I52. Apalachicola National Forest: Wright Lake
Nearest City: Sumatra
Phone Number: 850-643-2282
Amenities: Restrooms, Entrance fee required, Seasonal hunting, Birding by foot/hiking, Best time of day: All day, Recommended length of visit: a few hours br>
Habitats: Pines, Lake/Pond/Impoundment
Two trails at this site, a 0.25-mile trail around the lake and a 5-mile one, traverse stretches of basin swamp and longleaf pine-wiregrass community. Plants and animals in the latter community type have come to depend on frequent fire that keeps the understory low and open, stimulating pine seeds to germinate and wiregrass to flower. Since natural fire is feared by people, it’s been suppressed in much of Florida, allowing many remaining examples of this community to become overgrown and unsuitable for the animals that are uncompromisingly dependent on it. Here in the national forest, prescribed fire is used to keep pinewoods healthy, making it one of the best places to see Red-cockaded Woodpeckers (RCWs) and Bachman’s Sparrows. Spring mornings are best for spotting both, when sparrow males are singing “here, kitty-kitty-kitty-kitty” on their territories, and RCWs are busy coming and going from their nest cavities, carrying food to their young. Seasonal hunting takes place at this GFBWT site along the 5-mile trail; please see page 55 for information on dates, regulations and more.
Directions: From the intersection of SR 65 and 8th St./CR 22 in Sumatra, travel south on SR 65 for 1.9 mi. to FR 101/Wright Lake Rd. Turn right (west) and follow FR 101/Wright Lake Rd. for 1.6 mi. to the site.
Open 24 hours/day.