10 Incredible Free Camping Spots In Florida And How To Find More

It’s no secret that Florida is one of the most popular destinations for RV’ers, and If you’re looking to go off the beaten path, there are still plenty of places for camp for free in Florida. 

Since it costs nothing, there will be little to no amenities, like showers, electricity, freshwater refill or dump stations. 

Fortunately, that’s not an issue for RVers… we carry everything we need, wherever we go.

Plus, your hard work will pay off. Dispersed camping provides you with your own private piece of Florida’s gorgeous landscape for FREE. In other words, more nature, less expenses, and zero people!

In the eastern United States, it’s more challenging to find these free camping opportunities as this area contains less public land than its western counterpart.

However, with just a little planning and preparation, you can have an amazing adventure boondocking in Florida!

Keep reading to learn more about boondocking in The Sunshine State and discover some of the best free camping spots that you’ll love while visiting Florida.

Where And How To You Find Free Camping Spots In Florida?

Federally designated public lands can be difficult to find in Florida. That’s because 70.8% of the land is privately owned. It’s illegal to camp on any of this land unless given permission. Instead, you’ll need to look for these types of public lands that to park your RV for free in Florida:

  • Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
  • National Forest Land
  • Wildlife Management Areas (WMA)
  • National Grasslands
  • County Parks & City Parks – Not all, so check signs or contact the city department
  • Trailheads – Not all, so check signs or contact a ranger 
  • Rest Stops (Check for blue signs that ban overnight parking)
  • Some Commercial Parking lots (Walmart, Bass Pro Shops, etc.). Call, and ask the business for permission first. 

Best Apps and Tools for Finding Free RV Campsites in Florida

Best-Apps-and-Tools-for-Finding-Free-RV-Campsites-in-Florida

Okay cool, but where do I find these ever-elusive spots? Afterall, they often lack signs demarcating them as a public space. 

Yep, we’ve got a solution for that too! These apps and tools are the best at finding specific, free RV campsites in Florida:

1. The Dyrt (iOS, Android, Web Browser) (FREE)

This app will allow you to find outdoor accommodations across Florida, whether you’re in a tent, trailer, RV, or cabin.

It provides millions of listings, reviews, prices, and tips from other campers who have already visited.

2. Free Campsites (Web Browser) (FREE)

Gotta love simplicity. And that’s exactly what Free Campsites provides. The site allows you to plan a travel route through Florida with their ‘trip planner’ option.

Not only will it provide text directions, but it’ll also show you any and all RV campsites along your way through The Sunshine State (free, or otherwise).

Unfortunately, there’s no app for this tool yet, but it’s easily accessible through most web browsers. 

3. Campendium (iOS, Android, Web Browser) (FREE)

Campendium is the prettier, more user-friendly version of Free Campsites. It also provides you with more options than just finding RV campsites.

You can use filters to locate any, and every, type of outdoor accommodation.

It provides a plethora of useful information for RV-ers as well, including: last paid price, longest RV reported at site, and clearance access information.

And while it doesn’t have an app yet, you can add the Campendium’s icon to your phone’s home screen by following these helpful instructions (iOS / Android).

If All Else Fails, Use Your Map and Drive Down a Random Dirt Road

You just finished watching The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and now you’ve chosen a life of unwavering spontaneity, even if it costs you your life. Right on! 

Ditch predictable apps and pick up a good ol’ Florida paper map. New maps will show you where you can find National Forest land as well as BLM and other public lands.

Drive to the areas marked on your map and then head down a random dirt road. 

Well, not totally random. Some roads may prohibit you from using them.

However, if there’s no signs feel free to pull off 200ft from any road and set up camp. You can stay for up to 14 days. 

Tips For Boondocking In Florida

Florida spans 65,757 square miles. Most of this enormous land area includes white sand coastlines and sub-tropical forests.

You couldn’t choose a more unique landscape for your camping trip in the U.S. While this can be exciting, some difficult obstacles do arise in such a wild environment.

Furthermore, the government, along with it’s citizenry, make every effort to preserve Florida’s wilderness.

We’ve included important tips to help you enjoy a safe and legal camping trip in The Sunshine State:

14-16 Day Limit, 60 Consecutive Day Reset Period

When it comes to something free there’s always a catch. Fortunately, this catch isn’t terrible. On average, free campsites in Florida have a 14-16 day limit.

Usually, the ‘maximum camping stay’ is posted in the area, but if it’s not, you should probably kick dirt after two weeks. 

If you still want to camp after this initial period just move 25 miles away, and camp for another 14 days.

After that, however, you need to wait 60 consecutive days before you’re allowed to camp in the area again.

Leave No Trace

Florida forests are gorgeous, massive, and dense. It’s difficult for forest rangers to keep enormous wilderness areas clean.

Give them a hand, and keep nature pristine, by leaving no trace. This means taking all trash, human excrement, and other refuse with you.

Doing otherwise can result in fines, and worse, a degradation of nature.

Fire Restrictions

Florida might be less likely to catch fire compared to other dryer states; however, it still has its fair share of fire regulations. 

Your best bet is to follow the specific rules for your campsite. Always call a ranger station if you’re unsure and report a fire if you see one. 

Bring Mosquito Spray and Sunscreen

Florida has one season—Summer. It comes in two variants, wet and wetter. Needless to say, this hot, moist climate creates a few issues, namely mosquitoes and sunburns.

Buy some good bug spray and, while you’re at it, get sunscreen as well. The tropical sun will sizzle your skin in a couple hours.

Furthermore, when you’re boondocking you’ll find yourself further from cities and thus, closer to mosquitoes. A few itchy bites can ruin a trip fast. Protect yourself. 

Check for Special Use Permits

Free camping in Florida differs from its other counterparts in the west in that it often requires you to get a permit.

Don’t freak out. These permits are still free and many of them can be acquired last minute; however, you do need to contact the Forest Service to secure them.

You can visit their website for more information. 

Top 10 Boondocking Locations And Free Campsites In Florida

One of the most overwhelming parts of free in Florida is knowing how to find locations. To make your search we’ve put together a list of 10 best places for boondocking in Florida and the best things to do and see nearby.

Whether you’re seeking a true adventurous camping, trying to stick to a budget, or just trying to find a remote RV camping location of solitude, these beautiful Florida campsites are out there and waiting for you!

That said, here’s our top 8 picks for FREE, first come, first serve campsites in Florida:

  • 17-Mile Hunt Camp – Osceola National Forest
  • Du Puis Gate 3 Campground – Indiantown
  • Bayside Campground – Navarre
  • Lake Panasoffkee Campgrounds – Wildwood
  • Dee River Campground – Inverness
  • Pine Creek Landing – Apalachicola National Forest
  • Davenport Landing – Ocala National Forest
  • Hickory Hammock – Lorida
  • Kowechobe Campground – Clewiston
  • Town of KICCO Campground – River Ranch

1. 17-Mile Hunt Camp – Osceola National Forest

17-Mile-Hunt-Camp-–-Osceola-National-Forest

Hunters use it as an outpost, firefighters as a base camp, and now you can use it for some good ol’ fashioned boondocking! You’ll find this lovely scrap of land off the I-10 west of Jacksonville.

The flatwoods and dreary swamps take visitors back in time, providing them with a peaceful setting for fishing, hunting, and swimming.

Why do we love it?

You’ll love this free campground, if you hate civilization. It’s the definition of primitive—no water, electricity, or sewage, and its far from any modern society.

Instead, you’ll find yourself in Osceola National Forest, a beautiful sub-tropical woodland with plenty to offer.

Just make sure you bring some bug spray as the mosquitoes can get gnarly in the summer.

Location

RV Campsite Information

  • Maximum RV length reported: 25ft
  • Number of sites: NA
  • Amenities: Vault toilet, trash cans
  • Max Stay: 14 Days at a campsite, and 60 days in a given ranger district

Top Things to do Nearby

  • Falling Creek Falls – Welcome to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. You remember the chocolate waterfall? Well, this is its real-life counter-part. A quarter mile long boardwalk will take you past a forest of bald cypress, sweetgum, and magnolia to an observation platform. From here you can view the roiling water of Falling Creek Falls.
  • Ocean Pond – This 2-mile wide lake brings in 100,000 visitors every year. People use the area for hiking, angling, lounging, and more! You can also find a free RV dumping station here.  
  • Olustee Battle Field Historic State Park – The Civil War forever changed the fabric of American history. Relive one of its battles by visiting Florida’s first historic site. You’ll learn about the three black regiments that found here, including the famous 54th.

For more information on RV camping in 17-Mile Hunting Campground visit HERE.

2. Du Puis Gate 3 Campground – Indiantown

Du-Puis-Gate-3-Campground-–-Indiantown
@wonderbus2018

Du Puis means, from the spring. After you visit this 21,875 acre wildlife management area you’ll understand why.

In the rainy season the swamps fill with water and even some of the flatwoods flood.

You can explore the nature center which includes interpretive exhibits, check-out the butterfly garden, or hike one of the many nature trails.

Outside the nature center you’ll find fishing at a partially shaded pier, a Cypress boardwalk, and boundless opportunities for picnicking.

Why do we love it?

This campground stands above the others for one reason—more amenities. A public Equestrian Center sits at Gate 3, and includes, horse barns, paddocks, restrooms with showers, and a dump station.

There’s also 32-miles of hiking trails to explore, fishing opportunities galore, and plenty of wildlife.

You could stay out here for way longer than you normally would and still feel comfortable.

Location

RV Campsite Information

  • Maximum RV length reported: Any Size RV
  • Number of sites: 40 sites
  • Amenities: Dump station, horse facilities, picnic tables, fire pits, and restrooms with showers
  • Max Stay: 14 Days

Top Things to do Nearby

  • Ocean to Lake Trail – A 32-mile section of a longer hiking trail that leads from a lake, situated in the Du Puis Wildlife Area, to the ocean. You can expect to see a variety of wildlife, including deer, feral hogs, alligators, and otters.
  • Big Mound Park – A great place to take the family for a day! This park spans 21 acres and includes baseball, football, and soccer fields, as well as, a lighted basketball court and a shaded playground. 
  • Horseback Riding  – 40-miles of equestrian trails makes this a great place to visit if you enjoy horseback riding. Furthermore, you can utilize the free, public equestrian center .

For more information on RV camping in Du Puis Campground visit HERE.

3. Bayside Campground – Navarre

Bayside Campground – Navarre

It’s almost impossible to find a free camping spot on the beach, especially in Florida. Fortunately, they do exist.

This little hidden getaway sits on the shores of Blackwater Bay, north of Navarre.

Its also home to Fundy Bayou, a lazy strip of brackish water that ambles into the ocean inlet nearby.

Why do we love it?

This free Florida campground literally on the beach. Need I say more?! The sandy shores provide excellent views of Blackwater Bay, an inlet to the Gulf of Mexico.

You can fish from the shore or lounge on the beach, but either way you’ll be relaxed.

The surrounding trees provide plenty of shade for picnics or campfires. Make sure you bring a guitar so you can play some Jimmy Buffett songs.

Location

RV Campsite Information

  • Maximum RV length reported: 40ft
  • Number of sites: 12 sites
  • Amenities: portable toilets, bear-resistant trash cans, fires rings, picnic tables
  • Max Stay: 14 days, every 60 days

Top Things to do Nearby

  • Gulf Breeze Zoo – I usually avoid endorsing zoos, due to rampant malpractice, but this one strives for a number of moral goals which I support. Its 50 acres teems with native and non-native species. Go check it out.   
  • Navarre Beach Pier Fishing – If you love angling than you’ll love this pier. It’s the longest in Florida, standing 30ft high and stretching 1545ft into the ocean.  
  • Navarre Family Watersports – You can rent a pontoon boat or a jetski for a day and cruise around the area. OR use their water obstacle course to drain your kids of energy. Fun for the whole family!

For more information on RV camping at Bayside Campground visit HERE.

4. Lake Panasoffkee Campgrounds – Wildwood

Lake-Panasoffkee-Campgrounds-–-Wildwood
@jeaninemaries

A wildlife management area originally acquired to preserve Lake Panasoffkee’s vast floodplain forest, pine flatwoods, marshes, and oak scrub.

Restoration efforts continue to make this natural landscape viable for both wildlife and recreational activities. These include hiking, fishing, birdwatching, and more!

Why do we love it?

There’s actually a number of campgrounds around the lake so you can really spread your wings at this spot.

The nearby lake gives you endless outdoor activities. You can hike, horseback ride, or engage in any non-motorized water activity. It’s a nature lovers dream come true!

Location

RV Campsite Information

  • Maximum RV length reported: 41ft
  • Number of sites: NA
  • Amenities: shared water locations, flushable toilets
  • Max Stay: 14 days

Top Things to do Nearby

  • Swamp Fever Airboat Adventures  – Its your classic bayou boat-ride experience! You can see gators, raccoons, a variety of birds, and more!  
  • Bungling Around Lake Panasoffkee – If we were in a Alfred Hitchcock movie, this would be the last place you would want to be. There’s bird everywhere—EVERYWHERE!
  • Flying Eagle Preserve – A plethora of lakes, swamps, and marshes, with multiple scattered islands. Hardwood and cypress forests cover the swampy floodplains of the Withlacoochee River.

For more information on RV camping at Lake Panasoffkee Campground visit HERE.

5. Dee River Campground – Inverness

Dee-River-Campground-–-Inverness
@knowtanlines

Mosey on down to Potts Preserve and you’ll find this quaint little campground inside. The surround wildlife management area spans 8500 acres and contains an absurd number of species.

Shoot, you’ll even find the threatened Florida scrub-jay. It offers more activities than a strip mall, including hunt, fish, hike, stargaze, birdwatch, and more!

Why do we love it?

Time to grow your armpit hair out. You’re going primitive. This site puts you in the middle Florida’s prettiest wilderness.

Nearby Dee River offers fishing opportunities and the surrounding forest gives you everything else: hunting, hiking, biking and more.

You can do all of this in almost complete privacy. It’s everything you want in a boondocking experience!

Location

RV Campsite Information

  • Maximum RV length reported: Any size RV
  • Number of sites: NA
  • Amenities: Non-potable water stations, port-a-pottys, and picnic tables
  • Max Stay: 7 days

Top Things to do Nearby

  • Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing – The unholy trinity of America includes sex, money, and fast cars. Now you learn about the loudest and fastest of the cars by visiting this museum.
  • Fort Cooper State Park – This 700 acre park will teach you about history, nature, and birds! Its got a little something, something for everyone so don’t miss it!
  • GatorWorld Parks or Die – If you go to Paris you better visit the Eiffel Tower, right? Well, if you go to Florida you better visit a GatorWorld Park. It’d be messed up not to.

For more information on RV camping in Dee River Campground visit HERE.

6. Pine Creek Landing – Apalachicola National Forest

Pine-Creek-Landing-–-Apalachicola-National-Forest
@photoquesttraveler

Technically a boat ramp, but there’s several grassy, level sites nearby. Since it’s a wider space there’s plenty of room for larger rigs.

Furthermore, the surrounding Apalachicola National Forest will immerse you in the classic Floridian woodlands.

There’s boundless wildlife across its whole breadth so get exploring!

Why do we love it?

If you own kayaks or enjoy fishing OR just like a good swim in the morning, this is the place for you.

Fortunately, less people use the boat ramp than you’d expect so you’ll still get relative privacy at this site.

Overall, its primitive but that’s really what you’re looking for when you want to boondock anyway!

Location

RV Campsite Information

  • Maximum RV length reported: Any size rig
  • Number of sites: 5 sites
  • Amenities: Fire rings, non-potable water from the creek
  • Max Stay: 14 days

Top Things to do Nearby

  • Orman House Historic State Park – Nothing says ‘fun afternoon’ like a Civil War Era estate. Okay, maybe our racist past is a difficult to confront, but on some levels its necessary. Here’s a good place to start.
  • Wakulla Springs State Park – Home to Earth’s largest and deepest freshwater springs. The place boasts alligators, manatees, and a ton of diverse wildlife viewable throughout the park.
  • Leon Sinks Geological Area – Known for its karst landscape with freshwater sinkholes, this wildlife wonderland will keep you marveling all day long.  

For more information on RV camping in Pine Creek Landing Campground visit HERE.

7. Davenport Landing – Ocala National Forest

Davenport-Landing-–-Ocala-National-Forest
@sunfloweroflife

An old steamboat stop that’s no longer used. It can be found down a rugged road deep in the Ocala National Forest, home to some of the areas most impressive landscape features.

Furthermore, a swimming hole with a rope swing lies only a short distance from the campsite. It’s a unique and rare place, even for Florida!

Why do we love it?

Another campsite that will reconnect you with your inner Neanderthal. This might be the most isolated site on our list; however, it’s also the cleanest, most pristine, and most private.

The lack of humans encourages more wildlife to hang around. Visitors have reported all types of local wildlife here. Keep your eye out for them!

Location

RV Campsite Information

  • Maximum RV length reported: 28ft
  • Number of sites: 4
  • Amenities: No amenities (Prepare to rough it!)
  • Max Stay: 14 days

Top Things to do Nearby

  • Ocklawaha Prairie Restoration Area – 2400 acres of prairie wetlands containing boundless wildlife. This type of restoration area is rare in Florida!
  • Mill Dam Recreation Area – Large lake with tons of water activities, including fishing, kayaking, and swimming.  
  • Juniper Springs Recreation Area – Created by the Civilian Corps in the 1930s. It’s one of the oldest and best-known recreation areas on the East coast. You’ll find hundreds of bubbling springs and dense forests peppered with wildlife.

For more information on RV camping at Davenport Landing Campground visit HERE.

8. Hickory Hammock – Lorida

Hickory-Hammock-–-Lorida
@michaelrwilks

Someone was lazy with the nearby city’s name. I mean seriously, Lorida, Florida? They just took the ‘F’ off.

Well, at least it’ll make it easier to find this awesome dispersed camping spot! It’s sheltered among Florida’s sub-tropical forests and offers plenty of privacy.

In fact, it has plenty of trees to set-up a hammock—hence the name.

Why do we love it?

You’ll find more amenities than most other campgrounds on this list. Yet it provides some fantastic isolation, especially when it isn’t horseback riding season (AKA wetter weather).

It leaves you free to explore anyway you like, even naked! (Seriously, check out our Nude Camping article).

Location

RV Campsite Information

  • Maximum RV length reported: 36ft
  • Number of sites: 15 designated sites and an open field
  • Amenities: picnic table, fire rings, pit toilets, and non-potable water
  • Max Stay: 14 days

Top Things to do Nearby

For more information on RV camping at Hickory Hammock Campground visit HERE.

9. Kowechobe Campground – Clewiston

Kowechobe-Campground-–-Clewiston
@makepagirl

Dinner Island Ranch Wildlife Management Area is more than a mouthful, it’s a wildlife paradise.

Deep in central Florida, just above The Everglades, you’ll find this hidden gem.

A rugged road takes you to the campground, surrounded by sweeping vistas and abundant forests. It’s a wonderful place to get lost.

Why do we love it?

At this campground, you’ll find lush grass between your toes, blue sky above, and a forest hugging you from every direction.

It’s peaceful, it’s secluded, and it’s free. What more can you ask for? Dinner Island Ranch houses a myriad of local wildlife.

You can walk from your campground and find deer, owls, alligators, and more. Bring a buddy and enjoy some of the most pristine nature in the United States!

Location

RV Campsite Information

  • Maximum RV length reported: 36ft
  • Number of sites: 20 designated sites and an open field
  • Amenities: Vault toilet
  • Max Stay: 14 days

Top Things to do Nearby

  • Okaloacoochee Slough State Forest – Means ‘boggy slaw’ in Muskogee. You’ll understand why when you visit. The swamp-pocked land is an excellent place to hike and find wildlife.   
  • Peruse Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum – Learn about the Seminole, a Native American group found primarily in Florida, at this fascinating museum. Great way to spend an afternoon!
  • Florida Panther Wildlife Preserve – There’s a small chance you might spot one of these highly elusive creatures. If you do, respect them and keep your distance, there’s only a handful left in the wild.  

For more information on RV camping at Kowechobe Campground visit HERE.

10. Town of KICCO Campground – River Ranch

@floridatrail

Take a long road through KICCO Wildlife Management Area to find this campground. It’s locked behind a gate. Don’t worry though! You can access it by going to this website.

They’ll give you a gate code after you register. KICCO is rife with alligators so be careful with small pets and children.

Why do we love it?

Its right on the water! Make a cup of coffee in the morning and gaze out your window for spectacular views.

OR set-up a lawn chair at night and listen to the alligators grumbling in the nearby swamps.

Still bored? Don’t be! You can take a short walk and go fishing or breakout the kayaks and take a cruise. It’s an adventurer’s paradise!

Location

RV Campsite Information

  • Maximum RV length reported: 55ft
  • Number of sites: N/A (situated on a long road with a lot of room)
  • Amenities: Vault toilet
  • Max Stay: 8 days

Top Things to do Nearby

  • Explore KICCO Wildlife Management Area – Features an excellent 9-mile biking trail, as well as, plenty of opportunities to view abundant wildlife.
  • A Day at Lake Kissimmee  – You can hike the shore, go fishing, or take a cruise in your kayak. Lake Kissimmee has something for everyone, including a perfect pick-up line for getting a kiss.  
  • Three Lakes Wildlife Management AreaAnother wildlife management area!? Uh, yes… Florida’s sub-tropical climate provides a home to an abundant wildlife ecosystem. Take the chance to see it—go explore Three Lakes.

For more information on RV camping at Town of KICCO Campground visit HERE.


Florida is one of the most unique states in the lower 48. It’s epic sub-tropical forests and gorgeous sandy beaches offer plenty of opportunities for free RV camping. If you’ve ever camped in Florida, we want to hear about it. Tell us your story in the comments below!

Last Updated on by Aaron Richardson

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