Seminole Forest Wildlife Management Area

Managed in cooperation with
Florida Forest Service

 

photo of Blackwater Creek on Seminole Forest
Jean Marie Conner
Blackwater Creek on Seminole Forest

Seminole Forest WMA is located in northeastern Lake County. Its more than 12,000 acres are part of a vast network of public lands that protect thousands of acres of streams, springs, sand pine scrub, swamps and pine flatwoods associated with the Wekiva and St. Johns rivers. Blackwater Creek flows through the forest into the Wekiva River, which forms the area's eastern boundary. The rare hooded pitcher plant, Florida hasteola, and Florida willow grow here. Scrub-jays, black bears, white-tailed deer, sandhill cranes, wild turkey, alligators, turtles, eastern indigo snake, and otters are found on the area. Seminole State Forest is part of the Great Florida Birding Trail. Swallow-tailed kites are abundant in the spring and summer. Bear Pond, a 13-acre former borrow pit, has been stocked with numerous game fish and is a good place to observe wading birds. Fishing is permitted throughout the year.  The use of boats is prohibited on Bear and Oaks ponds.  A quota hunt permit is required to hunt on this area.  Hikers can choose from 21 miles of trails, including a 7.5-mile segment of the Florida National Scenic Trail. The Sulphur Island Loop Trail is a good place to see indigo buntings, vireos, and warblers. The forest may also be explored by bicycle, horseback, or canoe.  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. A picnic table is located at the canoe launch. Camping is prohibited during hunting seasons. At other times three primitive campsites are available by reservation and five primitive campsites are available along the hiking trails. Drive-in access during non-hunting periods requires a State Forest Use Permit. For permit and camping reservation information call the Florida Forest Service (352) 360-6675.

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 codes. 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 (except small game season) and shall be removed by 6 p.m. one day after the end of a season. Hunting with dogs is prohibited, except bird dogs may be used during the small game season. Dogs are prohibited in areas posted as "Closed to Public Access" by FWC administrative codes. 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.

Also see the Seminole Forest - Lake Tracy Unit website.




FWC Facts:
Wildlife viewing in Florida supports 44,623 full- and part-time jobs.

Learn More at AskFWC