Tate's Hell State Forest, Carrabelle

#9 of 10 in Things to do in Carrabelle
Forest · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
Tate's Hell State Forest is 202,000 acres (819 km²) of land in Franklin and Liberty counties in Florida. The forest is located near Carrabelle off US 98 along the Gulf coast and on St. James Island. At one time, Tate's Hell supported at least 12 major habitats including: wet flatwoods, wet prairie, seepage slope, baygall, floodplain forest, floodplain swamp, basin swamp, upland hardwood forest, sandhill, pine ridges, dense titi swamp thickets and scrub. Tate's Hell State Forest is an important hydrologic area and includes a section of the New River (Florida Panhandle). The park's watershed provides fresh water into the Apalachicola Bay, the Carrabelle River and the Ochlockonee River.

During a 40-year period of private ownership prior to the state's acquisition in 1994, over 800 miles (1,300 km) of forest roads and ditches were constructed on the property to accommodate intensive commercial forest management operations. Most of the area was planted with pine monoculture and the drainage canals dried what had been previously wetlands. There was extensive loss of habitat and wildlife. Apalachicola Bay suffered from the loss of the previously continuous fresh water flow into the bay provided by the wetlands, adding to the effect of loss of water flow into the bay from the Apalachicola River. Causes include surface water use upstream of the Apalachicola River basin, such as supplying drinking water to the city of Atlanta, and agriculture use in Georgia. Debate over the use of water in this basin is the subject of a long-standing feud among the three southern states over which use or which user takes precedence over the others. A recent court ruling sets forth the history of water use in the upper reaches of the basin.
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Tate's Hell State Forest reviews

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21 reviews
  • Awesome place to boondock with our RV. We stayed at Warren’s Bluff. We didn’t see or hear another soul for 3 days! Only $9.17 per night. It is a decent drive to get back in there and there is a metal....  more »
  • This may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I was traveling solo and decided to check out the stands of "Dwarf Cypress." Traveling solo, I was not in a hurry, and I enjoyed the short drive. Not a...  more »
  • Beautiful place, saw a lot of wild life, beavers, otters, turtles, in fact my brother saw an alligator crossing one of the dirt roads about a month ago. Park rangers are friendly and helpful, one was very nice and stopped to help us take a picture of my brother and I with the forest in the background. Just remember in the summer, to take bug spray to keep the bugs away.
  • Very beautiful drive with long straight roads surrounded by a great forest. We have seen alligators layed across the entire road along with black bear out in the woods. There is no cell phone service so be prepared just in case something happens with your vehicle other than that it is an absolutely amazing drive

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