Tate's Hell Wildlife Management Area
Managed in cooperation with the Florida Forest Service.
Tate's Hell Wildlife Management Area (WMA) extends over more than 187,700 acres in Franklin and Liberty counties near Carrabelle. It is bordered by Highway 98 on the south and Apalachicola National Forest to the north and west. The wildlife management area is part of the close to 200,000-acre Tate's Hell State Forest. In the 1960s and 1970s, the previous owners developed this area as a commercial forest, digging drainage ditches and building roads that significantly altered the hydrology of the forest. In the early 1990s, the state began purchasing the land to protect Apalachicola Bay. Since then, the Florida Forest Service has control burned most of the pinelands, re-established the native longleaf pine over a major portion of the forest, and worked to restore large areas of grassy savannahs. Several stands of the distinctive "dwarf" cypress exist on the forest. Visit the Ralph G. Kendrick Dwarf Cypress Boardwalk to observe these unusual trees.
To reach a viewing tower, from US Highway 98, go north on US Highway 65 for 5.5 miles, turn right onto North Road go 1.7 miles then turn right on Dry Bridge Road. The boardwalk will be on your right, 2.7 miles down Dry Bridge Road. The High Bluff Coastal Hiking Trail may be accessed off of US Highway 98, four miles west of Carrabelle. Tate's Hell is home to many wildlife species including a large population of Florida black bears, bald eagles and red-cockaded woodpeckers.
Add your bird observations to the following Tate's Hell State Forest eBird Hotspots:
The terrain is wet and boggy, and many roads require four-wheel-drive vehicles. Biking and horseback riding are allowed on any open road in the forest unless posted otherwise. Children under the age of 16 are required to wear a helmet when horseback riding on public lands. All horseback riders must have proof of current negative Coggins Test results for their horses when on state lands.
Camping is permitted only at designated campsites by permit from the Florida Forest Service (850-697-3734). The New River, Crooked River, and Whiskey George Creek offer boating, fishing and paddling opportunities. This area is a site on the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail.
For more information on hunting, see FWC's regulations summary brochure.