Floridians often refer to swamps as "bays," hence the name of this marshy Wilderness. Two-thirds of the area is a hardwood swamp of red maple, bay, loblolly pine, slash pine, sweet gum, and cabbage palm; the other third (the perimeter) is pine flatwoods dominated by longleaf and slash pine. Beneath this lies an understory of palmetto and gallberry. Small stands of scrub oak and sand pine are also interspersed throughout the flatwoods. The pristine quality of the swamp, a haven for many mammals and birds, made it a prime candidate for Wilderness designation. The swamp contributes to the headwaters of Alexander Springs Creek in the nearby Alexander Springs Wilderness. You won't find any trails or old roads here, but the Florida National Scenic Trail (which provides access to about 1,000 miles of the state) skirts the southwestern corner of the area.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Billies Bay Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.