Dispersed Camping

Camping near Hidden Pond

Many enjoy the solitude and primitive experience of dispersed camping - camping away from developed campgrounds and other campers. However, no services and little to no facilities are provided. Additional responsibilities and skills may be necessary for a successful trip, and it is your responsibility to know your limits and abilities before you try this experience. Camping rules and regulations apply to make your experience safe and keep settings scenic and unspoiled for your fellow campers.

  1. Leave No Trace.
  2. Be Bear Aware. Bears call the National Forests in Florida home, so camp accordingly.
  3. Minimize Waste.
    1. Pack it in, pack it out. Dispose of all garbage in proper receptacles.
    2. Bury all human and pet waste at least 6 inches deep and at least 100 feet away from any water source.
  4. Camp Considerately.
    1. Dispersed camping is not allowed in the vicinity of developed recreation areas or less than 100 feet from streams and other water sources.
    2. Pick a previously-used site. Plants, soil and wildlife are impacted by new campsites.
    3. Make your campsite less visible, so other visitors can experience a “wild” setting. Avoid camping in the middle of a clearing or meadow.
    4. Be aware of forest boundaries, and get permission before camping on private property.
  5. Control your Campfire.
    1. Check if you are in an area with campfire restrictions – these will be listed on Alerts & Notices and Forest Orders.
    2. Where fires are permitted, minimize the scarring of new rocks, soil, and plants by using existing fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires.
    3. Down and dead firewood may be gathered around your camping area for use at your campsite. Do not cut standing trees or cut limbs off standing trees.
    4. Burn all wood and coals down to ashes, and extinguish campfires completely by generously dousing with water and stirring with a shovel. Before leaving your campsite, make certain your campfire is dead out, wet and cold to the touch.
  6. Know the Rules.
    1. Generally, there is a 14-day per month stay limit on the National Forests in Florida. Establishing residency is against federal regulation.
    2. Groups of over 75 people who wish to use the forest need to obtain a special use permit. Please contact the nearest District Office to where you wish to hold your event.
    3. Pets are welcome in most areas but must be kept under control at all times.
    4. Camping is allowed only in designated campsites during general gun season, as defined in Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission regulations for the Wildlife Management Areas that encompass our forests. Brochures and maps can be found on FWC’s website:
      1. Apalachicola
      2. Ocala
      3. Osceola
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Dispersed Camping Areas

Areas & Activities
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Fore Lake Campground


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Lake Dorr Campground


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Salt Springs Campground RV spaces

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