Visit Babcock Webb Wildlife management area – Fishing – Shooting Range – Hunting – Hiking and Biking just 5 miles south of Punta Gorda
Surrounded by residential development, citrus groves, and improved pasture, Babcock-Webb is among the last undeveloped expanses of wet pine flatwoods in Southwest Florida.
Within five miles of Punta Gorda and 20 miles from Fort Myers, hunting bobwhite quail, participating in bird dog field trials, fishing for trophy size bluegill, hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding are just some of the activities available.
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Discover and explore this diverse area and its wealth of recreational opportunities.
The area is popular with hunters from all over south Florida; peak use is the first two weeks of November. The area’s deer population is on the rise due to careful habitat management. Northern bobwhite are hunted on the Field Trial Area from traditional wagons or on horseback. This species is the subject of considerable research and management here. Quota hunt permits are required for dove hunts and hog management hunts held on the 885-acre Punta Gorda Water Treatment Facility site. Refer to the Punta Gorda Water Treatment Facility Public Small Game Hunting Area brochure for more information. Hunting is also available on the nearby Yucca-Pens Unit. Check the hunting regulations and maps for Babcock/Webb and the Yucca Pens Unit as well as the hunt calendars for both areas before you visit. Fishing
Fish from the pier or banks at 395-acre Webb Lake for largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, speckled perch, black crappie and channel catfish. Bluegill eight inches or longer are common and they occasionally exceed 10 inches in length. Catch-and-release is the rule for black bass to protect this outstanding fishery. Check on-site for specific size and bag limits for other species. Three boat ramps provide access for canoes, kayaks and boats; gasoline-powered motors are not allowed. Marl ponds 1, 2 and 3 provide excellent opportunities for bank fishing. Carry appropriate licenses and permits.
A birding hot spot in southwest Florida, this WMA is home to numerous resident as well as migratory birds. Red-cockaded woodpeckers, northern bobwhite, eastern cottontail rabbits, gray squirrels, raccoons, white-tailed deer and feral hogs are common inhabitants of the flatwoods. This area is part of the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. Visit the Wildlife page for more information about the area’s wildlife. Hiking and Biking
Experience Babcock/Webb at your own pace along thirty-seven miles of mostly unpaved roads. Two hiking trails, Flag Pond Loop (1.13 miles) and Cowhunter Trail (1.41 miles), pass ponds and marshes where alligators and wading birds are common. Note that roads and trails may be soggy during rainy seasons. Camping
Primitive sites are available at the Webb Lake campground (see map) during hunting seasons. Check the Planning Your Visit page for dates. During the remainder of the year, camping is allowed each weekend from 5 p.m. Friday to 9 p.m. Sunday, and on Memorial Day, Independence Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Labor Day. Camping is prohibited on the Yucca Pens Unit. All campers must obtain a free permit/site reservation using the online reservation system. Horseback Riding
Follow in the footsteps of the cracker cowboys by exploring the area on horseback. The network of named and numbered roads is open year-round to equestrians and spans a variety of scenic habitats. A site for organized groups/clubs is located at the Field Trial Area. Picnic shelters, grills, restrooms and horse stables may be reserved by calling the area office at (863) 648-3200. Shooting Range
This popular 10-pad shooting range has 200-yard rifle, 100-yard rifle and 50-yard pistol ranges. It is intended for training students enrolled in the Hunter Safety Program and for the public’s use. The range is open during daylight hours only. Check Cecil M. Webb Shooting Range for more information. Paddling and Boating
Explore the nooks and crannies of Webb Lake for a good spot to cast a line or enjoy the many wading birds along its shores. Three boat ramps provide access for canoes, kayaks and boats; gasoline-powered motors are not allowed. Scenic Driving
While there is no formal driving tour, motorists may travel along the unpaved roads, which pass through a variety of natural communities and offer opportunities to observe wildlife, wildflowers, butterflies and much more.