Walk-In-The-Water Wildlife Management Area

Managed in cooperation with
Florida Forest Service

 

photo of Scrub Plum
- Scrub Plum
Anne Malatesta
Florida Forest Service

Walk-In-The-Water WMA consists of over 6,000 acres on CR 630, 2 miles east of Frostproof in Polk County. Part of the Lake Wales Ridge State Forest, the area was purchased under Florida's Conservation and Recreation Lands program to protect fast disappearing scrub and sandhill communities, which are home to many rare plants and animals. Pictured is the endangered scrub plum, one of the first scrub plants to bloom, flowering in January or February before its leaves open.  Access to this area is by foot only. Parking is available at most trailhead locations around the perimeter of the tract. The trail leading from the entrance at King Trail Gate is a good place to see scrub-jays and some visitors may be fortunate enough to see short-tailed hawks. On this area, quota hunt permits are required for all hunts except for the small game hunt. The area is part of the Great Florida Birding Trail.  Camping is permitted at designated campgrounds. Camping is permitted at other sites by special-use permit issued by the Florida Forest Service. A daily use fee as well as camping fees are required. For information, call the Lake Wales Ridge State Forest at (863) 635-7801. There are no interior roads open for vehicular use. Horses may be ridden on firebreaks, named or numbered roads, or designated horse trails. Horses are prohibited on hiking trails and during hunting seasons, except during the Small Game Season. 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.

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 deer or wild hog with dogs is prohibited. Hunting with dogs is prohibited, except bird dogs, retrievers or dogs with a shoulder height of 15 inches or less are allowed (except during the wild hog 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.



FWC Facts:
The Nature Conservancy's Jay Watch program needs your help! Jay Watch volunteers assist with monitoring populations of the endemic scrub-jay and scrub vegetation conditions.

Learn More at AskFWC