Great scenery and abundant wildlife reward visitors to this north Florida gem.  Explore trails and enjoy excellent fishing, waterfowl and other hunting and wildlife viewing.




Joe Budd Pond is a 20-acre impoundment that is the focal point for the Joe Budd Aquatic Education Center. The pond is stocked with channel catfish, sunshine bass and native sunfish. Lake Talquin, an 8,850-acre impoundment adjacent to Joe Budd, is known for its crappie and bluegill fishing. Anglers may fish from the pier or from boats. Appropriate licenses and permits are required.  Check the calendar and regulations summary for the location of boat landings and access points for Lake Talquin, and for dates when the pond is open.

Hiking, Bicycling & Horseback Riding

The extensive network of roads and old logging trams provides ample opportunities for hiking, bicycling and horseback riding. The Wetland Nature Trail at the Joe Budd Aquatic Education Center meanders through a cypress swamp. Unpaved roads traverse a variety of natural communities and offer opportunities to observe wildlife and unique plants.



Opportunities for paddling are available on Lake Talquin and the Little River. Check the regulations summary for information about access from the WMA. During seasonal hunts, wear brightly-colored clothing. Avoid paddling during the first couple of hours of daylight to minimize disturbance to hunters.



Joe Budd is a small area with an abundant, well-balanced deer population that yields an excellent harvest. Weekend archery and muzzleloader hunts draw hunters from throughout the state. Joe Budd has a substantial population of gray squirrels, raccoons, and wild turkeys, and small populations of northern bobwhite quail, eastern cottontail rabbits and waterfowl. The resident population of mourning doves is moderate. Appropriate licenses and permits are required. Check the calendar and regulations summary for an area map, specific dates, and quota permit requirements.

Wildlife Viewing


Joe Budd has a variety of wildlife indigenous to the flatwoods and sandy upland areas of panhandle Florida. The combination fishing pier/wildlife observation platform at Lake Talquin is a Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail site and is an excellent spot to observe wading birds, osprey and perhaps bald eagles. You may request a copy or download or print the Joe Budd Bird List. Visit the Wildlife page for more information about the area's wildlife.


Photo Credit: Betsy Purdum

Camping is permitted only at the High Bluff Campground by permit from the Florida Forest Service. Check the Lake Talquin State Forest/Joe Budd Tract site for more information. Permits are available at a self-service pay station located at the campground.

FWC Facts:
Spring and summer are the best times to listen for the elusive 5-inch Bachman's sparrow. Their song begins with a loud, clear whistle followed by an extended trill.

Learn More at AskFWC