Chandler Slough Management Area

Chandler Slough is a new South Florida Water Management Area just recently opened to the public on September 20, 2008 for various recreational activities including hiking, biking, hunting, camping and horseback riding. It consist of 3,700 acres of wetlands, oak hammocks, cypress domes and cow pastures. You can access the property from two trailheads located along US Hwy 98 and Lofton Road, or you can come in by boat anywhere along the Kissimmee River / C-38 canal. Note: Boats are not allowed onto the property.

Chandler Slough Sign at Hwy 98 Trailhead Windmill at Lofton Road Trailhead

Location

Located along the eastern shore of the Kissimmee River in southwest Okeechobee County, Florida near Basinger.

Directions

From the town of Okeechobee, go west on US Hwy 98 for approximately 17 miles. The main park entrance will be on your left about 0.7 miles before the Kissimmee River Bridge and Fort Basinger. Another entrance is located off of Lofton Road about 2.4 miles from US Hwy 98. It will be on your right. Look for an old windmill that's near the trailhead..

Trailheads are located at N27 22.381 W81 02.664 and N27 21.361 W81 00.861.

Fees

None.

Hiking

Two new sections of the Florida National Scenic Trail now pass through the Chandler Slough Management Area. The north section is about 4.4 miles long. It begins at the main park entrance off of US Hwy 98 and goes over two stiles and through four fence gaps (cowboy gates) before coming back out onto the same highway.

Cowboy Gate Workshop Hwy 98 Stile

The southern section is about 2.7 miles long with a 0.2 mile blue spur trail leading to a primitive campsite along the Kissimmee River. The orange blazed trail begins at the second park entrance off of Lofton Road and goes over five stiles and through a fence gate before coming back out onto the same road. 

Corral Water Trough

Both sections goes through a lot of open cow pastures that are interspersed with beautiful old oak hammocks and lush green cypress areas.

Oak Hammock Cypress Trees Green Pastures 

You're likely to encounter lots of horses and cows along the way. The horses are usually friendly but the cows tend to run away as soon as they see you. It's best not to approach them if you can avoid it.

Cows Horses

Camping

Chandler Slough Management Area has one primitive campsite located in the southern section along the Kissimmee River. It has a couple of benches, a fire ring with in-ground grill and a mailbox. The Florida Trail Assoc uses mailboxes at some of their campsites to hold logbooks. So feel free to sign in if you wish.

FT Mailbox FT Campsite Kissimmee River View

Flowers

Mexican Pricklypoppy

Mexican Pricklypoppy

Hunting

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission manages hunting at Chandler Slough. For up-to-date information on regulations and current hunting schedules, please go to MyFWC.com.

Hunting Schedule 2012 - 2013
Archery Sep. 15 - Oct. 14
Crossbow Oct. 15 - 19
Muzzle Gun Oct. 20 - Nov. 2
General Gun Nov. 3 - Jan. 20
Small Game Nov. 10 - Mar. 3
Furbearer Nov. 3 - Jan. 20
Spring Turkey Mar. 9 - 10, 16 - Apr. 21

Maps

Aerial Map (Both Sections)

Topo Map (North Section) Topo Map (South Section)

GPS Data

File Formats Downloads
Garmin MapSource trails.mps
TopoGraphix ExpertGPS trails.gpx
Google Earth trails.kmz
National Geographic TOPO! trails.tpo

Local Weather

Trail Notes

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Links

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Last updated on 13-Sep-2012