Point Washington State Forest is a 15,000-acre forest which is home to more than ten miles of trails to challenge bikers, hikers and nature lovers. One of the most popular is the route from Eastern Lake to Cassine Garden, where visitors to Point Washington may spot an endangered red-cockaded woodpecker or a gopher tortoise, a species of special concern to environmentalists.
Access to Point Washington State Forest is available at 9 designated public entrance points (see map). Vehicular travel is allowed throughout the forest on open forest roads. Please refrain from blocking any closed roads or fire breaks.
The majority of the area consists of: sandhill, basin swamps/Titi drains, wet flatwoods, wet prairie and cypress swamps. Although much of Point Washington State Forest has been cut over, there are some excellent examples of intact sandhill ecosystems. Point Washington State Forest has 10 natural communities that can be found throughout the forest.
Several plants and animals that are listed as threatened, endangered or species of special concern exist on the Point Washington State Forest. Some of these rare species include: gopher tortoise, flatwoods salamander, white-topped pitcher plant (Sarracenia leucophylla) and the world's largest population of Curtiss sandgrass (Calamovilfa curtissii).
Point Washington State Forest is available to the public for various types of natural-resource based outdoor recreation. The forest is widely used for hunting, off-road bicycling and hiking. Point Washington State Forest is part of the Point Washington Wildlife Management Area. The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission regulates the hunting seasons and game limits on the forest.
Point Washington State Forest contains one of the hiking trails (Eastern Lake Bike/Hike Trail) that is included in the Florida Division of Forestry's Trailwalker Program. Information on this hiking program can be obtained by a link to the Trailwalker web site, from the trail kiosk at the parking area or by contacting the Florida Division of Forestry. The Eastern Lake Trail System was the first trail established on the forest. This trail system consists of 3 double track loop trails. The hiker or bicyclist can travel the 3.5, 5 or 10 mile loop. Access to the trail system is located at the parking lot and trail head on Scenic Highway 395, about a mile south of US highway 98. Map of Eastern Lake trail .pdf
In addition, a green way trail system that crosses the forest is being developed. This trail will provide connections to Grayton Beach State Park, Deer Lake State Park, Topsail Hill State Preserve, Butler Elementary School and numerous residential developments. Upon completion, this trail system will provide over 27 miles of trails for recreational use. No overnight camping is currently permitted on the forest. There is camping available at both the Grayton Beach State Park and the Topsail Hill State Preserve RV Park. These areas are located adjacent to the forest.
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