Guidelines for Use of District Lands

To make sure that we, as well as future generations, can enjoy quality outdoor experiences, each one of us must share the responsibility of protecting our environment.

river scene

Rule Changes Effective Oct. 1: The Florida Legislature updated the 40D-9.260 Camping rules during the 2021 legislative session. These rule changes governing camping reservations on District lands will go into effect starting Oct. 1, 2021. View Key Changes »

Leave No Trace

The District supports the Leave No Trace program, which educates people who enjoy the outdoors about the nature of their recreational impacts as well as techniques to prevent and minimize such impacts. The following seven principles of Leave No Trace are for the safety of visitors and to protect our natural resources.

Plan Ahead and Prepare

  • Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you will visit.
  • Make sure you have reservations for activities or use areas, if required.
  • Check with the District to see if an area is closed or access is limited due to weather conditions, management activities or hunting seasons.
  • Check the weather forecast and plan for possible changes in weather.
  • Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, insect repellent, a hat and good pair of sneakers or walking shoes.
  • Carry a cell phone.
  • Let a friend know where you are going and when you will return.

Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces

  • Campers are reminded to use designated camp zones only.
Leave No Trace logo

Dispose of Waste Properly

  • Please remember to carry out everything used during your stay. Help us keep the areas clean and natural.

Leave What You Find

  • Preserve the past. Examine, but do not touch, cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
  • Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
  • Do not build structures, dig trenches or cut down trees or shrubs.

Minimize Campfire Impacts

  • Use established fire rings, grills or mound fires where fires are permitted.
  • Keep fires small. Use only sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand.
  • Do not cut down trees or bushes — dead or alive — for firewood.
  • Put campfires out completely and then scatter cooled ashes.

Respect Wildlife

  • Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
  • Never feed animals. Feeding animals damages their health, alters natural behaviors and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
  • Stay on marked trails or roads to avoid trampling habitat.
  • Avoid wildlife during sensitive times such as mating and nesting seasons.
Yield sign

Be Considerate of Other Visitors

  • Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
  • Be courteous, yield to other users.
  • Let nature’s sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices, music and noises.
  • Use proper trail etiquette. Follow the trail right-of-way rule: bikers yield to hikers, both bikers and hikers yield to horses.

Activities Not Allowed

The District has set up the following rules to promote the proper use of its conservation lands. A complete listing of all rules that apply to public use of District lands can be found in Chapter 40D-9 of the Florida Administrative Code.

The following are not allowed:

  • Alcoholic beverages or other intoxicants.
  • Use of all-terrain, off-road or other motorized vehicles not licensed for Florida highway use.
  • Motorized vehicles, horses or bicycles on roads not specifically open for these modes of transportation.
  • Dogs not on a leash.
  • Dogs in areas not designated for dogs.
  • Destruction, collection or release of plants and wildlife.
  • Destruction or looting of an archaeological site or artifacts.
  • Accessing District lands at points other than designated access points.
  • Fireworks and explosives; igniting fires, except in designated areas.
  • Damaging or removing any facilities or equipment owned or leased by District, its designees, contractors or other public agencies.
  • Littering and disposing of any waste products such as graywater, petroleum products, toxic materials, batteries, etc.
  • Commercial fishing or any activities not approved by the District.

Notice of Statutory Limitation of Liability
under Section 373.1395, Florida Statutes

By law, the District is not required to ensure that its parks or recreation lands are safe for use by members of the public or to warn the public of hazardous conditions, buildings or activities on District lands. Accordingly, the District makes no assurances as to the safety of any of its parks or recreation lands, including buildings, for any purpose or activity, and generally will not provide warnings of hazardous conditions. The District is not responsible for injury to persons or property caused by any act or omission of a person while at a District park or on District recreation lands. All visitors use District parks and lands at their own risk.