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Watermelon Pond - Things to Do

Relaxing trails wind through more than 4,000 acres of pastures, pinelands and shady hammocks overlooking glittering ponds ringed with marsh grasses.


Credit: Tom Dunkerton

Watermelon Pond hosts archery and small game hunts. Quota permits are not required. Hunters must possess all appropriate licenses and permits. 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).

Hiking, Bicycling & Horseback Riding

couple hiking on trail in woods

Hikers, equestrians and off-road cyclists can explore loop trails for up to eight miles on the WEA. The trail system connects to the adjacent Goethe State Forest for an additional seven-mile loop. The two systems connect at a walk-through/ride-through entrance located north of the Goethe State Forest trailhead on CR 337. Bicycles and horses are restricted to designated trails or firebreaks. See the FWC Watermelon Pond Trail Map and visit the Goethe State Forest website for information on the state forest's trails.

Wildlife Viewing

Watermelon Pond viewing

Wildlife viewing is good year-round. Bachman’s sparrow, northern bobwhite, southeastern American kestrel, Sherman’s fox squirrel, gopher tortoise, eastern bluebird, sandhill crane and common yellowthroat can be seen here. Watermelon Pond and seasonal wetlands are home to a variety of wading birds. Visit the Wildlife page for more information about the area's wildlife.


picnic area

Covered picnic tables are located at the northern entrance on 250th Street. A picnic spot is also available on the Blue Heron Loop overlooking Horseshoe Pond.