Apalachicola National Forest was created on May 13, 1936, and today encompasses a total area of 632,890 acres of land in four different counties (Wakulla, Liberty, Leon, and Franklin counties) in the state of Florida. The forest is managed by the U.S. Forest Service. Areas of interest close to the national forest include cities and towns like Bristol, Apalachicola, and Tallahassee.
The national forest can be accessed through several routes including FL 65, US 98 and US 319. Several attractions make the Apalachicola National Forest stand out in its immediate region. First, this protected forest is the largest U.S. National Forest in the state of Florida and is at the same time the only national forest in the Florida Panhandle.
Additionally, there are both geological and historical attractions within the forest including the Leon Sinks Geological Area and the Fort Gadsden Historical Site. The forest land also includes two wilderness areas, Mud Swamp/New River Wilderness and Bradwell Bay Wilderness. The forest also includes several recreational areas like the Trout Pond Recreation Area, Wright Lake Recreation Area, and the Silver Lake Recreation Area.
Besides these attractions, recreational activities also attract visitors to the park. Some of these activities include hunting, camping, fishing, boating, mountain biking, canoeing, swimming, horseback riding, hiking, and ORV riding. Amenities available to facilitate these activities include trails (85 miles), dispersed camping, picnic sites, five campgrounds, boat ramps, swimming beaches, and a rifle range.
Visitors to the Apalachicola National Forest are allowed to bring their dogs along to enjoy the outdoors although some restrictions must be adhered to. For example, all dogs must be leashed at all times, and the dog’s leash must not be more than six feet in length. Additionally, If the dog is not leashed, then the dog should be kept in a secured enclosure. These rules are meant to protect everyone including visitors, wildlife, and habitat.