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Seminole Forest Wildlife Management Area

Seminole Forest Black Water Creek

Managed in cooperation with the Florida Forest Service.

Seminole Forest Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is located in northeastern Lake County. Its more than 12,000 acres are part of a vast network of public lands that protect thousands of acres of streams, springs, sand pine scrub, swamps and pine flatwoods associated with the Wekiva and St. Johns rivers. Blackwater Creek flows through the forest into the Wekiva River, which forms the area's eastern boundary.

The rare hooded pitcher plant, Florida hasteola and Florida willow grow here. Scrub-jays, black bears, white-tailed deer, sandhill cranes, wild turkey, alligators, turtles, eastern indigo snake and otters are found on the area. Seminole State Forest is part of the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. Swallow-tailed kites are abundant in the spring and summer.

Add your bird observations to the Seminole Forest WMA eBird Hotspot.

Bear Pond, a 13-acre former borrow pit, has been stocked with numerous game fish and is a good place to observe wading birds. Fishing is permitted throughout the year. The use of boats is prohibited on Bear and Oaks ponds. A quota hunt permit is required to hunt on this area.

Hikers can choose from 21 miles of trails, including a 7.5-mile segment of the Florida National Scenic Trail. The Sulphur Island Loop Trail is a good place to see indigo buntings, vireos, and warblers. The forest may also be explored by bicycle, horseback, or canoe.  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. A picnic table is located at the canoe launch.

Camping is prohibited during hunting seasons, except hikers may camp at designated primitive campsites along the Florida Trail throughout the year. During non-hunting periods, camping is allowed. For more information, see the Florida Forest Service's Seminole State Forest web page or call (352) 360-6675.

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 codes. 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.
  • For regulations regarding hunting dogs, see FWC's regulations summary brochure.

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