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Eglin Air Force Base Wildlife Management Area

red cockaded woodpecker

Managed in cooperation with the U.S. Air Force

Eglin AFB covers 464,000 acres in Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, and Walton counties. An Eglin permit is required to access the 250,000 acres of the Eglin reservation conditionally open to public recreation. Outdoor recreation permits and a comprehensive map and regulation summary are available from the Natural Resources Branch office (commonly known as Jackson Guard) located at 107 Hwy 85 North, in Niceville. All or portions of the Eglin reservation are subject to closure during military testing/training operations.  If you want to bring a dog onto the area, check with the Natural Resources Branch office.

In addition to meeting permit requirements, all individuals are required to review the Public Access Map (PAM) located on the Eglin Force Support Squadron website prior to entering the Eglin AFB reservation for recreational purposes. The PAM is a graphical representation of daily or short term public access restrictions in support of military operations. Compliance with this instruction is mandatory. Increased scope and complexity of military operations is requiring more frequent short term, or daily closures. Jackson Guard has developed the PAM to inform the public via the internet of short term closure of otherwise open recreational areas. The PAM is based on the newly created alpha numeric Tactical Training Area (TTA) grid and graphically displays the current day's closure information and provides a 3-day forecast. The PAM is automatically updated daily at 5 p.m. The PAM is intended for recreational access planning purposes and is subject to change. Gates, barricades and/or range personnel will prohibit access in the event unscheduled missions require immediate closure of public accessible areas. Individuals found to be in violation of this guidance are subject to Eglin outdoor recreation privilege suspension.

Eglin has many outstanding natural features and bountiful outdoor recreational opportunities. Popular activities include: excellent deer, turkey and feral hog hunting; mobility impaired and youth Special Opportunity Hunts; fishing Eglin's 21 ponds; primitive camping; canoeing scenic waters; mountain biking in the Timberlake Recreation Area; and hiking the Florida National Scenic Trail. Eglin AFB is also home to more than 106 rare or listed plant species and animal species, 63 of which are considered globally rare. Included in this list is the threatened Okaloosa darter, which is found in only six creek systems in the central portion of the air force base.

Eglin has the largest contiguous acreage of old-growth longleaf pine in the world and the fourth largest red-cockaded woodpecker population. This area is a site on the Great Florida Birding Trail offering both inland and barrier island birding opportunities. The Anderson Pond Recreation Area is open to the public year-round. Just off Highway 85, 3 miles north of Niceville, this area has an elevated boardwalk, a picnic shelter, a pier, and camping area. All the facilities are handicapped accessible. For specific information regarding outdoor recreational opportunities on Eglin AFB contact the Natural Resources Branch at (850) 882-4164, 4165 or 4166.

Add your bird observations to the following eBird Hotspots:

Eglin Air Force Base - Training Area F-22

Eglin Air Force Base - Indigo Pond

More Information

  • Visit Eglin's website for more information on fishing, hunting, and other outdoor recreation activities on Eglin's Reservation.