The District is committed to ensuring that all visitors have the opportunity to experience the natural areas owned by the District. District lands were purchased to protect water resources and most areas are remote with few developed recreational facilities.
The Americans with Disabilities Act allows limiting access when unrestricted use of vehicles or an abundance of other power-driven mobility devices (OPDMDs) would create a substantial risk of serious harm to the immediate environment including natural and cultural resources, or pose a safety concerns with other non-motorized trail use. To meet these concerns on District conservation areas, the District has a process to provide accommodations to persons with mobility impairments that limit their ability to walk.
The District permits the use of motorized vehicles including all-terrain, off-road, or any other power-driven mobility device that is used by an individual with a mobility disability for the purpose of locomotion on District roads/trails open to pedestrian use on conservation/recreation lands. A Special Use Authorization (SUA) is available from the District pursuant to Rule 40B-9, F.A.C.
Applicants may request an SUA from the District to authorize this motorized use or gain access through gates. Documentation may be in the form of either a current Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC) - Special Use Vehicle Permit, FWC - Alternative Mobility Permit, a copy of a current State – issued disability placard, or other proof of disability that will serve as credible assurance that the use of a power-driven mobility device is for the individual's mobility disability. In lieu of these documents, verbal representation, not contradicted by observable fact may also be accepted. Individuals are responsible for determining their personal ability to access District lands safely.
IMPORTANT NOTICES:April 24, 2018 - The Bay Creek tract has been closed to vehicles until further notice due to extreme wet conditions.August 17, 2017 - The boardwalk at Pot Springs on the Withlacoochee tract in Hamilton County is closed for renovations.