GLADES COUNTY – Few places in Florida can match Fisheating Creek Wildlife Management Area for its range of activities and wilderness setting.
Fisheating Creek meanders through banks lined with cypress and oaks. Expect to see numerous alligators and a variety of birds. Rent a canoe, kayak or stand up paddle board (SUP) in the campground or launch your own from the campground or the Main Street access. Fisheating Creek Outpost offers a livery service with two drop-off points upstream of the campground, creating options for an eight-mile trip (from Burnt Bridge) or a 16-mile trip (From Ingram’s Crossing). Water levels vary widely; check current conditions before planning your paddling trip.
The fall is the time to hunt for deer and feral hog on Fisheating Creek Wildlife Management Area. The best conditions for hunting deer are when water levels are down in the creek but not so low as to make travel by boat impossible. In the spring, turkey hunts are popular and usually yield excellent results. Paddling is best during high water, which usually occurs in late July, August, and September. High water may also occur following winter cold fronts.
Enjoy fishing anywhere along the creek either from a boat or along the bank. These tea-colored waters are home to bass, crappie, catfish, and bream, as well as the nonnative armored catfish and tilapia.
Fisheating Creek WMA is an excellent place to view wildlife year-round. Wading birds, hawks, osprey and owls are common. White-tailed deer and Osceola turkey are frequently spotted and alligators are prevalent. Large numbers of migratory swallow-tailed kites gather here in late summer.
This area is part of the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. Enjoy year-round hiking and bicycling the WMA. Trails are prone to seasonal flooding; the January through May period offers the driest conditions.
Primitive camping is permitted year-round throughout the area. For full hook-up RV sites and primitive campsites within the concession-operated Palmdale campground, visit Fisheating Creek Outpost. The campground offers restrooms, showers and a camp store. During established hunting seasons, individuals are encouraged to camp at the Palmdale campground or at designated sites along Fisheating Creek. Weekends and cooler months are the busiest, so plan accordingly.
The entrance to the campground is 7555 U.S. 27 in Palmdale. For more information, go online to fisheatingcreekoutpost.com
This tourism feature was brought to you by Handy Food Stores, who encourages you to get out and explore your own backyard and all the things our region has to offer!