Outdoor Safety & Ethics

ATV rider getting safety instructionOur commitment is to provide a safe environment for forest users. We want you to have a positive experience while enjoying the recreational opportunities of your National Forests in Florida.

Our rules and regulations, orders and other important information posted in or near recreation sites, trail heads and forest boundaries are for your safety and protection. We ask that you take the time to read the information and abide by the rules to make your visit a pleasant one.

In this section of our website, we provide information on possible hazards you might encounter and how to handle them. It's worth a read before you head outdoors into the National Forests, especially on your first visit!


Bear Safety

Florida black bears are rambling into campsites and causing trouble. It's up to you to follow the rules for food storage to prevent incidents. Be bear aware!


Recreational Safety

Hikers along the Florida Trail

Play it safe when you play outdoors! Learn how to prepare for an outdoor expedition, and how to act when you're out in the woods.

Wildlife Encounters

Thieving raccoon at Juniper Springs

Our National Forests provide habitat for wild animals, including potentially dangerous animals like bears and venomous snakes. Keep your distance!


Natural Hazards

Forest fire in sand pine scrub Nature is unpredictable. In the forest, weather conditions can turn rapidly and lead to thunderstorms, flooding, or tornadoes. A bolt of lightning can start a forest fire. Be prepared!

Personal Safety

Boat launch at Lake Eaton

Personal safety is sometimes overlooked when you're in the woods and enjoying recreation activities, but the same savvy you use on city streets applies.