Escape to the woods at these primitive camping locations. Some of them are along our statewide National Scenic Trail, the Florida Trail, and on backpacking loops within state parks and state forests. Others are on water management district lands. Some locations are within city and county parks, where you park your car and then walk in to the campsite, which may be up to a half-mile from the parking area.
Primitive campsites generally don’t have bathroom facilities, or if they do, they offer only portable toilets or vault toilets. It’s up to you to know how to go in the backcountry and to leave no trace.
While most primitive campsites in Florida are free to use, many do require permits in advance, particularly on water management lands. Refer to each destination for full details.
Favorite Primitive Camping Destinations
Our favorite destinations for primitive camping in Florida include a combination of campsites where you can drive in and set up your tent as well as backcountry campsites along hiking trails.
Primitive Camping in Florida State Parks
Primitive campsites in Florida State Parks are primarily along trails built and maintained by the Florida Trail Association. Most state parks charge a nominal fee per person, between $1 and $5 per night, to camp in the backcountry. Some of the more popular primitive camping destinations have vault toilets and fire rings.
In the case of primitive sites (including primitive group sites), you do not reserve them online. Instead, call the park directly to make a reservation. You’ll pay your camping fee when you come into the park at the entrance station. Always arrive early enough to leave enough time to hike in to the site before it gets dark.