Hickory Hammock Wildlife Management Area

Managed in cooperation with
South Florida Water Management District

 

Hickory Hammock WMA consists of nearly 4,000 acres in Highlands County and is bordered on the east by the Kissimmee River Public Use Area and on the south by the Istokpoga Canal. The entrance is on Highway 98, 8 miles past the Kissimmee River Bridge and Fort Basinger. The Hickory Hammock portion of the Florida Trail runs the length of the area for 7.5 miles through oak and palm hammocks and upland pastures. It has been designated as part of the Florida National Scenic Trail.

photo of Hickory Hammock campsite

Wildlife seen on the area include white-tailed deer, feral hog, wild turkey, gopher tortoises, and swallow-tailed kites (during the summer). One primitive campsite is located on the Florida Trail and one drive in campsite is located at the Equestrian Center. All campers must possess a special-use license issued by the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), (866) 433-6312 or visit SFWMD.gov. Horseback riding on the area requires a permit from SFWMD.  Children under the age of 16 are required to wear a helmet when horseback riding on public lands.  For more detailed information go to Nicole's Law PDF.  All horseback riders must have proof of current negative Coggins Test results for their horses when on state lands. You'll find an equestrian center at Hickory Hammock and there are miles of dirt roads and firebreaks for off-road bicycling. Deer hunting and turkey hunting are excellent on Hickory Hammock, and hog hunting is good. A no-cost special quota hunt permit is required during muzzleloading gun, general gun, hog and spring turkey hunts, and archery season.  Both horseback riders and campers need permits from the South Florida Water Management District to use the area. Hickory Hammock WMA is a site on the Great Florida Birding Trail.

Rules Regarding Dogs

  • For purposes other than hunting, dogs are allowed, but must be kept under physical restraint at all times. Dogs are prohibited in areas posted as "Closed to Public Access" by FWC administrative action. No person shall allow any dog to pursue or molest any wildlife during any period in which the taking of wildlife by the use of dogs is prohibited.
  • Hunting dogs may be taken onto the WMA after 8 a.m. the day before the opening of a season and shall be removed by 6 p.m. one day after the end of the season. Hunting with dogs is prohibited, except bird dogs, retrievers or dogs with a shoulder height of 15 inches or less are allowed during the small game season. Dogs are prohibited in areas posted as "Closed to Public Access" by FWC administrative action. No person shall allow any dog to pursue or molest any wildlife during any period in which the taking of wildlife by the use of dogs is prohibited. Dogs on leashes may be used for trailing wounded game.



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