The Withlacoochee State Forest is currently the second largest state forest in Florida. 74,000 longleaf pine seedlings were planted in this forest west of Orlando to help restore an area plagued by wildfire activity as well as an unprecedented outbreak of bark beetle infestation. The forest has several waterways that flow through different portions of the property, most notably the Withlacoochee River, which meanders through 13 miles of the forest. Withlacoochee is an Indian word meaning 'crooked river,' which accurately describes this river as it makes its 70-mile journey from the Green Swamp in northern Polk County to the Gulf of Mexico at Yankeetown. The land is owned by the State of Florida and managed by the Division of Forestry. The Withlacoochee State Forest has also been declared one of the '10 Coolest Places You've Never Been in North America' by the World Wildlife Fund.
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