Marshall Swamp Wildlife Management Area

Marshall Swamp Wildlife Management Area

Managed in cooperation with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Greenways and Trails  

Just six miles southeast of Ocala, the Marshall Swamp Wildlife Management Area (WMA) occupies more than 6,000 acres of bottomland hardwood swamp and freshwater marsh along the Ocklawaha River. The site features an impoundment that was created on the area in the 1950s, when dikes and water control structures were installed on the Dead River, a tributary of the Oklawaha. The impoundment later became part of the Cross Florida Barge Canal project, which was decommissioned in 1971. In 1993, the impoundment and surrounding swamp were incorporated into the newly established Cross Florida Greenway, managed by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Office of Greenways and Trails (OGT). Today, the impoundment features some of the original sawgrass dominated wetlands once common along the river. Visitors enjoy hunting, fishing, horseback riding, hiking, bicycling and wildlife viewing along the 3.5-mile trail around the impoundment. Camping is prohibited. Boat ramps located outside of the WMA provide access to the Oklawaha River.

view of Marhsall Swamp
credit - David Moynahan

Wildlife is abundant and includes alligators, turtles, deer, bobcats, foxes, turkeys and small game such as doves and squirrels. Watch for bald eagles in the winter, swallow-tailed kites in the spring and summer, and songbirds during spring and fall migration. Short-tailed hawks nest nearby along the Oklawaha River. A variety of wading birds utilize the impoundment year-round. Depending on water levels, wintering waterfowl may be plentiful.   

The area is open for public use year-round. There is no vehicle access, but visitors may enter from the parking area off Midway Road on the west side of the WMA or by boat from the Oklawaha River. Boat ramps are located outside the WMA, 2.5 miles to the north and eight miles to the south.

Dogs are permitted, but must be kept under physical restraint at all times. Regulations regarding hunting dogs can be found in the Hunting Regulations brochure.

Abide by all state safety regulations for an enjoyable visit.

Marshall Swamp is managed by DEP/OGT; the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission regulates hunting-related activities. For more information: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (352) 732-1225; Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Greenways and Trails (850) 245-2157.

Visit the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Greenways and Trails recreation information page.
View FWC's Hunting Regulations brochure for Marshall Swamp WMA for an area map, hunting seasons, permits, fees and area regulations.

View Waterfowl for waterfowl hunting seasons and regulations.

 



FWC Facts:
Ospreys, also known as "fish hawks," are expert anglers that like to hover above the water, locate their prey and then swoop down for the capture with talons extended.

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