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First report: June 2016

Florida Eco-biking... Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area

tosohatchee wildlife management area, eco-bikingtosohatchee wildlife management area, eco-biking

Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is located along the St. Johns River in Christmas (east of Orlando). Entry is on Taylor Creek Road, between SR 50 and SR 520. About 22 miles of mostly hard-packed roads within the WMA are bikeable for fat-tire bikes. We found Powerline Road best for biking, Fish Hole Road and Long Bluff Road had some more sandy sections. Mostly sunny, some shade; better as a cool weather ride. (Detailed map and photos below.)


View Larger Map
Location: Orange County (Taylor Creek Road, Christmas)
Mileage: 22 miles, plus more on WMA trails
Surface: Crushed stone, packed dirt, sand
Trailheads: Parking at entry kiosk, St. John's River at the end of Powerline Road, and at Lake Charlie (See detailed map, left)
Nearby Points of Interest: Orlando, Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach

Encompassing 30,000 acres, Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area has more than 60 miles of hiking trails including 12 miles of the Florida National Scenic Trail. There are many trailheads and trail crossings, with parking areas marked frequently along the roads. Some of the hiking trails are rideable for mountain bikes. While the WMA fronts the St. John's River for about 19 miles, the only river access is at the end of Powerline Road. On weekends especially, this can be a popular fishing spot. One year at very low water, we were able to bike along the riverbank. That said, since this is on the river the area can also flood. When too wet or too sandy, the WMA is shut down to vehicles.

Activities include hiking, biking, horseback riding (prohibited during hunting season), fishing, primitive camping, and hunting.  Picnic tables are available; there are restrooms at the check-in station and Lake Charlie but no other facilities - bring water and snacks. During hunting season, wearing hunter orange is recommended.

Part of the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail, the WMA features over 200 bird species. Other wildlife include alligators, Florida black bear, white-tailed deer and many others.  Habitats include floodplain marsh and swamp, wet and pine flatlands, and hammock.

Pay a per person day-use fee at the entrance. 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 Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area
(tap or hover over photo for a larger view)

Entering off Taylor Creek Road there's a hunter's sign-in with daily permit fee station. Powerline Road is very rideable to the St. John's River. Off Powerline Road, take Fish Hole Road or Long Bluff Road to Lake Charlie (either way, it's a big loop back to Powerline).
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Entering off Taylor Creek Road Sign-in and pay Powerline Road Cows may be seen
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St. John's River - path worn by fishermen St. John's River - airboats Long Bluff Road - intersection at Powerline Road Long Bluff Road - sections were
quite snady
Parking at trailheads and crossings
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Fish Hole Road Jim Creek at
Fish Hole Road
Lake Charlie has a restroom, picnic tables, fishing pier. Canoes, kayaks, and non-gas powered boats allowed Near Lake Charlie, under the Beachline Expressway

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

- Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission - Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area

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