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You are here > Home > Florida Eco-biking > Chassahowitzka WMA
First report: June 2016

Florida Eco-biking... Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area

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Located on Florida's Gulf Coast, 15 miles south of Crystal River, Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is a remote area. A 9-mile self-guided tour (brochure online or at hunter's sign-in station) is laid out for cars and bikes, but much more biking is available on the WMA roads. The roads contain some rough and/or soft spots, but generally rideable for fat-tire bikes. Entry and exit is from the same point. (Detailed map and photos below.)


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Location: Citrus County (US 19 at Thrasher Ave. - GPS coordinates 28°39'29.1"N, 82°33'09.5"W)
Mileage:
9 mile self-guided driving/biking tour, more biking available along WMA roads
Surface: Crushed stone, packed dirt, sand
Trailheads: Indigo Trailhead (See detailed map, left)
Nearby Points of Interest: Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge, Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, Homosassa Springs, Crystal River

Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area covers almost 34,000 acres of sandhill and scrub communities and contains Chassahowitzka Swamp, the largest forested coastal wetland south of the Suwannee River. Activities include hiking, biking,  horseback riding, and hunting. Picnic tables are available, but no facilities - bring water and snacks. Mostly sunny, some shade; better as cool-weather ride.

Wildlife include bear, bobcat, gopher tortoise and fox squirrel. Birdwatching is abundant - the WMA is part of the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. During hunting season, wearing hunter orange is recommended.

Pay a per person day-use fee at the entrance (next to the hunter's sign-in). Florida law requires bikers under 16 wear a helmet, but we recommend wearing one anyway especially when riding off-road.

BOBCAT'S PHOTO GALLERY at Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area
(tap or hover over photo for a larger view)

Entering off SR 19 there's a hunter's sign-in station. About 1.5 miles further along is Indigo Lane Trailhead with parking, picnic tables, and access to two popular hiking trails. The guided tour starts here. The roads are well-marked including 16 markers for the self-guided tour. A surprise was Eagle's Nest Sink - under the unassuming surface are a network of caverns down to over 300 feet, popular with divers (we actually drove there, but it's bikeable).
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Entrance at SR 19 Hunmter's sign-in and day fee station Toward Indigo Lane Trailhead Indigo Lane Trailhead Guided tour markers #1-16
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WMA road Roads are well marked Swamp Bird shelters Eagle's Nest Sink

More information on Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area (opens in a new window):

- Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission - Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area
- Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area Self-Guided Driving Tour (also for biking)

See also: Paddling on the Chassahowitzka River

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