Tate's Hell Wildlife Management Area

Managed in cooperation with
Florida Forest Service

 

photo of cypress trees
Betsy Purdum
Cypress trees

Tate's Hell WMA extends over more than 187,700 acres in Franklin and Liberty counties near Carrabelle. It is bordered by Highway 98 on the south and Apalachicola National Forest to the north and west. The wildlife management area is part of the close to 200,000-acre Tate's Hell State Forest. In the 1960s and 1970s the previous owners developed this area as a commercial forest, digging drainage ditches and building roads that significantly altered the hydrology of the forest. In the early 1990s the state began purchasing the land to protect Apalachicola Bay. Since then, the Florida Forest Service has prescribe burned most of the pinelands, re-established the native longleaf pine over a major portion of the forest, and worked to restore large areas of grassy savannahs. Several stands of the distinctive "dwarf" cypress exist on the forest. Visit the Ralph G. Kendrick Dwarf Cypress Boardwalk to observe these unusual trees. To reach a viewing tower, from US Highway 98, go north on US Highway 65 for 5.5 miles, turn right onto North Road go 1.7 miles then turn right on Dry Bridge Road.  The boardwalk will be on your right, 2.7 miles down Dry Bridge Road. The High Bluff Coastal Hiking Trail may be accessed off of US Highway 98, four miles west of Carrabelle. Tate's Hell is home to many wildlife species including a large population of Florida black bears, bald eagles, and red-cockaded woodpeckers. The terrain is wet and boggy, and many roads require four-wheel-drive vehicles. Biking and horseback riding are allowed on any open road in the forest unless posted otherwise.  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. Camping is permitted only at designated campsites by permit from the Florida Forest Service. The New River, Crooked River, and Whiskey George Creek offer boating, fishing and paddling opportunities. This area is a site on the Great Florida Birding Trail.  Also see the Tate's Hell - Womack Creek Unit website.

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 with dogs is allowed during general gun season in the dog hunt area only. Hunting with dogs, other than bird dogs and retrievers, is prohibited in the still hunt areas. Deer dogs may be trained October 29 through November 17. 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:
Young whooping cranes are capable of flight when they are 80-90 days old.

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