Photo Credit: Ron Bielefeld
Great scenery and abundant wildlife reward visitors. Explore hiking and paddling trails and enjoy excellent fishing, waterfowl and other hunting, and wildlife viewing.
Anglers can fish throughout the area but the most productive fishing is on Piney Z Lake, a part of the Lafayette chain of lakes that lies about one mile west of the WEA. In 1996, 193-acre Piney Z Lake was pumped dry, exposing its bottom for the first time in half a century. Accumulated muck was removed and shaped into five spoil islands and six earthen "fishing fingers." The lake was stocked with largemouth bass, bream, redear sunfish and channel catfish. The lake is managed by the FWC as a fish management area in cooperation with the City of Tallahassee and Leon County. Appropriate licenses and permits are required.
Hiking, Bicycling & Horseback Riding
Hikers and bicyclists may explore about 10 miles of well-maintained nature trails and unpaved roads. Highlights include great scenery and abundant wildlife. A boardwalk extends into a floodplain swamp.
The Lafayette Passage Paddling Trail meanders through Lower Lake Lafayette in the western portion of the WEA and continues to Lake Piney Z in the adjoining Lafayette Heritage Trail Park, a city park. One boat launch is located on the Road to the Lake (not State property) and one within the city park. To explore both lakes, paddlers must portage an earthen berm. For cautions, access details and routes, download the Lafayette Passage Paddling Trail Guide and Map . During seasonal hunts, wear brightly colored clothing. Avoid paddling during the first couple of hours of daylight to minimize disturbance to hunters.
Enjoy waterfowl and gray squirrel hunting in the fall and winter. Wood ducks, and blue- and green-winged teal are abundant. Hunt deer and turkey with a quota permit on limited days during the spring turkey season and archery and archery/muzzleloading gun seasons respectively. Appropriate licenses and permits are required. Check the calendar and regulations summary for an area map, specific dates and quota permit requirements.
Within the WEA, Lake Lafayette hosts one of the largest wood stork colonies in northwest Florida. The area was established to protect and sustain this threatened wading bird. In addition to wood storks, the wetlands commonly attract wading birds - ibis, herons and egrets - and waterfowl such as wood ducks and blue- and green-winged teal. Visit the Wildlife page for more information about the area's wildlife.
Wild Turkey - This wild ancestor of the domestic turkey is a highly heralded game bird known for its thundering gobbling call and spectacular eyesight.