Visitors to Mallory Swamp, located in southeastern Lafayette County, can now access the tract through a new entrance. The Suwannee River Water Management District (District) has partnered with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to provide public access to a new east gate off SR 349.
Called McCall’s Chapel Grade, the entrance opened Sept. 18.
Before entering Mallory Swamp, McCall’s Chapel winds through Lafayette Forest Wildlife and Environmental Area, a preservation area for gopher tortoises, which is managed by FWC.
Edwin McCook, land management specialist for the District, said McCall’s Chapel is an existing road but was previously not available for public use.
The entrance will provide better access from the tract’s east side. The current east gate on SE Bethel Walker Creek Road is in a low-lying area and is closed periodically due to heavy rainfall. McCall’s Chapel is shorter and was built to higher standards.
“SE Bethel Walker Creek Road remains closed due to recent rainfall,” McCook said. “The opening of the new entrance will provide visitors who access the tract from SR 349 a better road for traveling and it will save them a 25-mile drive to the main entrance.”
The main entrance is located on Crapps Tower Road off CR 360 south of Mayo.
Mallory Swamp, a 31,321-acre tract, is owned and managed by the District. The property provides numerous recreational opportunities to the public including fishing, hiking, biking, hunting, horseback riding and ATV riding. FWC manages hunting activities on the land.