Mud Swamp/New River Wilderness

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Florida doesn't get any more remote than this: no trails, no old roads, no people. Most of the area is Mud Swamp, a region of very poorly drained clay-rich soil that holds more water than nearby Bradwell Bay Wilderness. Barely peeking above the standing water are many small, isolated islands. Heavy rainfall, especially in summer, combines with heat and humidity to provide the ideal environment for biting insects. In addition to hungry pests, this area houses hungry black bears and hungry alligators. Hiking can be perilous.

The New River, by contrast, is lined with beautiful Atlantic white cedar. It enters from the north and flows through the cypress and gum swamps, relatively thin in understory, that dominate the Wilderness. Most visitors put in canoes at Carr Bridge and paddle down about six miles to old Magnolia Landing (not marked on newer maps). The route, a twisting waterway with numerous channels, is too challenging for novices.

At a Glance

Operational Hours: 24 hours
Fees No fee charged.
Permit Info: No backpacking permits are required.
Usage: Light
  • Motorized vehicles are not permitted.
  • Visitors must pack out any waste.
  • Follow Leave No Trace principles: pack it in, pack it out; do not disturb wildlife; leave what you find; camp and travel on durable surfaces; minimize use and impact of campfires; and be sure to let someone know where you’re going.
Checking in at a district office is a good idea, to inform someone of your travel plans and get the latest info on weather conditions.
Closest Towns: Hosford, FL (24 miles)
Water: Non-potable from streams and ponds
Restroom: None
Operated By: US Forest Service
Information Center: Contact the Wakulla Ranger District.

General Information


From the intersection of SR20 and SR65 in Hosford, head south on SR65 for 19 miles. Turn left on Forest Highway 13. About 2 miles in, keep left on Forest Highway 13 where it intersects with Forest Road 199-C. Stay on  Forest Highway 13 for another 2.5 miles until you get to Carr Bridge. This is a popular put-in site to explore the New River by boat.

Topo Maps

Download free U.S. Forest Service Topo maps.

Buy maps online

Go to the National Forest Store.

Go to for online maps and other important Wilderness information.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Water Activities

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Areas & Activities


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