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Walk-In-The-Water Wildlife Management Area

Scrub Plum

Managed in cooperation with the Florida Forest Service.

Walk-in-the-Water WMA consists of over 6,000 acres on CR 630, two miles east of Frostproof in Polk County. The WMA is part of the Lake Wales Ridge State Forest. Purchased under Florida's Conservation and Recreation Lands program, Walk-in-the-Water protects fast-disappearing scrub and sandhill communities, which are home to many rare plants and animals. Pictured is the endangered scrub plum, one of the first scrub plants to bloom in the year, flowering in January or February before its leaves open. The trail leading from the entrance at King Trail Gate is a good place to see Florida scrub-jays, and some visitors may be fortunate enough to see short-tailed hawks. The area is part of the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail.

  • Access to this area is by foot only. Parking is available at most trailhead locations around the perimeter of the tract. There are no interior roads open for vehicular use.
  • This area contains two hiking trails that include Big Bay Trail and Scrub Jay Trail. Both may be accessed from trail heads with parking areas off of County Road 630 East. For more information on hiking trails, see the Lake Wales Ridge State Forest web page.
  • The Old Vero Beach Road entrance has a parking area and allows for access onto the east portions of WMA during hunt.
  • For information on hunting at this WMA, see FWC’s regulations summary brochure.
  • Camping is permitted at designated sites. Camping reservations can be made online through Reserve America. 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 certain roads and horse trails 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. 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 Walk-in-the-Water 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 Walk-in-the-Water WMA for an area map, hunting seasons, permits, fees and area regulations.