Florida is warm and sunny year-round, so it’s a great place to look for free camping spots. Camping is the perfect way for your family to disconnect and enjoy nature. You don’t even have to spend a lot of money to get a peaceful, beautiful spot.
So, if you’re looking to take the family on a camping trip in Florida, here are ten of the best spots to check out.
#1 – DuPuis Campground
The DuPuis Wildlife Management Area takes up thousands of acres near West Palm Beach and Jupiter. You’ll be surrounded by so much nature, including ponds, hiking trails, horseback riding trails, wet prairies, marshes, and butterfly gardens. Plus, there are plenty of opportunities to get up close to the wildlife. Guests often enjoy activities like fishing, hiking, picnicking, and even stargazing. Like many areas of Florida, it can get extra hot there, so don’t forget to pack plenty of water!
#2 – Cyprus Creek Preserve
Cyprus Creek is located in Land O Lakes, and it’s run by the Southwest Florida Water Management District. The campground offers free reservations, where you’ll be given a gate code for the entrance. This camping area is one of the best free options in Florida because it’s quiet and secluded. While RVs can fit, it’s easier to use tents and smaller vehicles. Every camping site has a picnic table and a fire ring available to guests. You’ll also find many hiking trails and fishing areas. Despite being more secluded, this location still has decent cell phone reception.
#3 – Hickory Hammock Campground
The Hickory Hammock Wildlife Management Area is another location that offers free reservations with codes to get in the front gate. It’s in Lorida, near the Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park. This campground is full of unique wildlife, including birds, armadillos, cows, snakes, owls, and wild hogs. Even though this campground is inland, there are still a few lakes that work well for surfing. At this location, you’ll find 25 camping sites, which each have access to a fire pit and hiking trails. You’ll also find boat ramps and plenty of places to fish. As an added bonus, this campground is pet-friendly.
#4 – Potts Preserve
Potts Preserve is located in Inverness, along the Withlacoochee River. It’s on protected land, which has lots of space to explore. It has at least 22 miles of hiking trails, a few of which run right beside the river. At this location, some of the most scenic campsites can only be accessed by foot. Luckily, each site has its own fire ring and picnic table. You’ll find a lot of wildlife and rare plant species on this land, so keep an eye out for beautiful details while exploring the campsite.
#5 – Davenport Landing
You’ll find Davenport Landing in Salt Springs, amid the Ocala National Forest. It’s on the north end of the forest, right by the Ocklawaha River. The area was once a popular landing for steamboats, but now it’s considered a quiet and secluded campground. This campsite has no amenities, but there’s a nearby town where you can pick up groceries. Guests are limited to 15 people per site and four nights total. Nearby, there are plenty of hiking trails that take you through scenic forests.
#6 – Murphy Island
If you’re looking for the most peaceful campsite possible, then check out Murphy Island. It’s only accessible by boat, located between the St. Johns River and Dunns Creek. Since it’s surrounded by water, it can extra muggy though, so don’t forget to bring lots of bug spray. Campers are required to pack all their own gear, and there are no staff around to help them. The island has over six miles of hiking trails, along with boat trails to explore. You’ll really feel like you’re roughing it on this quiet, relaxing island.
#7 – Hampton Tract
Hampton Tract Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve in Lakeland requires reservations before you can attend. It has plenty of level sites, which have fire pits, picnic tables, and a communal pit toilet. The campground is great for tents, but it can fit up to a 45-foot trailer. Yet, it’s important to note that this area is prone to flooding, depending on the time of year. The internet is also a little spotty, so it’s a great excuse to disconnect from technology. This pet-friendly campsite also has lots of hiking and biking trails for guests to explore.
#8 – Bluff Springs
Bluff Springs is located in the Florida Panhandle, along the Escambia River. It’s in the furthest corner of the panhandle. If you’re camping in a tent, this free Florida site requires reservations in advance. At this location, you’ll find ramps for launching boats and gorgeous watering holes. It’s not a big area, with only four camping plots, and a limit to eight people per area. There are a few amenities at these sites, including picnic tables, fire rings, grills, and portable toilets.
#9 – Serenovea Tract
Like the Cyprus Creek Preserve, the Serenovea Tract is also located in Land O Lakes. It’s a part of the Starkey Wilderness Preserve. This location has eight sites, which require reservations. Each site has access to a fire pit, grill, picnic table, and pit toilet. Yet, it’s recommended that you supply your own toilet paper. Nearby, you’ll find access to trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. The camping sites are spread out and peaceful, but the campground is still close to a gas station and grocery store if needed. The cell service is also fairly reliable.
#10 – Kowechobe Campground
The Kowechobe Campground in Clewiston is a part of the Dinner Island Ranch Wildlife Management Area. It has 20 camping sites, but you will need to call in advance to make a reservation. It’s a pet-friendly area with access to fishing spots and hiking trails. The internet isn’t reliable there, but it will help your family appreciate nature more. Plus, if you’re a photographer, you won’t be able to resist taking pictures of the scenic nature around you.
There are lots of fun things to do in Florida, but crowded beaches and chaotic amusement parks aren’t for everyone. Instead, some families prefer to have a relaxing outdoor adventure instead. Camping is a great experience for all ages, so it can make the perfect family weekend trip. If you’re unsure where to go, you can choose one of these free camping spots in Florida to help you save some money.