Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area Loop Trail is a 18.6 mile loop trail located near Christmas, Florida that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
A Daily-Use Permit is required to enter this area, unless you have purchased a Wildlife Management Area Permit. The area is open to public access year round. Facilities: Office; restroom; check station (operated seasonally); primitive group and equestrian camping areas
We actually have hybrid bikes that we like to ride on roads and paved trails. This was a great area for our ride.
Stop and check in at the entrance and its $3 cash self pay, leave envelope and take tear off receipt for your car dash. Make sure to sign in and sign out - and pick up one of their maps (I uploaded a copy here) I have been unable to find another map that shows the roads as well. but the map did cut off some of the hiking trails so be sure to bring your own for the river trail.
We came two different weekends. First time we parked at #9 and rode down powerline road until it ends at the St Johns and we watched some airboats on the water. A wildlife officer was parked there. No shade along the road, couple of one lane wood bridges. Nice hardpacked crushed shell roads. The grass parking areas will fit only a couple of cars, but there are many parking areas so no problem finding a space.
The next visit we parked at #7 and did a loop of the roads was about a 19 mile ride. If you have gaia gps I uploaded a track there. Long bluff and Fish hole roads have more shade. There is a great little lake at the south end of the property Lake Charlie that has pavilions, a small fishing pier, restrooms and space to launch kayaks and non motorized boats.
There is an area along fish hole road that obviously floods as they have a measuring stake alongside the road so you can tell how deep the water is. When we were there it was dry.
Long bluff road had some sandy areas but it had rained recently so it was well packed and we were fine on our bikes. Might get a little loose if its very dry.
Excellent well managed WMD they do some controlled burns. It was really cool to see such a variety of ecology - from swamp blooming with wild flowers by the st johns to more dry oak hammocks. To pine and palmettos, We will return!
I only went in half a mile or so both ways. It's pretty wet. Some area the water is ankle deep. I didn't bring mucks. Very secluded with a deep woods feel. Some was over grown but tree markers helped. Great for a group!
Tosohatchee WMA protects a remote, rugged and wild stretch of the St. Johns River floodplain, with large expanses of palm hammock, pine flatwood, and old-growth oak and cypress forest for hikers to explore. (OutInTheBoonies.com has a good trail map: http://www.outintheboonies.com/Tosohatchee/topo_map_north.jpg.) We tried the "White Loop," an 11.7 mile hike following the Florida Trail clockwise from the intersection of Powerline and Fish Hole Roads (parking) to a junction just past Tiger Branch campsite, where a white-blazed connector trail heads north to return you to the same leg of the Florida Trail you started out on, about 2.2 miles northwest of your car. (FloridaHikes.com has a nice description of this route: http://floridahikes.com/white-loop-tosohatchee.) It's an excellent hike, with one major caveat: when the river is high, Tosohatchee gets REALLY wet--we were in ankle-to-calf-deep water more than half the way, which sapped a lot of time and energy, leaving us less able to relax and savor the surroundings than we would've liked. If you're not from the area, I'd suggest calling ahead to ask about trail conditions, and allowing lots of extra time for your hike. Of course, as with most anywhere in Florida, bring insect repellent along, too.
Awesome place to explore and go hiking. I love to bring my dogs here. The WMA is huge so you can be sure you don't have to see the same parts twice/barely any people around. Take care to not be in hunting areas on specified times. Beware there are tons of ticks!!