Best Free Camping in Florida

Free Camping in Florida

By Sara Sheehy

Florida is so much more than what first meets the eye. While you may think of Disney World, fashionable cities, and retirees, those who are lucky enough to call the Sunshine State home know that it’s full of a natural beauty that begs to be enjoyed.

As a bonafide snowbird state, there is no shortage of RV parks and state campgrounds to pitch your tent or park your camper for a night, a week, or a season. But if free camping is more your style, and you don’t mind venturing a bit off the beaten path, you’ll see a side of this wild state that few explore.

See a map of all free camping in Florida.

Where to Find Free Camping in Florida

Finding free camping in Florida takes a bit more planning than other states, but don’t let that put you off. The state’s public lands, where you’ll find the bulk of the free tent camping and RV camping, often require a reservation and permit that can be acquired online or by calling ahead. This extra step only takes a moment and opens up a world of possibilities.

Once you’ve secured your permit, be sure to check Campendium to get up-to-date knowledge on what kind of amenities you’ll find at the campsites. Most free camping options will be “off the grid,” with limited services.

The Best Free Camping in South and Central Florida

Easily some of the most well-known free camping spots are in southern Florida’s DuPuis Management Area, which has 16 primitive campsites along with miles of hiking trails, equestrian trails, and ponds for fishing. Campers can stay for 8 days at a time, up to 30 days annually. If you’re staying at DuPuis and crave that city life, West Palm Beach’s oceanside glamour is less than an hour’s drive away.

Another popular spot is Lake Panasoffkee in centrally-located Wildwood. You can stay for up to 14 days in this central Florida gem, and even spend a day or two exploring nearby Disney World.

If a shaded, quiet spot in the palm trees sounds heavenly, look no further than remote Hickory Hammock campground in Lorida, or Potts Preserve - Dee River campground in Inverness. Both of these spots offer beautiful, primitive camping in Florida.

There is no free camping in the Florida Keys, but it’s such a spectacular spot, it’s worth the splurge on a state park campground or RV park!

The Best Free Camping in North Florida

What northern Florida lacks in the glitz and glamour of the south, it more than makes up for in natural, rugged beauty. 17 Mile Hunt Camp, located just outside of the Big Gum Swamp Wilderness, is set in a secluded and peaceful forest. It’s a great spot to meet up with friends and family for a weekend of fun.

Explore Florida’s Gulf of Mexico with a stay at the well-loved Bayside Campground near Pensacola. This is boondocking in Florida at its finest, with waterfront spots and plenty of trees for cooling off in the shade. Other Gulf of Mexico spots includes Pope Still Hunt Camp and Dead River Landing Recreation Area.

Whether you’re spending a month in the state or simply taking a getaway weekend close to home, there’s a free camping spot waiting for you in Florida.

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mobile device showing map of camping locations

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Recent Florida Free Campsite Reviews

Fort Myers, FL

Cracker Barrel

Jan 23, 2022

"Good spot"

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12 or so RV spots that are very close to level with several surrounding regular spots. There is also a bunch of regular size spots in an alcove off the main lot, under the trees and secluded. Nice if you don't have solar or a big rig (though some of those took up multiple van spots by parking across them in spite of open RV spots) :-( It's...
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PhotogWithAdog
7 reviews
Fort Myers, FL

Cracker Barrel

Jan 23, 2022

"Very un level"

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There are very few spots in the lot that look close to level and the RV spots aren't them. I ended up going to the next CB to the north. Much more level and way more spaces. And only about 10 miles north.

PhotogWithAdog
6 reviews
Lakeland, FL

Hampton Tract

Jan 23, 2022

"Free Boondocking in FL WMA"

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Some pros: -Free -Easily accessible for most rigs (we’re a 30 foot class A) -Verizon cell service 2-3 bars LTE -picnic tables and fire pits -gate for security -Bathrooms -Nice walking trails -Quiet -Close to towns for groceries/etc. Some Cons: -Very shaded (not a good spot for solar) -Parking spots are close together and less...
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Valentines
10 reviews
Jan 22, 2022

"free and clean"

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Enter the east entrance to the park. The dump station is on the left side just past a small picnic area. There is water for flushing here it is not potable water. Continue into the park there is a large covered pavilion, the spigot with potable water is on the wall next th o the restrooms at the pavillion.

Norman
5 reviews
Clewiston, FL

Kowechobe Campground

Jan 22, 2022

"Peaceful sunny field!"

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Super accessible and any size rig can fit in any spot (even though the reservation site says small tree spots are for smaller rigs, it’s an open field and they don’t get in the way of bigger rig parking at all). It’s right off a main road so it’s very easy to find and the dirt road its on is very well maintained. Great spot if you’re using...
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Valentines
9 reviews