Econfina Creek Water Management Area
The Econfina Creek Water Management Area includes Fitzhugh Carter Tract, also known as the Sand Hill Lakes Mitigation Bank.
The District has acquired a majority of the Econfina Creek corridor and Sand Hill Lakes Mitigation Bank for water resource protection, restoration, and preservation and is the primary source of drinking water for Bay County.
Econfina Creek and the neighboring sandhills create a unique and special habitat in Florida. The creek is largely spring-fed and is well known for its cold, clear water, natural vegetation, bird life, and geologic and hydrologic features. It is the steepest gradient canoe trail in the state, featuring rapids, springs, and rock outcrops.
Rain failing on these rolling sandhills sink into the underlying limestone aquifer and moves rapidly toward the creek where it bubbles up as pure, clean spring water.
Econfina Creek contains many unique wetland and upland habitats including spring-run streams and limestone bluffs. Springs and spring-runs are the focal points of this water management area.
Counties: Washington, Bay Nearby City/Town: Panama City, Vernon, Youngstown, Fountain
- Camping, RV’s, picnicking, restrooms, mobility, boat launch, boating, fishing, canoe launch, canoeing, hiking, biking, horseback riding, wildlife viewing.
- Seasonal hunting
- The District developed the Pine Ridge Equestrian Campground and saddle clubs developed equestrian trails (yellow or blue blazes) to help riders stay on designated trails. Riders are asked to keep horses out of the lakes and streams.
- Bicycling is allowed only on existing District roads.
- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) manages the area as the Econfina Creek Wildlife Management Area. Separate hunting maps and quota hunt permits are available each year through the FWC or local tax collectors offices. A special Mobility Impaired hunt area was created south of Highway 388. FWC requires a Florida freshwater fishing license and a hunting license and wildlife management area permit. To view exemptions for people under 16 and over 64, Armed Forces members, etc. visit MyFWC.com.
ATV’s are prohibited.
Motorized vehicles allowed on designated roads only.
Alcoholic beverages prohibited.