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Allapattah Flats Wildlife Management Area

Allapattah Flats

Fifteen miles west of Stuart on Florida's east coast, Allapattah Flats Wildlife Management Area (WMA) protects 20,945 acres of marshes and slash pine flatwoods. The WMA includes part of the marshes and flatwoods that once extended from the upper St. Johns River basin to the headwaters of the St. Lucie River. Surface water from Allapattah Flats eventually flows into the Indian River Lagoon. The area provides public recreational opportunities while protecting habitat for rare animals, particularly sandhill cranes, wood storks and crested caracaras, and game animals such as white-tailed deer and wild turkey. Wading birds frequent the wetlands.

Add your bird observations to the following Allapattah Flats WMA eBird Hotspots:

Management

Martin County and the South Florida Water Management District jointly own Allapattah Flats. To prepare the property for cattle and crop production, previous landowners constructed swales and ditches to drain the site's wetlands and channel the water to the C-23 Canal. Today, the South Florida Water Management District is restoring natural water flow on the site by filling in some of these manmade waterways and installing water control structures on others. Also, they are constructing berms to protect adjacent waterways and are planting pines in some areas to reestablish uplands. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) partners with the South Florida Water Management District and Martin County to manage public use and wildlife.

Access

The area is open to public access year-round. Recreational opportunities include hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, primitive camping, hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing.

Camping

Camping is allowed only at the designated campsite and only by Special Use License from the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), which can be applied for at the SFWMD's Special Use License web page. To receive an Special Use License by U.S. Mail, contact the SFWMD at 866-433-6312.

For camping regulations, view FWC's regulations brochure for Allapattah Flats Wildlife Management Area.

Hunting

Between September and March, high-quality quota hunts take place on limited days. They include seasons for archery, muzzleloading gun, family hunt, general gun and spring turkey. A quota is not required during the small game season, which runs from mid-November through the first Sunday in January. Special-opportunity dove hunts take place October through January. Special opportunity permits are required.

For more information, see FWC’s regulations brochures for Allapattah Flats Wildlife Management Area and Allapattah Flats Dove Field Public Small Game Hunting Area. For information about dove hunting season dates, bag limits, dove fields and limited entry dove hunt permits, visit FWC’s dove hunting web page.

Fishing

Fishing is permitted year-round. A Florida fishing license is required and can be purchased at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com.

Hiking/Bicycling/Horseback Riding

Visitors may hike or bike on the five-mile-long trail system leading to an open marsh popular with wading birds. There are separate trails for equestrians as well as a 150-acre riding area. 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. All horseback riders must have proof of current negative Coggins Test results for their horses when on state lands.

There are three parking areas for horse trailers:

  • on the east side of Fox Brown Road at the equestrian trail head
  • on the south side of Martin Highway (CR 714) at the equestrian riding area
  • on the east side of Allapattah Road (CR 609) at the C-23 canal, which provides access to the trail along the C-23 canal levee (this trail is adjacent to but not on the area, it is a cooperative effort between Allapattah's landowners)

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.

Regulations regarding hunting dogs can be found in the regulations brochures for Allapattah Flats Wildlife Management Area and Allapattah Flats Dove Field Public Small Game Hunting Area.

More Information

For an area map, hunting seasons, permits, fees and area regulations, view FWC's regulations brochures for Allapattah Flats Wildlife Management Area and Allapattah Flats Dove Field Public Small Game Hunting Area.