Hike or bike along trails through varied habitats and enjoy hunting, fishing, paddling, wildlife viewing and photography.
Bank fishing is permitted along the Santa Fe River. Expect catches of Suwannee and black bass, redbreast and spotted sunfish. Boat access is available at many public boat ramps in the area. Appropriate licenses and permits are required.
Hiking and Bicycling
Hikers may follow miles of marked trails through the upland sandhills community and forested floodplain of the Santa Fe River. Bicycles may only be ridden on well-defined roads, trails and firebreaks. Find trailheads and parking along N.E. 2nd way and N.E. 130th Place. From the latter, a new 0.5-mile long shady trail travels north through hammock and floodplain habitats to the Santa Fe River.
Paddling on the spring-fed Santa Fe River can be enjoyable all year, but water levels vary depending on rainfall. The river is a popular paddling route suitable for beginners. There are many public boat ramps and canoe launches along its journey through surrounding counties. At the WEA, river access for canoes and kayaks is available near the parking area close to the river on NE 2nd Way.
Hunting of waterfowl and white-tailed deer takes place in the fall and winter. Temporary parking lots are available to hunters on the area to make the more remote portions of the area within easier walking distance. Deer and turkey hunting is fair, but portions of the area that border the Santa Fe River provide excellent habitat for gray squirrels. Appropriate licenses and permits are required. Check the calendar and regulations summary for an area map, specific dates, and quota permit requirements.
Wildlife viewing is most productive along the marked trails that loop through the sandhills and along the floodplain of the Santa Fe River. Look for gopher tortoises and Sherman's fox squirrels in the oak and pine dominated sandhills. Barred owls, red shouldered hawks and migratory warblers frequent the cypress, gum and red maples found in the floodplain forest. Visit the wildlife page for more details.
Fort White Oasis Tract trail to river