Babcock-Webb WMA – Oilwell Grade south of Tuckers Grade

This is a somewhat different road for the WMA.  It’s hardshell and passable for most vehicles.  While most of the recreation area is pine flatwoods, this section is more like dry prairie.   There have obviously been some fairly recent controlled burns along this road.It runs in a generally straight line until it ends at a shelter on the east side of Webb Lake.  It looks like a great place to start a kayak or canoe paddle.

the road doesn’t actually end here but it is no longer hardshell and there are signs saying not to take vehicles beyond the point.  Those sand roads though are great for walking along the banks of this marshy arm of the lake.  When doing so though, be careful.  There is no way to cross the lake.  It is 7 miles end to end with a lot of small coves and arms so walking all the way around most likely exceeds 25 miles.  Whichever way you start out, you will be walking back the same way.  There is parking for a few cars and vans near the shelter.

This would be a great place to start a pinewood cycling day.  The road to the west, while sand, is firm and passable.  If not forbidden it would be a fairly easy ride with a high clearance vehicle.  Both sides are nice walks too.  The western path goes by a pretty narrow part of the lake.  You will often see deer in the area on both sides of the lake.

If you take the eastern branch you walk around the cove with your car nearly always in sight from the roadway.  In fact, you will get to the other side and actually start getting closer to your car (except for the lake of course).  The undergrowth here is grassy so taking a walk off the road into the pinewoods.  If you look at the picture below you will see a bed of Alligator Flag in the distance just before the trees get heavier.


Alligator Flag is a clear indication of an area that is wetland.  This plant dies off if the lower stalks and roots are not immersed.  I didn’t go over there today but, once the dragonflys start emerging in good numbers I will definitely be checking it out.

I’ll remind you again though.  Florida is NOT a petting zoo.  This habitat is prime for snakes and the Alligator Flag got it’s name for a reason.

This is one of the little places in the Babcock-Webb WMA that most folks never see.  I hope you enjoy it if you ever get out there.


About birds n' bugs

Retired, living in SW Florida and spending my time at nature photography in my local area. I volunteer with a couple of local organizations to help my adopted home town. Travelling is now by airplane and car instead of a sailboat but happy anyway.
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