Econfina Creek Wildlife Management Area

Managed in cooperation with
Northwest Florida Water Management District

 

photo of Econfina Creek
Northwest Florida
Water Management District

This 41,363-acre area in Washington and Bay counties runs 14 miles along the course of Econfina Creek and also encompasses mile after mile of xeric sandhill uplands with dozens of shallow, clear sand-bottomed lakes. These uplands recharge the springs that feed the creek. Most of the area was planted with commercial stands of non-native sand and slash pine, which are being harvested and restored to longleaf pine and wiregrass habitat. Along the creek hardwood forests and hammocks grow above fern-covered limestone bluffs and outcrops. In the spring, visitors will see blooming dogwoods, red buds, mountain laurel, wild azaleas, Carolina silverbells, Ashe and pyramid magnolias, and Florida anise. Recreational activities available on this area include seasonal hunting (see link at bottom of page), fishing, hiking (a 14 mile segment of the Florida National Scenic Trail traverses the WMA), horseback riding on designated trails (Pine Ridge Equestrian Trail, Wolf Pond Equestrian Trail, and other trails being developed), swimming, primitive and group camping, birding and paddling. Information on primitive camping and group camping is available at Northwest Florida Water Management District or by telephoning (850) 539-5999.  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. The Econfina is a state designated canoe trail (brochure)  with launches located at Scotts Road (upper creek), Walsingham Bridge (middle creek) and Highway 20 (lower creek). The canoe trail contains numerous "chutes" on the upper creek with springs and limestone rock outcrops occurring on the lower creek between Highway 20 and Highway 388. The upper portion of the creek is especially strenuous and should only be attempted by experienced canoeists. Summer tanagers, warblers, wild turkeys and numerous raptor species, including bald eagles, kestrels, hawks and osprey are common along the Econfina. The short nature trail at Pitt Spring is an excellent spot for bird watching. This area is a site on the Great Florida Birding Trail.  Also see the Econfina Fitzhugh-Carter Tract website.

Rules Regarding Dogs

  • For purposes other than hunting, dogs are allowed, 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 dogs may be taken onto the WMA after 8 a.m. the day before the opening of a season and shall be removed by 6 p.m. one day after the end of the season. Hunting with dogs, other than bird dogs or retrievers, is prohibited in the designated still hunt, Cat Creek, Fitzhugh Carter and mobility-impaired areas, except dogs may be used to hunt raccoons (except in the mobility-impaired areas). 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. Dogs on leashes may be used for trailing wounded game.



FWC Facts:
Florida's official state butterfly, the zebra longwing (Heliconius charitonius) lives in hammocks, swamps & forests, sleeps in groups and returns to the same roost nightly.

Learn More at AskFWC