Managed in cooperation with
Southwest Florida Water Management District

 

photo of river on West Unit
Southwest Florida
Water Management District

The Green Swamp West Unit WMA consists of more than 34,000 acres in Pasco County and is part of the approximately 110,000 acres purchased to protect the land and water resources of the Green Swamp Basin of Central Florida. The area consists of a mosaic of varying habitat types whose distribution is based mainly on moisture gradients and soil types, and there are ample opportunities for hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding. Forty-two miles of marked trails are available for bicycling and horseback riding, and more than 50 miles of the Florida National Scenic Trail traverse the area. Horse-drawn buggies are allowed on the marked trails. Primitive camping, including an equestrian campground, is available. Well water for horses is found at the equestrian campground.  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. Freshwater fishing is good along the Withlacoochee River, and the best access is from River Road. Canoe launches are located at River Road and in nearby Withlacoochee River Park. Paddlers should check water levels as travel is difficult when water is low. Green Swamp West is one of the premier public hunting areas in the state for white-tailed deer. Special opportunity permits are required to hunt on this area except during small game season (daily quota permit) and wild hog season (quota permit). The area is closed to the general public during hunts except for through-hikers on the Florida National Scenic Trail. This WMA is part of the Great Florida Birding Trail. Wildlife that may be seen on the area include alligator, feral hog, wild turkey, white-tailed deer, bobwhite quail, and a variety of other birds.

Rules Regarding Dogs

  • For purposes other than hunting, dogs are allowed during hunting periods, but must be kept under physical restraint at all times. During non-hunting periods the possession of dogs shall only be as authorized by the Southwest Florida Water Management District. 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 is prohibited, except bird dogs or dogs with a shoulder height of 15 inches or less are allowed during the small game season, and no more than 3 free-running dogs per wild hog-dog quota permit are allowed during the wild hog-dog season. 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.

Also see the website for Green Swamp.

 




FWC Facts:
Florida ranks second in the nation for the number of residents who take trips to view wildlife. (1.4 million)

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