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Arbuckle Wildlife Management Area


Managed in cooperation with the Florida Forest Service.

Arbuckle Wildlife Management Area (WMA) consists of 13,530 acres east of Avon Park in Polk County, five miles south of Frostproof. Part of the Lake Wales Ridge State Forest, this area was purchased to protect numerous rare and endangered plants and animals. Arbuckle occupies a high ridge of ancient sand dunes and contains fast-disappearing pine and oak scrub, a habitat that is home to Florida scrub-jays and gopher tortoises. Other plant communities found here include pine flatwoods, sandhill, and bottomland hardwoods along streams and creeks. Lake Arbuckle adjoins the area, and fishing and canoeing may be enjoyed on the lake year-round. Arbuckle WMA is a Great Florida Birding Trail site. Short-tailed hawks may be observed on the Paula Dockery Trail, and at Lake Arbuckle visitors will see wading birds, bald eagleslimpkins and ospreys. Add your bird observations to the Lake Wales Ridge State Forest: Arbuckle Tract eBird Hotspot.

  • On the area is a 0.8-mile nature trail, as well as a segment of the Florida Trail.
  • For information on hunting at this WMA, see FWC’s regulations summary brochure.
  • Camping is permitted at designated sites. Camping reservations can be made through Reserve America. Hunt camp campsites do not require a reservation. Fees are required for all campsites on the WMA. For more information, call the Lake Wales Ridge State Forest at 863-589-0545 or visit the Lake Wales Ridge State Forest web page.
  • Horseback riding is allowed most of the year on horse trails and certain roads within the WMA. For information on when and where horseback riding is allowed, see the “Public Access and Vehicles” section of FWC’s regulations summary brochure for Arbuckle WMA. Children under the age of 16 are required to wear a helmet when horseback riding on public lands. For more detailed information, read Nicole's Law. All horseback riders must have proof of current negative Coggins Test results for their horses when on state lands.

Rules Regarding Dogs

Dogs are allowed on Arbuckle WMA, with certain limitations. For rules regarding dogs, including hunting with dogs, see FWC’s regulations summary brochure.

More Information

View FWC's regulations summary brochure for Arbuckle WMA for an area map, hunting seasons, permits, fees and area regulations.