Boney Marsh and Bluff Hammock Management Units, and Hickory Hammock Wildlife Management Area
Closures and Notices
The majority of District-managed camping areas are now open as of June 5, 2020. The following camping areas remain closed: DuPuis Management Area, Hickory Hammock, Istokpoga Canal Boat Ramp Area, and Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed (CREW). The District is working to open the remaining campgrounds. All campers and all recreation area visitors must continue to practice social distancing and take other steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Majestic live oaks on either side of the hiking trail offer a welcome as you enter the vintage panorama of Hickory Hammock. Marshes, patches of scrub and oak, hickory and cabbage palm hammocks await exploration. Remnants of the Istokpoga Slough provide cool relief to the landscape. With all this diversity, it's easy to see why Hickory Hammock is a stop along the Great Florida Birding Trail and the Everglades Trail.
A section of the Florida National Scenic Trail winds for 11 miles through the properties. Several primitive campsites along the trail beckon you for rest. Three miles north of Hickory Hammock, a 25-foot high bridge rewards the hiker with a grand view of the gentle meanders and marshes of the restored Kissimmee River. Follow the trail north through Boney Marsh for a spectacular walk through a fringe of live oaks, palms, bay and holly trees on the edge of the Kissimmee floodplain. Hikers may continue north through the Avon Park Air Force Range.
Horseback riding is popular at Hickory Hammock and Bluff Hammock. An equestrian center with stables and non-potable water is available, along with primitive campsites for horseback riders. Ten miles of marked equestrian trails, interior dirt roads and fire breaks provide the rider with a varied landscape.
Bicycling enthusiasts will enjoy riding on a two-mile section of the old Sebring Grade on the south half of Hickory Hammock. Now grassed and canopied by overhanging tree limbs, the road connected Sebring and Basinger before U.S. Highway 98 was built in 1949. You can also enjoy bike riding on the interior "woods road," an old ranch along the hammocks.
For More Information:
Okeechobee Service Center FLWATS 1-800-250-4200 or (863) 462-5260.
Activity by Sites
- Boney Marsh: airboating, boating, camping (tent), canoeing, fishing, hiking hunting, kayaking
- Bluff Hammock: airboating, boating, canoeing, equestrian trails, fishing, hiking, hunting, kayaking, picnicking
- Hickory Hammock: airboating, bicycling, boating, camping (tent), canoeing, equestrian camping, equestrian trails, fishing, hunting, kayaking, shelters
Hickory Hammock Wildlife Management Area Photos and Virtual Tour – view »
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission manages hunting on SFWMD lands.
Please visit www.myfwc.com regarding current hunt dates, regulations and directions to check stations to ensure the most accurate and latest information.
Enter by hiking, bicycling or horse. Four access points on the east side of Highway 98, which runs between Sebring and Okeechobee:
- Bluff Hammock hiking trailhead is at the end of Bluff Hammock Road. Bluff Hammock Road is 14 miles south of Sebring and 35 miles north of Okeechobee.
- Equestrian access is at the end of McArthur Road, three miles north of the main Hickory Hammock trailhead.
- Main trailhead at Hickory Hammock is eight miles southeast of Lorida, and about one-half mile northwest of the Istokpoga Canal (18 miles south of Sebring and 33 miles north of Okeechobee on Highway 98).
- Access for hiking trail also at the south "walk-over" in the Hickory Hammock perimeter fence. It's immediately north of the Istokpoga Canal on Highway 98.
Maps and Related Links
- Recreation Area Map [PDF]
- Hickory Hammock Equestrian Center [PDF]
- Hickory Hammock Hiking Trailhead [PDF]
- Bluff Hammock and Boney Marsh Trailhead [PDF]
- Istokpoga Boat Ramp Area [PDF]
- Oak Creek Trailhead [PDF]
- Starvation Slough Trailhead and Airboat Launch [PDF]
- Trail Guide and Map - Hickory Hammock Management Area [PDF]