Camping

Whether you enjoy camping with modern amenities or you prefer to camp in the backcountry, the beauty of Florida’s wilderness is waiting to be experienced.

Types of Camping on the District

Primitive Camp Areas

Primitive campsites are provided for campers with tents. Only personal vehicles are allowed in the campsites. Primitive campsites are generally equipped with picnic tables, fire rings and/or grills and usually have portable toilets available for use by campers. Campsites are available to individuals and groups. Equestrian use not permitted in these areas.

Backcountry Camp Areas

Backcountry campsites are small cleared areas that are accessible only by foot or from a water body and provide unique opportunities for visitors desiring a remote camping experience. These campsites generally have no amenities or water sources. Visitors are expected to pack in/pack out all supplies. Keep fires small and only use sticks from the ground.

Equestrian Camp Areas

Equestrian campsites provide camping for tents and/or horse trailer camping rigs. These campsites are generally equipped with picnic tables, fire rings and/or grills, and usually have nonpotable water and portable toilets available for use by campers. Horse trailers may be driven into equestrian campsites. Campsites are available to non-equestrian campers.

Camping Rules

Other site-specific rules may apply.

  • Camping is allowed in designated campsites only and requires a free reservation.
  • Campfires are permitted only in fire rings.
  • Firewood should be collected from the ground; DO NOT cut any standing trees, dead or alive.
  • Campfires must be put out completely.
  • To protect the natural experience for all campers, no loud music is allowed at any time.
  • Built-in generators are allowed at equestrian campsites only.
  • Horses are only permitted in camp areas designated for equestrian use. Horses are not allowed in primitive campsites.
  • Where permitted, dogs must be on a six-foot leash and be well-mannered at all times.
  • Dog owners are required to pick up after their dogs; do not allow your dog to wander outside your campsite. No other pets are permitted on District lands.
  • Quiet time is from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m.
  • Any additional rules and regulations will be provided on the reservation or posted at the campground kiosk.

Equestrian Campground Rules

  • Built-in generators are allowed in equestrian campsites; however, generators are permitted to run only from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and must be kept within your campsite. No generator is permitted to be left unattended and running.
  • Portable toilets are available for use.
  • Horse trailers may be driven/pulled into equestrian campsites.
  • A nonpotable water source is provided for watering horses.
  • Horses are not permitted in primitive sites.
  • Horses may not be tethered to trees.
  • Tether stakes are not permitted on District property.
  • Trees and their roots are to be protected at all times; do not tie or tether horses directly to trees.
  • All manure is to be pulverized and spread out where your horse has been kept. Do not place manure in holes or pile around trees or plants.
  • Fill in all holes and level out the site where your horse has been kept.
  • All leftover hay should be removed from property.
  • Horses are not permitted on hiking trails.
  • Each rider must carry proof of horse’s current negative Coggins test.

Camping Reservations Are Required

  • Reservations are based on availability and on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • A new reservation is required for each camping trip.
  • Reservations may be made up to three months prior to the requested camping date.
  • Camping is limited to seven consecutive days (six nights).
  • Groups of 20 or more vehicles or 50 or more people must submit a request in writing for a special recreational use reservation. Include in your letter where you want to camp, how many vehicles, trailers and horses will be arriving and the dates and times of your arrival and departure. A limited number of weekends will be set aside for groups so get your requests in early. Please allow 30 days to process group reservations.
  • Reservations will include gate combinations for vehicle access where allowed.
  • Personal automobiles are permitted into equestrian and primitive campsites. Vehicles may be driven from gate to campsite ONLY.
  • Reservations must be displayed on dashboard at campsite.

How to contact us:

Land Use and Protection Section (LND)
Southwest Florida Water Management District
2379 Broad Street, Brooksville, FL 34604-6899

Telephone: 1-800-423-1476 (toll-free, FL only) or (352) 796-7211, ext. 4470
Fax: (352) 754-6877
Email: Recreation@WaterMatters.org