Managed in cooperation with
U.S. Forest Service
Suwannee River Water Management District
St. Johns River Water Management District
Florida Forest Service

 

photo of camping at Ocean Pond
U.S. Forest Service

Osceola WMA covers much of northwestern Baker County and northeastern Columbia County. This more than 266,000-acre area is part of the Osceola National Forest. Over 21 miles of the National Scenic Trail loop through open pine flatwoods, sandhills, and cypress swamps. These natural communities provide habitat for the red-cockaded woodpecker, Florida black bear, eastern indigo snake, gopher tortoise, pileated woodpecker, bobcat, fox squirrel and many songbirds. The Forest also offers several other shorter interpretive trails. The West Tower camping area has horse stalls, leading to more than 50 miles of equestrian trails.  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. Ocean Pond Campground offers electric hookups at some sites and bathhouses with hot water showers. The lake is a popular spot to fish for largemouth and sunshine bass as well as for boating, sailing, swimming, and water skiing. During general gun season (generally the first week in November through the first week in January), camping is restricted to designated hunt campsites. Deer hunting is good, and turkey hunting is excellent. This area is a site on the Great Florida Birding Trail.

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 a season. Hunting deer and wild hog with dogs is allowed, but only in the dog hunt area. During the fox, raccoon, opossum and bobcat, deer-dog training and general gun seasons, the possession of dogs other than bird dogs and waterfowl retrievers is prohibited, except on roads adjacent to the dog hunt area, all land with the dog hunt area and Interstate 10; State Road 2; County Roads 125, 229, 250, 250A, Eddy Grade and Baxter Grade; and Forest Roads 231, 236 (west of the dog hunt area only), 237, 262, 263 and 285. Deer dogs may be trained from October 29 through November 7, from 1/2 hour before sunrise until 1/2 hour after sunset, in the dog hunt area only. Leashed or caged dogs may be kept at the East Tower hunt camp during general gun 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.



FWC Facts:
Barn owls in Florida breed from March through July and nest in secluded places like caves, barns, tree cavities and large birdhouses. They build no actual nest.

Learn More at AskFWC