Many counties in the state of Florida offer overnight camping facilities. The campsites range from primitive facilities to campgrounds with RV hook-ups. Each park offers a variety of activities, including boating, fishing, hiking and other outdoor recreation. Most parks require advanced reservations for use of the campgrounds.
Brevard County on Florida’s Space Coast provides overnight camping at three of the county’s parks: Manatee Hammock, Wickham Park and Long Point Park. Each offers a unique experience, from viewing space launches to enjoying Florida’s coastal beaches on the Atlantic Ocean. For camping reservations and information, contact each park individually. Brevard County Board of County Commissions Parks & Recreation Department 2725 Fran Jamieson Way Viera, FL 32940 campingspacecoast.com Manatee Hammock 321-264-5083 Wickham Park 321-255-4307 Long Point Park 321-952-4532
In Flagler County, campsites are available at three of the county parks and preserves. In Bunnell, Bull Creek Campground offers camping, freshwater fishing, canoeing and kayaking. River to Sea Preserve in Marineland is a joint venture between Flagler County and the town of Marineland. River to Sea stretches between the Atlantic Ocean and the Matanzas River. The Princess Place Preserve is home to nesting bald eagles. Along with bird-watching and wildlife viewing, the preserve provides equestrian campsites and riding trails overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway. Bull Creek Campground 3861 CR 2006 Bunnell, FL 386-313-4020 flaglercounty.org/facilities River to Sea Preserve 9805 N. Oceanshore Blvd. Marineland, FL 386-313-4020 flaglercounty.org/facilities Princess Place Preserve 2500 Princess Place Rd. Palm Coast, FL 386-313-4020 flaglercounty.org/facilities
Three campgrounds are situated around Lake Talquin in Leon County. Coe’s Landing and William’s Landing offer space for tents and RVs; Hall’s Landing has only tent sites available. For campers unable to disconnect from the outside world, Coe’s Landing provides wireless Internet access. Leon County Division of Parks and Recreation 2280 Miccosukee Road Tallahassee, Florida 32308 850-350-9560 leoncountyfl.gov/parks/camping
Palm Beach County
Palm Beach County features camping in a tropical setting. Three county parks make campsites available: John Prince Campground, Peanut Island Campground and the South Bay RV Campground. John Prince and South Bay accommodate RV camping, but Peanut Island offers tent camping only. Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department 2700 6th Ave. South Lake Worth, FL 33461 561-966-6600 pbcgov.com/parks
Pasco County Parks Department and the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) jointly operate the Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park. The wilderness park offers overnight camping in the primitive campground, back-country camping and primitive cabins. The park is located in New Port Richey, in the southwest corner of the county. The Crews Lake Wilderness Park in Spring Hill and the Withlacoochee Wilderness Park in Dade City offer primitive camping. They also feature nature trails, biking paths and other outdoor activities. Crews Lake Wilderness Park 16739 Crews Lake Drive Spring Hill, FL 34610-8040 727-861-3038 portal.pascocountyfl.net Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park 10500 Wilderness Park Blvd. New Port Richey, FL 34655 727-834-3247 portal.pascocountyfl.net Withlacoochee River Park 12449 Withlacoochee Blvd. Dade City, FL 33525 352-567-0264 portal.pascocountyfl.net
Only one county park in Pinellas County, Fort De Soto Park, offers overnight camping. The park is located in the southernmost tip of the county and runs along the Gulf of Mexico. Along with the full-service campground, the park includes fishing piers, nature trails, a bike trail and a canoe trail. Fort De Soto Park 3500 Pinellas Bayway S. Tierra Verde, FL 33715 Park Office: 727-893-9185 Campground Office: 727-893-9185 pinellascounty.org/park
Seminole County offers camping facilities in hardwood forests and swamplands. Along with camping, Lake Mills Park and Mullet Lake Park activities include boating and fishing. Mullet Lake has only primitive campsites. Lake Mills 1301 Tropical Ave. Chuluota, FL 32766 seminolecountyfl.gov/leisure/parks Lake Mullet 2368 Mullet Lake Park Rd. Geneva, FL 32732 seminolecountyfl.gov/leisure/parks Questions about the parks should be directed to the Seminole County Softball Complex 407-788-0609
Tips for County Camping
Each county in Florida feels very different from its neighbors. The county camping experiences vary also. When selecting a campground, know whether tent camping or RV accommodations are allowed. Also decide the type of experience—woodlands, beaches, freshwater—that you desire. Some parks offer only primitive camping with very few amenities, while others feature much more luxurious facilities with laundries, showers, convenience stores and kitchens.
- Camping image by Dedanville from Fotolia.com