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Apalachicola National Forest

Apalachicola Ranger District- The Apalachicola District lies west of the Ochlockonee River within the Apalachicola National Forest. Hiking a portion of the Florida National Scenic Trail or canoeing one of the many waterways opens a kaleidoscope of wildlife and plant life views.
Wakulla Ranger District- The Wakulla District lies east of the Ochlockonee River within the Apalachicola National Forest. Hiking a portion of the Florida National Scenic Trail or canoeing one of the many waterways opens a kaleidoscope of wildlife and plant life views.

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General Information

Apalachicola National Forest
Copyright: - US Forest Service
Apalachicola National Forest
Description - Apalachicola National Forest is comprised of two ranger districts: Apalachicola Ranger District and the Wakulla Ranger District. Each area has developed and non-developed areas. Recreation opportunities include boating, paddling, fishing, hiking, picnicking, and swimming. Several areas offer a public telephone, a trailer dump station, interpretive trails, fresh drinking water and boat launch sites. Other areas provide visitor information in addition to charging a user fee.

Apalachicola's total landmass is comprised of 564,000 acres featuring a historical site, a geological site, eight hunt camps, a number of clear fishing lakes, at least three significant rivers, a portion of the Florida National Scenic Trail, Savannahs Scenic Byway, and the important designated wilderness areas of Mud Swamp / New River and Bradwell Bay.

Attractions - On the Apalachicola National Forest, tourists will discover flat to gently rolling terrain and moist lowlands. Portions of the forest in wet lowlands abound with cypress, oak and magnolias. Stands of slash and longleaf pines cover the sandhills and flatwoods. The Apalachicola's rivers and streams provide a steady freshwater flow to some of the most productive coastal bays and estuaries known for shellfish and other commercial seafood. Visitors find Fort Gadsden Historic Site steeped in history, much of it violent and bloody. A chronology of events is interpreted at a small museum kiosk, along the trail, at the fort sites, and at the steamboat-landing site. Visitors may also tour the Leon Sinks Geological Area. It lies in the Woodville Karst Plain featuring sinkholes, swales, caverns, natural bridges, circular depressions, and a disappearing stream! Add to these geological wonders the beauty and serenity of rolling northwest Florida sandhills clad in forests of stately longleaf pines, shadowy hammocks of moss-draped live oaks and magnolias, quiet swamps of cypress and tupelo gums, and an abundance of other plant and animal life. Another popular attraction within Apalachicola National Forest is the Munson Hills Off-Road Bicycle Trail. Cyclists will find a scenic and challenging ride through some of the most traffic-free rolling terrain on the forest.

Recreation - For the visitor looking for swimming, picnicking, boating, and camping, the most highly developed campgrounds in the forest are Hitchcock, Camel Lake, and Wright Lake Recreation Areas.

From roller blading to wildlife viewing, scenic areas to sinkholes, worm grunting to oyster hunting, there are many outdoor activities available in or near the Apalachicola National Forest.

See Florida National Scenic Trail for details about Apalachicola's segment.

Climate - The panhandle area of Florida experiences mild, comfortable winters and warm to hot, humid summers. The average summer temperatures reach well above 83 degrees Fahrenheit (above 29 Celsius). Winters are mild with temperatures averaging below 52 degrees Fahrenheit (below 11 Celsius). The average precipitation for the panhandle area is more than 60 inches per year. August and September are peak months of the hurricane season that lasts from June 1 through November 30.

Location - The Apalachicola National Forest lies just southwest of Tallahassee in the Florida panhandle. The National Forests of Florida are all headquartered in Tallahassee. The Apalachicola has District Offices located in Bristol and Crawfordville.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Saundra Kelley (Tallahassee, Fla)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: My recent trip to the St. Marks River was actually an exploration of the region. I was looking for elderly natives - those rural people whose ears are to the ground and whose souls are wrapped up in the riverine environment. I found one near the Natural Bridge and was lucky to be invited to see his home place. In addition to millions of giant mosquitoes, I found a place little changed from the way this man found it. His footprint on the land is minimal. He cut no trees to get to his small home, so the track winds around trees and skirts sinkholes, nearly convincing me that I was on a true wild goose chase. Not so. Arriving at his small home, I found it to be within yards of the river. It sits right beside a sinkhole covered in Duckweed so thick his dog mistook it for grass and tried to walk on it. Mistake. As for lunch - you'd better take your own when trekking out there and leave nothing behind to mar the fragile beauty. And another reminder: treat those rural native Floridians with respect. They may know things you'll never find in a book and they won't tell you if you fail to mind your manners. Superiority will get you nowhere, but genuine interest may open an amazing world to you.

More Information

Contact Information:
Apalachicola National Forest, 325 John Knox Rd , Tallahassee, FL, 32303, Phone: 904-942-9300

Additional Information:
Florida National Forests & Parks - Florida's National Forests and National Parks contain a unique diversity of plants and animals, and numerous developed recreational facilities. Four National Forests and eleven National Park lands are located throughout the state.
Northwest Florida - Sugar white sand, emerald green waters, intriguing geological formations, natural springs, rich history, charming villages, miles of caves, and yearly festivals come together offering the vacationer endless outdoor recreation in Northwest Florida.

Ocala National Forest - Official agency website.
U.S. Forest Service - Official agency website.


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