The Apalachicola National Forest is the largest U.S. National Forest in the state of Florida. It encompasses 632,890 acres (988.9 sq mi; 2,561.2 km2) and is the only national forest located in the Florida Panhandle. The National Forest provides water and land-based outdoors activities such as hiking, swimming, boating, hunting, fishing, horse-back riding, and off-road ATV usage.
Apalachicola National Forest contains two Wilderness Areas: Bradwell Bay Wilderness Area and Mud Swamp/New River Wilderness. There area also several special purpose areas: Camel Lake Recreation Area, Fort Gadsden Historical Site, Leon Sinks Geological Area, Silver Lake Recreation Area, and Wright Lake Recreation Area. In descending order of forest land area it is located in parts of Liberty, Wakulla, Leon, and Franklin counties. The forest is headquartered in Tallahassee, as are all three National Forests in Florida, but there are local Forest ranger district offices located in Bristol and Crawfordville.
The Forest contains thousands of acres of old growth Pond Cypress swamps (cypress domes). In addition, Bradwell Bay Wilderness contains about 100 acres (40 ha) of old-growth Slash Pine - Swamp Tupelo swamps.
Hunting and fishing:
Hunting and fishing are monitored and governed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). The national forest itself is a wildlife management area. The FWC divides the management area into sections that allow dog hunting, still hunting, and private property. Modern gun season for large game starts Thanksgiving weekend and ends in January.