The Charles H. Bronson State Forest is approximately 10,945 acres and is located in southeastern Seminole County and northeastern Orange County. It was established by legislative direction on July 1, 2008. The forest is named after Charles H. Bronson, who served as the ninth Commissioner for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services from 2001 to 2011. The forest has seen many uses. In the past it was used for turpentine, agriculture and cattle grazing.
The forest provides a crucial source of protection for wetlands and associated natural communities within the floodplain of the St. Johns River. Other natural communities include wet prairie, pine flatwoods, sandhill and cypress swamp.
The Charles H. Bronson State Forest’s most notable feature is the St. Johns River, which makes up part of the forest’s eastern boundary. It is designated as an American Heritage River and, at 310 miles, is the longest river in Florida. The forest's other notable features include the four creeks that flow through it: Turkey Creek, Joshua Creek, Buscombe Creek and Christmas Creek.
The forest supports a variety of wildlife, including alligator, Sherman’s fox squirrel, gopher tortoise, bald eagle, roseate spoonbill, sandhill crane, wood stork and Florida panther.
Charles H. Bronson State Forest is open during daylight hours for visitors to enjoy picnicking, hiking, fishing, wildlife viewing and horseback riding. Access to the trails is available at one main trailhead at the end of Phillips Road and at a shared trailhead at the Chuluota Wilderness Area at the end of Curryville Road (see map). Overnight campers must obtain a State Forest Use Permit available at the Little Big Econ State Forest office.
The Charles H. Bronson State Forest is a Wildlife Management Area. It is open to hunting and is managed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
In keeping with its mission to protect and manage Florida's forest resources, the Florida Forest Service has developed rules that apply to all state forest visitors. Find out more about state forest fees and rules.