Fort White Wildlife and Environmental Area

The spring-fed Santa Fe River forms a mile long boundary along the eastern portion of Fort White, located in northern Gilchrist County between Branford and the town of Fort White. The 1,290-acre area was established in 1998 through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Mitigation Park Program.

photo of wetlands
Chris Tucker
- Wetlands

Fort White's natural features include hardwood hammock along the Santa Fe River and 800 acres of longleaf pine sandhills. The area is managed to protect and enhance this ecosystem for protected species such as the gopher tortoise and Sherman's fox squirrel. The site is the original location of Fort White, a military outpost operated during Florida's territorial period, including the Second Seminole Indian War (1835-1842). No remains of the fort are visible today. Small portions of the property were used for agriculture and commercial pine production, with timber harvesting occurring as recently as the mid 1980s. Visitors may fish along the banks of the Santa Fe River, launch canoes or kayaks for river exploration or hike three miles of trails through sandhills and hardwood hammock. The area is the domain of gopher tortoises, Sherman's fox squirrels and a variety of resident and migratory birds. Hunting opportunities available on the area consist of archery, small game and spring turkey seasons.



FWC Facts:
Barn owls in Florida breed from March through July and nest in secluded places like caves, barns, tree cavities and large birdhouses. They build no actual nest.

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