With over 4,600 acres, Matanzas State Forest offers a large area of protected land where visitors may hike, bike, ride their horses, watch birds, and camp. Water activities are also available with water access for canoes, kayaks, and fishing. A multitude of wildlife makes its home in Matanzas, including songbirds, marsh birds, otters, deer, bald eagles, gopher tortoises, and wild hogs. A quarter of the land is wetland and swamps.
For day hiking, biking, and horseback riding, visitors may enter at the Double Gate Road of Dixie Highway (U.S.1) south of the Bella Mia Stables. To obtain a free day-use permit that enables visitors to drive on forest roads, call (386) 585-6151. Hunting requires a license and permit, and is allowed only in Matanzas Wildlife Management Area during appropriate seasons.