Big Shoals Wildlife Management Area

Managed in cooperation with
Florida Forest Service
Suwannee River Water Management District
Department of Environmental Protection

 

photo of Big Shoals

Big Shoals WMA encompasses 2,140 acres in southeastern Hamilton County, northeast of White Springs. This area extends along three miles of bluffs above the Suwannee River and features the largest whitewater rapids in the state. The floodplain consists of basin swamps and slope forests. The uplands include high-quality pine flatwoods and mixed hardwood forests.

Hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, hiking, bicycling, canoeing, picnicking, and horseback riding are permitted on this area. Turkey, white-tailed deer, gray squirrel, eastern cottontail, gopher tortoise, raccoon, American kestrel, and barred owl are a few of the wildlife species found on the area.  A viewing tower is available for those willing to patiently wait for wildlife to use the nearby food plot. Along with deer, turkeys, and other birds, it's possible that a black bear may wander through the area. The viewing tower is indicated on the hunt map, but hunting from the viewing tower is prohibited.  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. This area is a site on the Great Florida Birding Trail.

Rules Regarding Dogs

  • For purposes other than hunting, dogs are allowed (except in areas posted as CLOSED TO PETS), 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 with dogs is prohibited. Dogs on leashes may be used for trailing wounded game. 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.



FWC Facts:
Whooping cranes, the tallest of North American birds, stand nearly 5 feet tall. Their wingspan measures between 7 and 8 feet.

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