Wildlife Management Areas come in two types. There are WMAs that are public lands held in trust by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, on which hunting is seasonally permitted. These WMAs tend to have additional recreational features such as multi-use trails, camping areas, boat ramps, and interpretive nature trails. During hunting seasons – especially general gun season in the fall – since these lands are set aside for that purpose it’s best to leave these areas to the hunters until the season is over. Hunting seasons can be as short as a weekend or two, or several weeks long.
There are also public lands on which a WMA status is added, such as the Ocala WMA on top of the Ocala National Forest. What this means is that FWC manages the hunting on that public land, but has no say in how recreation is otherwise managed. Here, it’s more of a personal preference whether you wish to hike, bike, or paddle during posted hunting seasons. If you do, you must wear bright orange like the hunters do so as to be visible while you’re in the woods.
Featured Wildlife Management Area Destinations
Some of our more favorite outdoor recreation destinations on wildlife management areas in Florida. As explained above, these include both lands managed by FWC and public lands where hunting occurs and is managed by FWC.