Total Acreage: 15,407
Point Washington State Forest
Point Washington State
Forest was purchased under Florida's Conservation and
Recreation Lands (CARL) Program in 1992. The Department
of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Florida Forest Service
was given lead management responsibility for the Point
Washington State Forest. Using an ecosystem management
approach the Florida Forest Service provides for multiple
uses of the forest resources which include timber management,
wildlife management, outdoor recreation and ecological
Point Washington State Forest is located in the southernmost portion of Walton County. The forest is approximately 9 miles south of the town of Freeport on U.S. Highway 98. Vehicular travel is allowed throughout the forest on open forest roads. Please refrain from blocking any closed roads or fire breaks.
Point Washington State Forest has 10 natural communities that can be found throughout the forest. The majority of the area consists of sandhill, basin
swamps/Titi drains, wet flatwoods, wet prairie and cypress
swamps. Although much of Point Washington State Forest
has been cut over, there are some excellent examples
of intact sandhill ecosystems.
Point Washington State Forest uses prescribed fire to manage timber, wildlife
and ecological resources.
Several plants and animals that are listed as threatened,
endangered or species of special concern exist on the
Point Washington State Forest. Some of these rare species
include: American kestrel (Falco sparverius), gopher tortoise, flatwoods salamander, white-topped
pitcher plant (Sarracenia leucophylla) and the world's
largest population of Curtiss sandgrass (Calamovilfa
An important management tool used on the Point Washington
State Forest is the prescribed burning program. The
use of controlled fire in managing timber, wildlife
and ecological resources on Point Washington State Forest
is necessary for the Florida Forest Service to fulfill
its goal of protecting and managing Florida's forest
resources. Objectives of the prescribed burning program
include reducing fuel loads (undergrowth), diminishing
hazardous conditions, and maintaining biodiversity.
Point Washington State Forest is available to the
public for various types of natural-resource based
outdoor recreation. The forest is widely used for
hunting, off-road bicycling and hiking.
Point Washington State Forest is part of the Point
Washington Wildlife Management Area. The Fish and
Wildlife Conservation Commission regulates the hunting seasons and game limits on the forest.
The Eastern Lake
Trail System was the first trail established on
the forest. This trail system consists of 3 double
track loop trails.
The hiker or bicyclist can
travel the 3.5, 5 or 10 mile loop. The Eastern Lake Bike/Hike Trail
is included in the Florida Forest Service's Trailwalker Hiking Program. Access to the
trail system is located at the parking lot and
trail head on C.R. 395.
In addition, a green way trail system that crosses
the forest is being developed. This trail will provide
connections to Grayton Beach State Park, Deer Lake
State Park, Topsail Hill State Preserve, Butler Elementary
School and numerous residential developments. Upon
completion, this trail system will provide over 27
miles of trails for recreational use.
No overnight camping is currently permitted on the
forest. There is camping available at both the Grayton
Beach State Park and the Topsail Hill State Preserve
RV Park. These areas are located adjacent to the forest.
In keeping with its mission to protect
and manage Florida's forest resources, the Florida Forest Service has developed rules which apply to all State
Forest visitors. Find out more about state forest fees and rules.