Osceola

National Forest - Florida

Osceola National Forest is located in northeast Florida and named in honor of the noted Seminole warrior, Osceola. The forest is made up of approximately 200,000 acres (810 km2) of pine flatwoods and cypress-hardwood swamps in northeastern Florida, and is about 50 miles (80 km) west of Jacksonville. Local ranger district offices are located in Olustee. There is one officially designated wilderness area in the forest, the 13,660 acres (55.3 km2) Big Gum Swamp Wilderness.

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Recreation Guide of Osceola National Forest (NF) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).Osceola - Recreation Guide

Recreation Guide of Osceola National Forest (NF) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Osceola NF https://www.fs.usda.gov/osceola https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osceola_National_Forest Osceola National Forest is located in northeast Florida and named in honor of the noted Seminole warrior, Osceola. The forest is made up of approximately 200,000 acres (810 km2) of pine flatwoods and cypress-hardwood swamps in northeastern Florida, and is about 50 miles (80 km) west of Jacksonville. Local ranger district offices are located in Olustee. There is one officially designated wilderness area in the forest, the 13,660 acres (55.3 km2) Big Gum Swamp Wilderness.
Osceola N at i on a l F o res t T NO TR A Recreation Guide D IC OU T VE S A CE LE The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or a part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Florida OOR ETH 2010 Forest Service United States Department of Agriculture Recreation Guide R8-RG352 he Osceola National Forest, located in northeast Florida, encompasses more than 226,000 acres. Comprised of two watersheds, one draining eastward into the Atlantic and one draining westward into the Gulf of Mexico, this flatwoods forest is a mosaic of low pine ridges separated by cypress and bay swamps. The Pinhook Swamp dominates the northern portion of the forest and adjoins the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia. The area that now makes up the Osceola National Forest has been known for its ability to produce high quality timber and, prior to federal acquisition, the forest had been heavily logged. Remnants of old railroad grades, used to transport logs to sawmills, crisscross the forest. On July 10, 1931, a Presidential proclamation established the Osceola National Forest and the area was reforested through the tireless efforts of the Civilian Conservation Corps. The Olustee Experimental Forest was established in 1931 to conduct research for the naval stores industry. From 1881 to 1949 Florida produced as much as 10 percent of the world’s supply of turpentine. Trees across the forest were tapped for resin. Remnants of old turpentine camps can still be found within the forest. In the 1960s the Forest Service began managing national forests for broader public use. Where there used to be an emphasis on timber production, management practices expanded to include recreation, water and wildlife. Since then, wise stewardship has left the Osceola National Forest with an abundance of natural and cultural resources. Today, the forest is managed for multiple uses under the mission of “caring for the land and serving people.” January 2010 Horseback Riding On horseback, you can journey quietly through open pine flatwoods and wet, scenic bays. Four interconnected loops traverse more than 50 miles of trails, with each loop offering unique challenges. Each trail originates at West Tower where there is a camping area with horse stalls, drinking water and a flush toilet. Horses are not permitted in developed campgrounds or recreation areas. Big Gum Swamp Wilderness The 13,600-acre Big Gum Swamp Wilderness was designated by Congress in 1984. Much of this large, flat, freshwater cypress-gum swamp appears untouched by humans. However, you might find remnants of naval stores or “turpentining” operations that began in the area in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The boggy terrain, warm and humid climate and lack of roads make hiking and hunting in Big Gum Swamp extremely challenging. Bicycles and motorized vehicles are prohibited within all wilderness areas. Florida National Scenic Trail The Florida National Scenic Trail (FNST) is more than just a 1,400-mile footpath spanning the length of Florida. It’s an escape into nature where you can refresh, recharge and relax. From the FNST you can admire longleaf pines reaching to the clear blue sky, their scent rising from the damp needles under foot, and relax with the chirp of birds and the knock of a red-cockaded woodpecker on a tall tree. The Osceola National Forest is home to a 22-mile segment of the FNST, best known for more than 20 boardwalks that offer views of gum swamps and other wetland areas. With trailheads within an hour of most Florida residents, the Florida Trail is an ideal place to get out and enjoy the beauty of natural Florida. Fire Prevention All visitors to the forest are asked to use care with fire. Keep campfires small; never leave one unattended; and extinguish all fires, matches and cigarettes. Remember, only you can prevent wildfires. FOR MORE INFORMATION The Osceola National Forest is open year round. The Osceola district office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The office is closed on all federal holidays. Please call the Olustee Depot Visitor Center for its current hours of operation. Osceola Ranger District PO B

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