Aucilla - Things to Do
These wildlife-rich pine flatwoods and hardwood swamps surround portions of two meandering rivers with breathtaking springs and sinkholes. Enjoy hiking, bicycling and hunting in the uplands or swimming, snorkeling or paddling the area’s pristine waterways.
Camp along the Wacissa River at Goose Pasture campground, open on a first-come, first-served basis, with a special-use authorization (available at the self-service kiosk). Stays are limited to 10 days and are not allowed during the Aucilla WMA general gun season. Primitive camping (tents only) is allowed at designated sites along the Florida Trail only by permit from the Suwannee River Water Management District, (800) 226-1066 (good in Florida only) or (386) 362-1001.
Aucilla WMA surrounds portions of the Wacissa and Aucilla rivers, both state-designated paddling trails. The Wacissa, fed by twelve major springs, is a recreational hub for swimmers, snorkelers, boaters and anglers, and is perfect for beginning paddlers and families. The Aucilla River, with its many shallows and rock-filled shoals, offers more challenging paddling. Order a map guide for the Aucilla, Wacissa and Econfina rivers from the Wildlife Foundation of Florida.
The Western Sloughs are popular with squirrel and hog hunters. Turkey hunters can find good opportunities on some of the higher areas in the Western Sloughs and along the Aucilla River sinks. Deer are common throughout the area. Check the regulations summary brochure and hunt calendar before you visit.
If you see a sick or abnormally thin deer or deer dead of unknown causes, please report its location to the CWD hotline, (866) CWD-WATCH (293-9282).
Enjoy bank fishing in the Western Sloughs, or combine hiking with fishing in numerous sinkholes and river rises along the trail system. The Wacissa River offers many angling opportunities for largemouth bass, Suwannee bass and various species of bream. Carry appropriate licenses and permits.
The best way to see wildlife is by canoe or kayak early in the morning or evening or by walking quietly along the Aucilla Sinks Trail or the roads accessed from Highway 98. Wading birds, turtles, and alligators are a few of the species commonly spotted here. Aucilla is part of the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. Visit the Wildlife page for more details.
Hiking & Biking
Bicyclists and hikers can enjoy any roads in the area as well as seven miles of road within the Western Sloughs accessible from Highway 98. Segments of the Florida National Scenic Trail include the Aucilla Sinks Trail, which features numerous sinkholes and the Aucilla River Trail, which follows the east bank of the Aucilla River for 7.1 miles. Expect scenic views of high, steep banks and rocky outcrops. Download and print a trail map before you go!