Charles H. Bronson Wildlife Management Area
Bordering the St. Johns River and straddling Seminole and Orange counties, the Charles H. Bronson WMA occupies 11,672 acres within the Charles H. Bronson State Forest, adjacent to and south of the Little Big Econ State Forest. It is part of a network of public lands along the St. Johns River that creates a significant conservation and recreation corridor. Opened to the public in 2011, the area is named for Charles H. Bronson, a former Florida Commissioner of Agriculture.
Hydric hammock, floodplain swamp, mesic and wet flatwoods, and improved pasture are the area’s primary habitats, though many other plant communities are represented here. The most notable feature is the St. Johns River on the eastern boundary. Scenic creeks wind through the property on their way to the St. Johns River. The Florida Forest Service manages the area using a combination of timber harvesting, reforestation, groundcover and hydrological restoration, and nonnative invasive species eradication. Regular controlled burns improve conditions for vegetation and wildlife. Cattle graze on portions of the area. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission administers hunting related activities. Wildlife is abundant and includes deer, turkeys, gopher tortoises, eastern indigo snakes, Sherman’s fox squirrels, swallow-tailed kites, sandhill cranes, nesting bald eagles and wood storks, roseate spoonbills, limpkins and a variety of wading birds.
Visitors can enjoy hunting, horseback riding, hiking, and wildlife viewing. Camping is allowed by permit only from the Florida Forest Service. A 40-mile network of unpaved roads, as well as designated hiking and horse trails, provide short and long distance trail options. Some trail systems connect with trails in adjoining natural areas, creating additional opportunities. The Florida National Scenic Trail (FNST) traverses more than seven miles of the forest.
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.
The forest is open for public use year-round. The Florida Forest Service charges a daily use fee; hunters are exempt during scheduled hunts and scouting days. For fees and camping permits, call (407) 971-3500. Roads are closed to vehicles except during hunting periods when hunt participants may operate vehicles. There are two designated entrances: the northern entrance is at the eastern end of Curryville Road in Seminole County (park at the Chulota Wilderness Area during non-hunting periods); the southern entrance and trailhead is at the north end of Phillips Road in Orange County.
- Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, (352) 732-1225; Florida Forest Service (407) 971-3500.
- Visit the Florida Forest Service recreation information page.
- View FWC's Hunting Regulations brochure for Charles H. Bronson WMA for an area map, hunting seasons, permits, fees and area regulations.