Tosohatchee - Things To Do
Plan to spend more than one day at this large and diverse site, offering a full range of recreation.
Enjoy high quality hunts with a limited number of hunters during quota hunt seasons that run from September to March. The area boasts excellent hog hunting and good opportunities for deer and turkey. A hunting license, Wildlife Management Area Permit, and a quota hunt permit are required. Check the regulations summary and hunt calendar before you visit.
Fishing is permitted throughout the area. Popular spots include bank fishing on the St. Johns River or along numerous canals and creeks. Two man-made fishing lakes (Lake Charlie and Peek-a-boo Pond) are located off Long Bluff Road. Anglers regularly catch Florida largemouth bass, bluegill, black crappie and sunfish. Lake Charlie has a fishing platform and covered picnic pavilion. Carry appropriate licenses and permits.
Tosohatchee WMA is an excellent place to view wildlife year-round and is a site on the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. Wading birds of all types --ibis, herons, egrets, wood storks, limpkins, rails, ducks and gallinules-- are common. Watch for ospreys and eagles, as well as kestrels, turkeys, white-tailed deer and alligators. You may request a copy or download or print the Tosohatchee Bird List . Visit the Wildlife page for more information about the area's wildlife.
Hiking options in Tosohatchee include overnight hikes along the Florida National Scenic Trail with camping at one backcountry site, or one of several day hikes along the network of trails and unpaved roads. Shorter spur trails lead to notable natural features such as a virgin bald cypress stand in James Creek Swamp. Carry a map and compass to navigate intersecting roads and trails. Wear blaze orange if you hike during hunts. Notify the Tosohatchee office before hiking into the WMA from either the north or south ends. The address is: 3365 Taylor Creek Rd, Christmas, FL 32709, or phone (407) 568-5893. View a trail map.
A wide variety of common and rare plants grow in Tosohatchee’s diverse habitats. Bromeliads and orchids cover tree trunks and limbs, ferns carpet the hammocks and wildflowers such as spring-blooming irises add swaths of color to the landscape. Rare hand ferns, cutthroat grass, pitcher plants and a pocket of old-growth cypress trees find protection here.
Bicycling & Horseback Riding
Bicyclists will find that the system of unpaved roads offers good travel conditions with great scenery and abundant wildlife. Horses are permitted on named and numbered roads and designated trails only; horses are prohibited during hunting seasons. A scenic equestrian route is marked on the Tosoahatchee Recreation Guide, available at the entrance. A primitive equestrian campground is located off St. Nicholas Road. Park horse trailers in designated area nearby.
Primitive camping facilities include an equestrian camp, a group camp and a campsite located along the Florida National Scenic Trail within the WMA. Reservations must be made in advance by calling the WMA office at (407) 568-5893. See Daily-Use permit information. Car and RV camping are not available. During established hunting seasons, camping is permitted only to through-hikers at the campsite along the Florida National Scenic Trail.
Canoes, kayaks and small boats can be hand-launched in Lake Charlie and Peek-a-boo Pond; No improved boat ramps are provided on the WMA. Only trolling motors or paddle craft are permitted.
Following orange blazes, visitors can traverse approximately 12 miles of the Florida National Scenic Trail.
The majority of the unpaved roads can be driven in a two-wheel-drive vehicle. When roads are too wet or sandy, they are closed to vehicular traffic. The roads traverse a lovely tapestry of natural communities, creating ample opportunity to observe wildlife, wildflowers, lush cabbage palm hammocks and extensive stretches of freshwater marshes. See vehicle use regulations.