As the name implies, there's a story behind this place. This version is from the Florida State Forest website:
|The Legend of TATE'S HELL... A tale that
has been told for many years recounts how Tate's
Hell Swamp got its name. Local legend has it that a
farmer by the name of Cebe Tate, armed with only a
shotgun and accompanied by his hunting dogs,
journeyed into the swamp in search of a panther
that was killing his livestock. Although there are
several versions of this story, the most common
describes Tate as being lost in the swamp for seven
days and nights, bitten by a snake, and drinking
from the murky waters to curb his thirst. Finally
he came to a clearing near Carrabelle, living only
long enough to murmur the words, "My name is Cebe
Tate, and I just came from Hell!" Cebe Tate's
adventure took place in 1875 and ever since, the
area has been known as Tate's Hell, the legendary
and forbidden swamp.
Hunting in Tate's Hell can be
an adventure. When you travel down the highways and
see the bear crossing signs, you can be sure they
mean it! However, if you're willing to get in
amongst 'em [the bears], this can be a mecca for
deer and turkey if you put in some time hunting and
The Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission says that
Tateâ€™s Hell WMA extends over more than
187,700 acres in Franklin and Liberty counties near
Carrabelle. It is bordered by Highway 98 on the south and
Apalachicola National Forest to the north and west. The
wildlife management area is part of the close to
200,000-acre Tateâ€™s Hell State
In the 1960s and 1970s the previous owners developed this area as a commercial forest, digging drainage ditches and building roads that significantly altered the hydrology of the forest. In the early 1990s the state began purchasing the land to protect Apalachicola Bay. Since then, the Division of Forestry has prescribe burned most of the pinelands, re-established the native longleaf pine over a major portion of the forest, and worked to restore large areas of grassy savannahs.
Several stands of the
distinctive "dwarf" cypress exist on the forest.
Visit the Ralph G. Kendrick viewing tower to
observe these unusual trees. To reach the viewing
tower, from US Highway 98, go north on US Highway
65 for six miles, turn right onto North Road. The
boardwalk will be on your right, 3.4 miles down
North Road. The High Bluff Coastal Hiking Trail may
be accessed off of US Highway 98, four miles west
Tateâ€™s Hell is
home to many wildlife species including a large
population of Florida black bears, bald eagles, and
red-cockaded woodpeckers. The terrain is wet and boggy,
and many roads require four-wheel-drive
Biking and horseback riding are allowed on any open road in the forest unless posted otherwise. Camping is permitted only at designated campsites by permit from the Division of Forestry. The New River, Crooked River, and Whiskey George Creek offer boating, fishing and paddling opportunities. This area is a site on the Great Florida Birding Trail.
The Northwest Florida Water Management District is implementing extensive restoration within the Tate's Hell State Forest. Click for information regarding Tate's Hell Restoration Plan.
"Adventures of a Woman in the Woods"
Seth's belief that he lives in the most boring neighborhood in the most boring city in the most boring part of the state of Florida is about to change when he reads an old manuscript written by his dad. Come along on this adventurous tale of two 15-year-old boys who embark on a simple journey in 1988 to get to a party to meet up with a lifelong crush. The two boys face everything from bullies, cops, shotguns and ghosts. Find out if they made it through the night!
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