Little Big Econ State Forest's name comes from combining the names of the Little Econlockhatchee River and the larger Econlockhatchee River, which flow through the property. Narrow and winding, the Econlockhatchee River is the forest's most notable feature. It is designated as an Outstanding Florida Water and has been singled out for preservation.
Little Big Econ State Forest is located in Seminole County, 3.3 miles east of the town of Oviedo on County Road 426.
The area that makes up and surrounds Little Big Econ State Forest supports a wide variety of wildlife and provides a roaming corridor that connects the southern part of the Econ Basin to the Tosohatchee State Preserve and other public lands along the St. Johns River for approximately 100 miles. The numerous species of wildlife found in this corridor include gray fox, river otter, white-tailed deer, wild turkey, bobcat, resident and migratory waterfowl, wood storks, wading birds, shorebirds and numerous upland species. Other common sightings include sandhill cranes, roseate spoonbills, bald eagles, ospreys and hawks.
Little Big Econ State Forest is historically significant since it contains the first means of crossing the Econlockhatchee River. The Old State Road 13 railway and trestle were part of the Flagler Railroad System in the early 1900s. Today they are part of the Florida National Scenic Trail and are used by hikers to cross the Econlockhatchee River.
Little Big Econ State Forest has an abundance of recreation opportunities. Canoeing along the Econ is a favorite pastime for many visitors, and improved canoe launch areas have been established along the river. Three trailhead parking areas have been established for hiking and horseback and mountain-bike riding, with one hiking trail (Kolokee) in the Florida Forest Service's Trailwalker and Trailtrotter programs. Other activities include fishing, bird-watching, picnicking and nature study. Primitive camping for canoeists is available with a special-use permit, which can be obtained from the Little Big Econ State Forest office.
The forest is managed as a Wildlife Management Area in cooperation with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Fishing is permitted in all waterways of the forest unless otherwise posted. Hunting is permitted on the Kilbee Tract only. Non-hunting recreationists are encouraged to check the Wildlife Management Area regulations and season dates before visiting the Kilbee Tract.
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.