Explore your public lands
All District-managed lands and campgrounds are open. Please scroll down to read about any closures or notices. All campers and all recreation area visitors must continue to practice social distancing and take other steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
FOR YOUR SAFETY:
- Practice Social Distancing – Keep a minimum of 6 feet apart from others
- Sanitize your hands before and after touching items such as handles, gates, locks, and other common places
Hiking, fishing, camping, bird-watching, horseback riding, nature study, cycling, hunting, geocaching, stargazing – what's your pleasure?
The South Florida Water Management District is the steward for more than 1 million acres of public land. Over the years, we've taken great strides to expand public recreational opportunities on land purchased with public dollars – and it keeps getting better.
Each year we take steps to enhance and expand recreational use of all District-owned property throughout our 16-county region. Activities at each location are compatible with natural resources protection and intended land use priorities.
We invite you to explore recreational opportunities on your public lands. Our colorful, 117-page recreation guide is packed with information. You'll find a comprehensive listing of lands available for public use and access – as well as maps, descriptions, suggested outings, driving directions and contact information for each location.
- 2009 SFWMD Recreational Guide
[download and print PDF]
- Recreation Sites Interactive Map
- SFWMD Public Recreation Use Rule for District-owned Lands (40E-7) [PDF]
- Questions & Answers – What You Need to Know about Visiting Stormwater Treatment Areas (STAs) [PDF]
SFWMD Recreational Public Forum
The SFWMD Recreational Forums are held quarterly. For further details click on the schedule below. Meetings are open to the public.
- Governing Board
- Meeting Schedule
- Public Meetings & Forum (Agenda, Minutes, Presentations, Videos, and Archives)
- South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force
Recreational Licenses and Permits
Special Use License
In certain instances, a no-cost Special Use License, issued by the South Florida Water Management District, may be required for vehicle access to SFWMD lands with locked gates or for some activities, such as camping or horseback riding.
- To apply for a Special Use License online, click here for the application form.
- Special Use License FAQs
(NOTE: A user name and password will be required to apply for a license. Directions on how to register are posted in the link above.)
- SFWMD Public Recreation Use Rule for District-owned Lands (40E-7) [PDF]
- Directions to Pick Up or Order a Special Use License by Mail [PDF]
- Special Use License Form [PDF]
Hunting & Fishing Licenses
Most recreational activities on District lands are managed by agencies such as the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission or other state, federal, county or city governments in partnership with the South Florida Water Management District. Most licenses for hunting or fishing must be obtained from the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
- To obtain hunting or fishing licenses, go to Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Closures and Notices
Posted June 21, 2021: Public access to the Arthur R. Marshal Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge from Lee Road in Boynton Beach is temporarily restricted in certain areas. The Lee Road boat ramps and canoe trail is closed through June 24 and then from June 28-June 30. The fishing pier and levee road will be closed from June 28-30. The parking lot will remain open and surrounding features such as the kayak rental facility will not be affected.
- Posted June 15, 2021: Allapattah Public Vehicle Use on Cottage Road and the Campground is CLOSED JULY 11th – JULY 18th for maintenance activities.
- Posted June 11, 2021: Taylor Creek STA is scheduled for mowing on Monday, June 21, 2021 and will be closed the entire day.
- Posted June 10, 2021: L-67A Levee Temporarily Closed to Public Access Due to Construction
Public access to the L-67A Levee over the S-151 Structure in western Broward County will temporarily close starting June 21. Public access is expected to be closed until September 2021.Access is restricted due to construction activity on the S-151 Structure. Construction will continue on the structure through May 2022, and public access is expected to be restored by September 2021.
- Posted May 27, 2021: Innovative Technology Being Used in the Caloosahatchee River (C-43 Canal, St. Lucie River (C-44 Canal), and Pahokee Marina
The South Florida Water Management District and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection recently enhanced water quality monitoring across South Florida. In addition, innovative technology treatments are being used and tested in select waterbodies in South Florida. Recreational use is not impacted by the use of innovative technologies. Please note, the listings below only include treatments and efforts deployed by the South Florida Water Management District.
- Algaecide treatments are being deployed in the Caloosahatchee River between the Wilson Pigott Bridge (SR 31) and Alva Boat Ramp. Treatment may extend east of the Alva Boat Ramp at a later date.
- Various innovative technologies are being used at the Pahokee Marina.
- Innovative technologies and algaecide may be deployed near the Port Mayaca Lock and Dam Structure (S-308).
- Posted March 19, 2021: The two northern boat ramps located at the A-1 FEB are temporarily closed for resource protection under the District’s Public Use Rule 40E-7.523(3)(c), F.A.C. The four remaining boat ramps throughout the A-1 FEB are still open for use. Click HERE to learn more.
- Posted March 12, 2021: Due to the construction that will be taking place for the C-139 Flow Equalization Basin project, the public access route to Stormwater Treatment Area 5 will be rerouted from Deer Fence Rd. to Blumberg Rd. starting April 1st. Directions to Blumber Road public access.
- Posted Oct. 19, 2020: An approximately 900 acre parcel of the C23/24 Public Small Game Hunting is closed to public use due to construction activities.
- Posted Oct. 15, 2020: The Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands project construction has closed the access through the S709 and S20F structures. This is located in the SE of Miami-Dade County near the Biscayne Bay National Parks at the intersection of L31E levee and C103 canal. This closure includes those trails on those levees leading to those structures due to construction traffic access. This closure will be in effect until further notice.
- Posted Oct. 09, 2020: Due to construction activities, the A-1 FEB northwest levee is currently CLOSED to the public. Visitors can view this map of A-1 FEB to avoid areas with construction activities.
- Posted Jan. 15, 2020: The SFWMD is installing a temporary earthen test plug in the L-38W Canal, approximately 2.6 miles downstream of the S-150 structure and Palm Beach/Broward County line. Construction will last approximately two weeks and is expected to be completed by the end of January 2020. More >>
- Posted Jan. 6, 2020: As a result of construction, navigation is being restricted along approximately 10 miles of the lower Kissimmee River by The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District. Barriers have been placed at closed segments of the Kissimmee River, with construction expected to be completed within the next 12 months. More >>