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Babcock Webb WMA

Birding / Hiking / Adventuring Roadtrip Info

ROUGH DRAFT

Dec 2018
 Typical view [?]
Photo Galleries
Typical View (4)

Snapshots! (1)
GRADES: Click each for info, * = Note
Revisit? D *
Birding D *
Wildlife A
Summer Heat C
Terrain C *
Fun Hike C
Maintained C *
Mosquitos C
Biting Files C
Ticks C
NOTE: Might be nice to stop not during hunting season while not flooded
NOTE: Saw and heard very little
NOTE: Nothing but roads. Some hard dirt some mud and grass
NOTE: WMA - but dirt roads are pretty flat
 LOCATION: Accuracy: Read me
Map On Big Map: Click map (or on google maps). Address: 29200 Tuckers Grade Rd, Punta Gorda, FL, Charlotte, USA, 33955

1) What It's Like

It's a big forest so can't speak to all of it but we drove quite a few miles in it and basically it's a lot of grass and pine trees. No trails we could find mentioned just berm style one lane roads. Seems very much meant for hunters not hikers. It seems to completely flood fairly easy. Also no maps anywhere - not birding or hiking friendly really.

2) Kinds of Birds

During hunting season mostly dead ones on swamp buggies. Didn't see or hear much of anything otherwise. Also saw no ducks in ponds at entrance.

3) Wildlife

It was flooded but saw none and a lot of people shooting at anything that moved so hard to say. Would presume a lot of deer and boar though.

4) Amenities

Gun range, place to part swamp buggy trailers, place to hang your deer carcasses at entrance. Presumably gut piles somewhere. SO - not much. Maybe a bathroom at entrance somewhere behind where people were checking in but I saw nothing. Roads are flat but large rocks and raised so hard to find spot to turn around.

5) Directions

Here is a map of the place - not sure how long that link will stay active - I had to search around and found it on their camping sub-sub-page. As far as I can tell the main entrance is right by I75 exit 158 on "Tucker Grade".

6) Dear Ranger

My complaint would basically be that you should either make sure *NOT* to advertise this as a birding or hiking place if information is not reasonably available anywhere. There are Great Florida Birding Trail signs pointing here but when you arrive no signs or maps that I could see. There was a sign that seemed like it should have that kind of thing but it was a ways past where you have to pay to get in and it didn't really have any useful info. So - we just drove and drove and gave up. The website - also nothing reasonably there but huge text size saying it has tons of recreational opportunities including birds (not just to shoot). I had to go through several layer of pages and on the camping page I found a map of the roads. There were tons of people there for hunting and staff at the entrance and all they said about birding was "do whatever it is you usually do". We could infer that it's hunting season but there was a lot of very nearby gunshots throughout to not be warned about wearing blaze orange or anything. So please have 1% empathy for someone who might actually take you up on your advertised activities and show a map and a hunting season warning or just don't advertise this place as being anything than what it seems to be: a big hunting area only. Just because you have 1000 people who know how to use the place for hiking doesn't mean you aren't responsible for the 2 that aren't there for that.

7) Time Requirements

No trails so I suppose you could randomly walk around for days. We drive around for an hour or so and gave up.

Experience

It was just grass and trees. It had rained enough so many places would be flooded but this entire place was flooded to the point you had to drive for miles to turn around - the roads are like berms you can't turn around on. Lots of people out with swamp buggies. So lots of forest in terms of acres but we went through a lot to see nothing worth stopping for. It's possible when less flooded that ponds might concentrate ducks etc. Cost $6 to enter - that's 3x more than most WMAs. I saw no signs/maps up. So like I said above - it looks like it would be a ton of fun with swamp buggies and for hunting if that's your thing but I don't think they really cater to hikers.

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