the WMA after 8 a.m. the day before the opening of a season and shall be removed by 6 p.m. one day after the end of the season. Hunting deer and wild hog with dogs is prohibited. Hunting with dogs is prohibited, except bird dogs or retrievers are allowed during the small game season. Dogs are prohibited in areas posted as "closed to public access" by FWC administrative action. No person shall allow any dog to pursue or molest any wildlife during any period in which the taking of wildlife by the use of dogs is prohibited. Dogs on leashes may be used for trailing wounded game.



FWC Facts:
When the weather is very cold, a group of bluebirds, and several other bird species, will occasionally roost together in a nest cavity for warmth.

Learn More at AskFWC