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Recreation Site Closures

Closures and Updates

June 17, 2020

The Northwest Florida Water Management District has re-opened its recreation sites and camp sites previously closed by concerns from COVID-19.

The list of openings includes Williford Spring and Pitt and Sylvan springs day-use recreation sites. The sites at Williford and Pitt and Sylvan springs will resume normal operating hours (8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week). 

It also includes the following reservable camp sites:

  • Rattlesnake Lake North (Econfina Creek Water Management Area)
  • Sparkleberry Pond (Econfina Creek WMA)
  • Lost Lake (Choctawhatchee and Holmes Creek WMA)
  • Mystic Springs #9 Group site (Escambia River WMA)
  • Otto Hill (Perdido River WMA)

Reservations can be made by visiting the Camping Reservation System. (Note: Use Google Chrome to make reservations.)

CDC guidelines on social distancing and group sizes (no more than 50 visitors) will be enforced.

June 5, 2020

In anticipation of heavy rains from Tropical Storm Cristobal, the Northwest Florida Water Management District is closing reservable campsites within the Escambia River Water Management Area beginning Friday, June 5, through at least Tuesday, June 9.

May 21, 2020

The Northwest Florida Water Management District is re-opening camping sites at 17 recreation sites. These sites are located within the Escambia River, Choctawhatchee River and Holmes Creek, Chipola River, Apalachicola River, and Econfina Creek water management areas.

Individual sites at each of the locations can be reserved using the District’s Camping Reservation System, beginning Friday, May 22. (Note: Use Google Chrome to make reservations.)

A list of the sites re-opening:

Escambia River WMA: Bluff Springs, Cotton Lake, Keyser Landing, Mystic Springs (Sites 1-8 only), Webb Landing, and Williams Lake.

Choctawhatchee and Holmes Creek WMA: Boynton Landing, Cotton Landing, Dead River Landing, and Spurling Landing.

Chipola River WMA: Christoff Landing.

Apalachicola River WMA: Florida River Island.

Econfina Creek WMA: Pine Ridge Equestrian Trial, Walsingham Campsite, Walsingham Park, White Oak Landing, and Tom Johns Landing.

In accordance with Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order restricting the gathering of large crowds, the following group camp sites remain closed: Rattlesnake Lake North (Econfina Creek WMA), Sparkleberry Pond (Econfina Creek WMA), Lost Lake (Choctawhatchee and Holmes Creek WMA), Mystic Springs Site 9 only (Escambia River WMA), and Otto Hill (Perdido River WMA).

Additionally, the District has closed Seven Runs recreation site within the Choctawhatchee and Holmes Creek Water Management Area for renovations.

May 4, 2020

The Northwest Florida Water Management District is re-opening most of its day-use recreation sites beginning Monday, May 4.

The sites had been closed in accordance with Executive Order 20-91 issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis last month.

Visitors to the day-use recreation sites must adhere to CDC guidelines on social distancing and group size.

Recreation facilities at the Pitt/Sylvan and Williford spring recreation sites along Econfina Creek and Cypress Spring along Holmes Creek will remain closed.

The Pipes and Fillingim landings along the Perdido River will have limited parking available, but paddlecraft launches will be open.

Other than Pitt/Sylvan, Williford, and Cypress Spring, the only day-use recreation sites still closed are undergoing repairs. Those are listed in the chart at the bottom of this page.

All reservable camp sites are still closed.

April 2, 2020

In accordance with Executive Order 20-91 issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis, the Northwest Florida Water Management District is closing all recreation sites with managed facilities until at least April 30, 2020. The following recreation sites are closed:

Bay County: Pitt and Sylvan Spring; Econfina Canoe Launch
Escambia County: Otto Hill, Fillingim Landing, Pipes Landing, Sand Landing, Bluff Springs, Mystic Springs, Mystic Springs Ramp, Cotton Lake
Jackson County: Christoff Camp, Christoff Landing
Liberty County: Florida River Island
Santa Rosa County: Williams Lake, Keyser Landing, Webb Landing
Walton County: Dead River Landing Park, Lost Lake Campsite, Tilley Landing at Lost Lake
Washington County: Econfina Blue Spring, Sparkleberry Pond, Rattlesnake Lake North Campsite, Rattlesnake Lake North Day-Use, Rattlesnake Lake South, Whitewater Lake, Walsingham Park, Walsingham Campsite, Pine Ridge Equestrian Trail Campsite and Day-Use, Tom Johns Landing, White Oak Landing, Sea Shell, Longleaf, Devil's Hole, Williford Spring, Boynton Landing, Spurling Landing, Cotton Landing, Burnt Sock Landing

March 18, 2020

The Northwest Florida Water Management District is closing each of its reservation campsites and developed recreation areas beginning Monday, March 23, 2020, for the next 60 days. This includes picnic areas, swimming areas, and other developed recreation sites. 

Hiking trails, bike trails, equestrian trails, and boat ramps will remain open for individual use, but users may not congregate at or use associated shared facilities (e.g. picnic tables, pavilions, restrooms, etc.) Individuals must maintain appropriate distances from other users while using trails and launching and retrieving boats and paddle craft. 

Until further notice, hunting and other disbursed recreation activities are allowed on all District-owned Wildlife Management Areas in accordance with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission rules for these areas (please see https://myfwc.com/hunting/wma-brochures/ for area-specific regulations). 

Individuals on District lands are expected to abide by current health guidelines implemented by the federal and/or state government for prevention of COVID-19 transmission, and in accordance with FWC regulations. 

Wildlife Management Areas where disbursed (backcountry) camping is allowed include: Escambia River WMA, Choctawhatchee River/Holmes Creek WMA, and the District-owned portions of the Yellow River WMA, Apalachicola WMA, and Apalachicola River Wildlife and Environmental Area (WEA). .

March 16, 2020

Beginning Tuesday, March 17, the following recreation sites will be closed until further notice:• Pitt/Sylvan Springs • Williford Spring• Pipes Landing• Fillingim Landing  All other recreation sites that are currently open will remain open.

February 17, 2020

The Northwest Florida Water Management District has closed the Cotton Lake, Williams Lake, and Bluff Springs recreation sites within the Escambia River Water Management Area. All three sites are in areas impacted by rising water levels following recent rains. 

February 6, 2020

The Northwest Florida Water Management District re-opened Rattlesnake Lake North recreation site within the Econfina Creek Water Management Area.

January 28, 2020

In anticipation of upcoming renovations, the District is not accepting camping reservations for the Otto Hill recreational site. The District does not have a timeline for the re-opening of Otto Hill. Monitor this page and the District’s Recreation Site Closures page as well as our Facebook and Twitter pages for updates on the renovations.

January 6, 2020

The Northwest Florida Water Management District has re-opened Williford Spring recreational site within the Econfina Creek Water Management Area.

November 14, 2019

The Northwest Florida Water Management District has re-opened all 10 campsites at Florida River Island recreation area within the Apalachicola River Water Management Area.

November 7, 2019

The Northwest Florida Water Management District has re-opened nine of the 10 campsites at Florida River Island recreation area within the Apalachicola River Water Management Area..

November 6, 2019

The Northwest Florida Water Management District has re-opened the campsites at Pine Ridge Equestrian Trail within the Econfina Creek Water Management Area.

October 24, 2019

The Northwest Florida Water Management District has re-opened the campsites at Christoff Landing within the Chipola River Water Management Area.

October 16, 2019

The Northwest Florida Water Management District has closed Williford Spring Recreation Area to complete the next phase of repairs stemming from Hurricane Michael.

District contractors are now repairing the boardwalk leading to Econfina Creek and the canoe/kayak launch that allows paddlers to access the spring. Both structures were severely damaged by downed trees during Hurricane Michael.

The contract requires the repairs to be completed by February 15, 2020 (120 days).

October 3, 2019

The District has re-opened Sparkleberry Pond recreation site within the Econfina Creek Water Management Area.

September 13, 2019

The District has returned the recreation sites at Pitt/Sylvan springs and Williford Spring to normal operating hours (8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week).

The boardwalk and walking paths from Pitt to Sylvan are now repaired and open. The walking trails from Sylvan to Williford are still closed but the clearing is underway now.

Walsingham Campsite is repaired and ready for campers. Reservations can be made by visiting the Camping Reservation System. (Note: Use Google Chrome to make reservations.)

May 7, 2019

Walsingham Park is now open. Nearby Seashell, Longleaf, and Devil's Hole recreation sites remain closed.

April 24, 2019

Perdido River WMA

The Frank Reeder Loop Road and Sand Landing Recreational Area north of Highway 90 are temporarily closed for road repairs.

March 25, 2019

Hurricane Michael severely impacted several NWFWMD Water Management Areas (WMAs) and their associated recreation areas.

Access to non-improved areas in the hurricane-impacted Econfina CreekChipola River and Apalachicola River WMAs (including the Fitzhugh Carter Area, Beaverdam Creek Wildlife Management Area and the NWFWMD portions of the Apalachicola Wildlife Management Area and the Apalachicola River Wildlife and Environmental Area) is currently allowed for hunting, hiking, fishing, birdwatching, and nature appreciation, in accordance with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Wildlife Management Area rules for these areas (available at http://myfwc.com/hunting/wma-brochures). Vehicle access may be limited in many areas by closed gates. All roads behind closed gates are designated as closed to motor vehicle traffic. Day-use sites remain closed in these areas. The current status of designated (reservation permit required) campsites within the Econfina Creek WMA, Chipola River WMA and Apalachicola WMA can be found in the campsite list below. Disbursed (backcountry) camping is allowed in the NWFWMD-owned portions of the Apalachicola WMA and the Apalachicola River Wildlife and Environmental Area, except in areas posted as “No Camping,” and is not allowed in the Chipola River and Econfina Creek WMAs.

All other District lands and recreation sites are open for normal operations.

Status of NWFWMD Hurricane Michael-Impacted Reservation Campsites

Reservation

Campsite

Name

Water

Management

Area

County

Number of Reservation Campsites

Current Status*

Blue Spring

Econfina Creek

Washington

1

CLOSED

Sparkleberry Pond

Econfina Creek

Washington

1

OPEN

Rattlesnake Lake North

Econfina Creek

Washington

1

OPEN

Rattlesnake Lake South

Econfina Creek

Washington

1

CLOSED

Whitewater Lake

Econfina Creek

Washington

1

CLOSED

Walsingham Park

Econfina Creek

Washington

1

OPEN

Walsingham Camp Site

Econfina Creek

Washington

1

OPEN

Pine Ridge Equestrian Camp

Econfina Creek

Washington

8

OPEN

Tom Johns Landing

Econfina Creek

Washington

4

OPEN

White Oak Landing

Econfina Creek

Washington

3

OPEN

Sea Shell

Econfina Creek

Washington

1

CLOSED

Longleaf

Econfina Creek

Washington

1

CLOSED

Devils Hole

Econfina Creek

Washington

1

CLOSED

Florida River Island

Apalachicola River

Liberty

10

OPEN

Christoff

Chipola River

Jackson

3

OPEN

Otto Hill

Perdido River

Escambia

OPEN

Day-Use Site

Water Management Area

County

Status

Williford Spring

Econfina WMA

Washington

OPEN

Pitt and Sylvan Springs

Econfina WMA

Bay

OPEN

Econfina Canoe Launch

Econfina WMA

Bay

CLOSED

Hammock Lake

Econfina WMA

Washington

OPEN

*Current Status of “CLOSED means the campsite or day-use site is not currently available for use and  that the campsite is not currently possible to make a reservation for that site through the NWFWMD Camping Reservation System for future dates. This list will be updated as sites are re-opened.