Silver Lake Recreation Area

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Silver Lake

Located 8 miles west of Tallahassee on State Highway 20, Silver Lake is the largest recreation area in the Apalachicola National Forest. Large pine and moss-draped cypress create a beautiful backdrop for a spring-fed lake.

People most often visit here to picnic at one of 45 picnic tables, swim off the 250-foot white sand beach, or hike the mile-long interpretive trail. Nonmotorized boats are allowed on the 15-acre lake where you might reel-in a largemouth bass, brim or catfish.

The landscape consists mostly of a longleaf pine and hardwood hammock forest. Bald eagles and songbirds are at home in this longleaf pine forest that also makes room for cypress, tupelo trees, turkey oak, and palmettos. Rare species of plants and animals can be found at Silver Lake, but the observant visitor is more likely to see turtles, alligators, bears, turkeys, and armadillos.

Silver Lake is in the Munson Sandhills, which are composed of deep dry sands that have accumulated over limestone. Because the sand absorbs rainfall so completely, wetlands are relatively rare in this part of the forest. In places, the limestone dissolves and collapses, forming the depressions and ponds, lakes and sinkholes that are common in the area.

Camping is not allowed at Silver Lake, but restrooms are available. A host lives on the site year-round.

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Day use only
Reservations: None required.
Area Amenities: Accessible,Boat ramp,Fee charged for some activities,Picnic tables,Toilets,Drinking water,Parking
Fees $5.00/vehicle for day use area. There is a separate fee to use the OHV trails.
Permit Info: For groups larger than 75, you will need a special-use permit. Please contact the Wakulla Ranger District for more information.
Usage: Medium
  • Only non-motorized boats are allowed on the lake.
  • Alcoholic beverages are not allowed.
Closest Towns: Tallahassee, FL
Water: Drinking water
Restroom: Flush toilets and showers
Passes: For more information, visit our passes and permits page.
Operated By: National Forests in Florida

General Information


The picnic area is accessible.


From I-10 to Tallahassee go through the intersection of State Highways 263 and 20. Follow SR 20 west approximately 4 miles, then south onto County Road 260. Go about 4 miles and turn left at the Silver Lake sign.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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Nature Viewing

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OHV Riding & Camping

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Water Activities

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Picnic tables 45 tables with grills
Drinking water
Toilets Bathhouse with flush toilets
Boat ramp Non-motorized only
Fee charged for some activities $5 day use plus extra fee for OHV trail use
Accessible Picnic area
Areas & Activities


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