Aucilla Wildlife Management Area
The Aucilla Wildlife Management Area covers 50,471 acres in the area between and around the Aucilla and Wacissa rivers. The Aucilla River originates from artesian springs in southern georgia and becomes a blackwater stream as it twists its way through Florida to the Gulf of Mexico. Portions of the river flow underground through the limestone karst topography in northern Florida. The Wacissa River is formed from the runoff of 12 different springs, and it eventually becomes a tributary of the Aucilla about 6 miles before they flow into the Gulf.

Hunting is allowed in various parts of the Aucilla Wildlife Management Area during a number of seasons of the year. If you plan to hike or kayak in the area, be sure to check the most recent hunting season information. If you will be visiting the area during hunting season, be sure to wear a safety orange vest. Motorized vehicles (including motorcycles) must stay on the marked roads. ATV's are not permitted in the area.

The Florida National Scenic Trail ("Florida Trail" for short) winds for about 20 miles through the southern portion of the area downstream from where the Aucilla and Wacissa Rivers merge, then follows the Aucilla River to the north. Along the path of the Florida Trail, you pass the "Aucilla Sinks" area where the river alternately flows underground, then on the surface, only to disappear underground again a number of times.

In addition to the Florida Trail, there are a number of other hiking possiblities in the Aucilla Wildlife Management Area, Bicycling is also possible along the forest roads and tram trails. Horseback riding is permitted along the forest roads, but there are currently no facilities for parking trailers or for equestrian camping. Tent camping is allowed at three sites along the Florida Trail, as well as at the Goose Pasture Recreation Area within the Aucilla Wildlife Managment Area.

There are quite a few ways to access the Aucilla Wildlife Management Area. However, many of the access points are forest roads that are gated so that only pedestrians or bicyclists may pass. If one has to pick a primary entry point, it would be the intersection of US highway 98 and Western Slough Road in the southern portion of the area. On the northern side, there is ungated vehicular access where Grade 25 Road meets highway 59. On the east side, the best access to the Aucillla Sinks area is via Goose Pasture Road, which runs west from highway 14.

The Wacissa River, with its clear spring-fed waters, is a state-designated canoe trail, and is a popular paddle destination.  One of the best kayak/canoe trips covers 14 miles beginning at the head springs one mile south of the town of Wacissa, and continuing downstream to Nuttall Rise, where the Wacissa joins with the Aucilla River. Along the way you will pass along the "slave canal" - a historical man-made connector between the Wacissa and Aucilla Rivers, downstream from the Aucilla Sinks. Dug by slaves in the 1800's, it allowed the transport of cotton by barge down the Wacissa River to the Gulf of Mexico.

The Aucilla River is also a state-designated canoe trail. The trail begins a mile south of Lamont on highway 19, and continues 19 miles to a point where the river disappears underground. The river then flows through a series of deep sinks until it finally appears on the surface again for the last time at Nuttall Rise.
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