Babcock/Webb - Things to Do
Discover and explore this diverse area and its wealth of recreational opportunities.
The area is popular with hunters from all over south Florida; peak use is the first two weeks of November during the general gun season quota hunt. The area’s deer and northern bobwhite populations are on the rise due to careful habitat management. Northern bobwhite, a subject of considerable research here, are hunted across the majority of the area by obtaining first-come, first-served daily quail quota permits. Non-exempt hunters must apply for and possess a quota permit to hunt during archery and general gun hunting seasons. Other hunting seasons on Babcock/Webb include small game, quail, and raccoon/opossum seasons – please familiarize yourself with each season’s unique rules and regulations by reviewing the Babcock/Webb WMA regulations summary brochure. Quota hunt permits are required for dove hunts and wild hog management hunts held on the 885-acre Punta Gorda Water Treatment Facility site. Refer to the Punta Gorda Water Treatment Facility Public Small Game Hunting Area brochure for more information. Hunting is also available on the nearby Yucca-Pens Unit. For more information, visit the Planning Your Visit page for links to the regulations summary brochures and maps for Babcock/Webb and the Yucca Pens Unit, as well as the hunt calendars for both areas.
Fish from the pier or banks at 395-acre Webb Lake for largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, speckled perch and channel catfish. Bluegill eight inches or longer are common and they occasionally exceed 10 inches in length. Check on-site for specific size and bag limits for all species. Three boat ramps provide access for canoes, kayaks and boats; gasoline-powered motors are not allowed. Marl ponds 1, 2 and 3 provide excellent opportunities for bank fishing. Carry appropriate licenses and permits.
A birding hot spot in southwest Florida, this WMA is home to numerous resident as well as migratory birds. Red-cockaded woodpeckers, northern bobwhite, eastern cottontail rabbits, gray squirrels, raccoons, white-tailed deer and wild hogs are common inhabitants of the flatwoods. This area is part of the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. Visit the Wildlife page for more information about the area's wildlife.
Hiking and Biking
Experience Babcock/Webb at your own pace along thirty-seven miles of mostly unpaved roads. Two hiking trails, Flag Pond Loop (1.13 miles) and Cowhunter Trail (1.41 miles), pass ponds and marshes where alligators and wading birds are common. Note that roads and trails may be soggy during rainy seasons.
Primitive sites are available at the Webb Lake campground (see map) during hunting seasons. Check the Planning Your Visit page for dates. During the remainder of the year, camping is allowed each weekend from 5 p.m. Friday to 9 p.m. Sunday, and on Memorial Day, Independence Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Labor Day. Camping is prohibited on the Yucca Pens Unit. All campers must obtain a free permit/site reservation using the online reservation system.
Follow in the footsteps of the cracker cowboys by exploring the area on horseback. The network of named and numbered roads is open year-round to equestrians and spans a variety of scenic habitats. A site for organized groups/clubs is located at the Field Trial Area. Picnic shelters, grills, restrooms and horse stables may be reserved by calling the area office at (863) 648-3200.
The range, which was built in 1964, offers supervised rifle and handgun ranges as well as three single-station, self-throw shotgun pads, providing target shooting enthusiasts a place to gain skills and knowledge for safe, responsible firearms handling and target shooting. The range has a 5-position 100/200-yard rifle range, 10-position 25/50/100-yard rifle range, 12-position 7.5/15/25/50-yard small bore rifle/handgun range, and 3 single-station, self-throw shotgun pads. The range is open during daylight hours only. Check the Cecil M. Webb Shooting Range page for more information.
Paddling and Boating
Explore the nooks and crannies of Webb Lake for a good spot to cast a line or enjoy the many wading birds along its shores. Three boat ramps provide access for canoes, kayaks and boats; gasoline-powered motors are not allowed.
While there is no formal driving tour, motorists may travel along the unpaved roads, which pass through a variety of natural communities and offer opportunities to observe wildlife, wildflowers, butterflies and much more. Follow posted signs and stay on the named and numbered roads. For information about off-road vehicle (ORV) use on this WMA, see the Babcock/Webb ORV page.