APALACHICOLA NATIONAL FOREST
APALACHICOLA NATIONAL FOREST
325 John Knox Rd
Tallahassee, Florida 32303
The Apalachicola National Forest offers water-based recreation such as boating and fishing along the Ochlockonee and Apalachicola Rivers, and swimming in the numerous lakes. Trails and roads accommodate hiking, mountain bike riding, horseback riding, and off road ATV and motorcycle riding. Primitive camping is allowed throughout the Forest; fee campsites provide restrooms and water, picnic tables and fire rings. Hunting for deer is the dominant activity in December and January. Off the beaten path, this Forest offers opportunities for solitude and reflection.
The fee areas on the Apalachicola National Forest are under the authority of the Recreation Fee Demonstration Program. This program allows 95% of the fees collected to remain on the Forest for use in maintaining or improving the site where it was collected. Fee payment is self-service, but is required and will be enforced.
Some recreational activities require a pass or permit. Please see Passes & Permits for more information. Check with your local Forest Service office for any special regulations that may be in effect, such as a seasonal fire ban.
Camping can be enjoyed during all seasons on the Apalachicola National Forest, although summer camping would be without air conditioning. None of the campgrounds have hook ups and generators may not be run after 10pm. Be aware that at certain times of the year, due to high fire danger, open fires may not allowed. Visitors may stay a maximum of 14 days within a 30-day period, in one location, except during hunting season. Campsites are available on a first come, first served basis; there are no reservations. Pets are allowed, but must be restrained or on a leash.
The Apalachicola National Forest has developed and dispersed camping opportunities. Only developed campgrounds have fees. There are no group campgrounds or cabins on the Apalachicola National Forest.
There are many places to access water on the Apalachicola National Forest. They range from easily accessible concrete ramps to narrow dirt clearings. There are some free and some fee boat ramps.
The rivers on the Apalachicola National Forest are best suited to small boats with and without motors. The lakes are limited to small boats with electric trolling motors, and non-motorized boats, such as canoes and kayaks. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) regulates water vessels and should be consulted for safety requirements, registration, and other regulations. Be considerate of those who come after you. Carry out your trash. Please leave flowers and cypress knees for others to enjoy.
For canoers and kayakers, there is no whitewater here. Rivers are kept in their natural condition. Each has its own characteristics. You can usually cover 2.5 miles per hour including periodic rest stops. In rivers with obstructions, you may only move 1.5 miles per hour. You may have to duck under low hanging tree branches or lift the canoe over partly submerged logs.
Private canoe and kayak rentals are available in Tallahassee, Woodville, Sopchoppy, and along the Wakulla River outside the Forest.
Apalachicola National Forest is located near Tallahassee
Bicycles are welcome on public roads in the Forest, and on the designated mountain bike trail at Munson Hills in Leon County. The public roads are flat, but may be deep sand. Public parking for Munson Hills Trail is available at the St. Marks Bicycle Trailhead on Woodville Highway, just south of Capital Circle. The mountain bike trail is on sandy soil with gently rolling slopes through narrow pine trees. The trail is marked by blue blazes and divided into two loops: an 8-mile loop and a 5-mile loop. A bike rack, water fountain, and restrooms are available near the trail entrance. There are no fees.
The Apalachicola National Forest has approximately 85 miles of designated hiking trails, although hikers are welcome anywhere in the Forest. Pets are allowed, but must be restrained or on a leash.
Sixty four miles of the statewide Florida National Scenic Trail (FNST) (click here for brochure) wind through the diverse ecosystems of the Apalachicola National Forest. The 18 miles through the Bradwell Bay Wilderness Area (swamp) is considered one of the most challenging sections. Numerous trailheads provide access to the trail. The trail is marked with orange blazes. The path is predominantly shaded through flat to rolling terrain. Hikers may camp while backpacking as long as campsites are at least 200 feet from the trail. Backpackers do not need a permit, do not need to check in and there is no fee. Please let your family and friends know your hiking plans, as the Forest Service does not keep track of Forest users. Click to view the Florida Trail Association (hikers) website.
The Georgia, Florida and Alabama Trail (GF&A) may be open for use next year. Approximately six miles in Leon County are being constructed at this time. This trail will be a flat, wide, paved trail open to bicycles, skaters, and pedestrians.
Six interpretive trails have been created on the Apalachicola National Forest. These trails are: Camel Lake (1 mile), Fort Gadsden (1/2 mile), Leon Sinks (5 miles), Silver Lake (1 mile), Trail of Lakes (9 miles), and Wright Lake (5 miles). Camel Lake in Liberty County is marked with blue blazes and is one loop. Fort Gadsden in Franklin County is marked with blue blazes and is one loop. Leon Sinks in Leon County has two loops and has blue, green, and white blazes on different sections. Silver Lake in Leon County is marked with blue blazes and is a single loop. The Trail of Lakes in Liberty County is marked with blue blazes and is a single loop. Wright Lake in Franklin County is marked with blue and white blazes on different sections, but is a single loop.
Horseback Riding Trails
The Apalachicola National Forest has one designated horse trail in Leon County, although horse riders are welcome almost anywhere in the Forest (including on public roads). Horses are not allowed on the Florida National Scenic Trail (hiking only) or in developed recreation areas. There are few designated trailheads, so many individuals choose to park alongside a Forest road near where they want to ride. As long as vehicles do not obstruct traffic or destroy natural resources, this is permitted. Camping with horses in the general Forest area is allowed. Horses are also allowed in the primitive hunt camps (no amenities), although cleaning up after the horses is expected and appreciated. There are no fees for horseback riding.
The Vinzant Horse Trail in Leon County, is the only designated horse trail on the Forest. The trail has 2 loops (which overlap): an 11-mile loop and a 23-mile loop. The trail is marked with white, blue, and yellow blazes on different sections. The trailhead (a mowed field with no amenities) is located near the intersection of Forest Road 342 and State Route 267.
BBs / Inns
Our historic inn is located in historic Saint Marks, one of the oldest settlements in North America. First settled in 1527, Saint Marks is a historic little city at the confluence of the Wakulla and St. Marks Rivers. Surrounded by the natural beauty of the Saint Marks National Wildlife Refuge, it is located just 20 miles south of Tallahassee.
27.9 miles from park*