Encompassing 632,890 acres, Apalachicola National Forest is the largest national
forest in Florida. It covers portions of Wakulla, Leon, Liberty and Franklin
counties. The forest includes the Bradwell Bay Wilderness Area and the Mud Swamp
/ New River Wilderness Area. If you enjoy camping and being outdoors, you could
easily spend your entire vacation exploring this area.
Hikers will enjoy dozens of well marked trails suitable for day-hikes or
backpacking. Many of the trails allow you to explore interesting natural or
geological features of the area, or historically significant sites. Long
distance hikers will enjoy 74 miles of Florida National Scenic Trail that winds
through the park from Sopchoppy to county road 12 south of Bristol. This section
of the Florida Trail includes some of the most rugged places to hike in the
State of Florida on its route through the Bradwell Bay Wilderness. See the link
to the US Forest Service website below for detailed descriptions of all the
hiking trails, as well as maps.
While bicycles are not allowed on the hiking
trails, there is a 21 mile long off-road trail for bikers, as well as several
paved trails that extend through the forest. Bikes are also allowed on the
forest roads and ATV trails. There are 56 miles of general ATV trails in the
Munson Sandhill area west of Tallahassee. Plus the northeast portion of the
forest can be explored on a trail system dedicated for motorcycle use.
Numerous camping facilities are provided throughout the forest and along the
Apalachicola River. Backwoods hunt camps and river landings are available for
people interested in primitive camping. Campgrounds are also provided for tent
campers and RV's - some with full electric hookups, dump stations, and
Motorboating is allowed at numerous areas within Apalachicola National Forest,
including the Apalachicola River, Camel Lake, Wright Lake, and the Ochlockonee
River. Concrete boat ramps are available at various spots along the rivers.
Kayaks and canoes may be launched at any of the facilities available for
motorized craft, and at a number of additional areas along the major rivers and
their tributaries. The small streams probably offer the most enjoyable paddling
- but they are left in their natural state. So you may encounter logs or fallen
trees that require portages.
Apalachicola National Forest includes a number of special interest areas you
might want to explore. The Leon Sinks geological area contains 5 miles of hiking
trails leading to a series of sinkholes and other karst terrain features. You'll
also want to see the Prospect Bluff historic sites ... home to two successive
forts dating from the War of 1812. Information kiosks and signage lead you
through the site of both forts and a cemetery where victims from a battle held
in 1816 are buried.
Since the Apalachicola National Forest is such a large diverse place with
numerous points of interest and recreational areas, it is impossible to pinpoint
a place on the map as a navigational destination for the entire area. The
location we have chosen for our map is the Leon Sinks Geological Area. That will
at least get you started. Check the map link below for other spots you find of