Split Oak Forest Wildlife and Environmental Area

Managed in cooperation with
Orange County Community and Environmental Services Department
Osceola County Natural Resources Office

Split Oak Forest is a nearly 2,000-acre area located in south Orange and north Osceola counties.  Split Oak Forest is part of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Mitigation Park Program.  Split Oak was purchased in 1994 through a cooperative agreement involving the Florida Communities Trust, Orange County, Osceola County, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.  The previous land-owners managed the area for cattle and forest resources.

split oak tree
David Copps
- Two hundred year old live oak
that survived being split down the middle.

Split Oak Forest is currently managed to enhance and preserve the habitat of the gopher tortoise, a state listed species, along with the other wildlife and plants that inhabit this diverse area. The site is under a fire management program, and visitors have a first hand opportunity to observe the positive effects this practice has on our native plant communities. See the Split Oak Forest Trail Map Adobe PDF for a printer-friendly map of the trails and roads at Split Oak.  Wildlife viewing, hiking, and horseback riding are likely to be most pleasant in the fall, winter and in the spring when the weather is cooler and bugs may be less plentiful.  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 Adobe PDF.  All horseback riders must have proof of current negative Coggins Test results for their horses when on state lands.

 

While you are on the area, be sure to visit the namesake of Split Oak Forest, a spectacular 200 year-old live oak tree that split down the middle and survived!



FWC Facts:
The painted bunting is one of the most rapidly declining songbirds in the eastern U.S. Surveys show an astounding 4-6 percent annual decrease in its numbers from 1966 to 2007.

Learn More at AskFWC