If you’re looking for a budget-friendly way to explore the beautiful scenery of Florida, free camping is a great option.
Camping is a great outdoor activity, but strangely enough, it can get expensive. We recently paid $50 a night for a campsite in Florida.
Now that can get expensive, especially if you are planning on spending a lot of time on the road. Free camping can help to reduce the cost of your camping trip and help you enjoy cheap camping Florida.
That is what inspired us, to come up with a list of free camping in Florida, to help you stay on the road and in the outdoors longer.
We’ve rounded up the best Florida free camping spots and divided them into regions, so you can know where to go.
All these spots are open year-round unless otherwise stated.
The Best Free Camping In Florida
We have broken down the best free campsites in Florida, by region so you can enjoy the best this state has to offer with free camping.
Even though some of these spots off free campsites, you might have to pay an entrance fee to the park while some of them do offer free car camping as well.
1. Apalachicola National Forest
One of the longest free-flowing rivers in the United States that offers opportunities for boating, fishing, and paddling.
The river is home to a diverse variety of aquatic plants, fish, and wildlife species. It also offers up some great free primitive sites for camping.
However, best of all they offer up some of the best free camping in Florida.
2. Leon Sinks Geological Area
A unique geological wonder characterized by several sinkholes, stunning limestone formations, and crystal-clear waterfalls.
There is also a 1,100-mile trail that runs through the forest, perfect for hiking and bird watching while you are camping for free.
3. Hickory Landing Campground
Hickory Landing Campground is located on the Ochlocknee River and offers opportunities for boating, fishing, and paddling.
The nearest place to eat is the Oyster Lodge, although they do have some picnic tables on site.
4. Lafayette Blue Springs State Park
Lafayette Blue Springs is a great free camping site that is open year-round, primitive camping, free of charge.
It is the perfect spot for swimming, fishing, and kayaking. The nearest place to eat is Our Town Cafe in Mayo.
They also have BBQs and picnic tables for you to use while camping.
Here are some free camping spots in Northern Florida for you.
5. Black Creek Campground
Black Creek is perfect for fishing, hunting season kayaking, and swimming.
The nearest place to eat is the Front Porch.
6. Osceola National Forest
Osceola is one of three national forests in Florida. While camping in Osceola check out Ocean Pond Campground. A beautiful and scenic lake that offers opportunities for boating, fishing, and swimming.
The nearest place most campers go to eat is First Street Grille in White Springs when you get tired of cooking on your campfire that is.
7. Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park
The park provides free camping and opportunities for stargazing, hiking, and wildlife viewing.
Visitors can explore the vast prairies with activities such as biking or horseback riding. The best place to eat nearby is Cowpoke’s Watering Hole in Okeechobee.
However, there is a vehicle fee so be prepared.
8. Ocala National Forest
Ocala National Forest is the perfect spot to camp. While you are here you will want to check out Juniper Springs which is a stunning natural spring that features a picturesque waterfall, swimming, tubing, and camping opportunities.
There are also BBQs and picnic tables for you to use.
9. Prairie Lakes Unit
This unit of the Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area offers free camping opportunities, as well as hunting and fishing activities. A win-win if you ask us.
Visitors can also explore the area on hiking and biking trails. There is no entrance fee to access the Prairie Lakes Unit. The unit is open daily from 8:00 am to sunset. Unless you are camping.
This site is also dog friendly, but there is a $3 entrance fee to access the park.
10. Everglades National Park
A UNESCO World Heritage Site and an International Biosphere Reserve, this national park is a marvel of nature and features unique flora and fauna. Visitors can explore the park by hiking, biking, boating, or taking guided tours.
The park offers free backcountry camping opportunities in designated areas. Visitors can explore the unique ecosystem of the park through its hiking trails, birdwatching, and canoeing.
It is a bucket list spot to camp in Florida.
11. Jonathan Dickinson State Park
The park offers free tent campsites. Visitors can also explore the natural beauty of the park with activities such as hiking or biking and canoeing or kayaking.
The best place to eat nearby is the Dune Dog Cafe in Jupiter.
There is an entrance fee of $6 per vehicle, and the park is opens daily at 8:00 am.
12. Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
A beautiful wetland that is home to several species of wildlife, including alligators, otters, fish, and a diverse variety of birds.
Visitors can explore the refuge through walking trails or guided canoe trips.
This is the perfect spot to camp for free in South Florida.
How To Find Free Campsites In Florida
When looking for free campsites in Florida, it’s important to do your research and be prepared.
Make sure you read up on the rules and regulations of the area you plan to go free campgrounds in and pack accordingly.
Here are a few tips to help you find free camping sites in Florida:
1. Check out BLM lands
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages millions of acres of public lands across the United States, including in Florida, which offers free camping.
For example, the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse Outstanding Natural Area in Florida offers primitive camping with no fees.
You can also contact the local BLM office to learn about more free camping opportunities in the state.
2. Utilize the iOverlander app
IOverlander is a popular app among campers and RVers that helps users locate free campsites, as well as low-cost campgrounds and even parking lots that allow overnight parking.
Specifically in Florida, the app has listings for free campsites including free beach camping in Florida.
The app works offline, so you can access information even in areas with limited cellular service.
Conclusions On Free Camping
As you can see there are plenty of free spots to camp in Florida, as long as you know how to find them, and now you do.
We normally like to mix up some free camping with some of our favorite paid camping sites in Florida to help keep our costs down as we are traveling around the state.
Camping in Florida is a great way to get out, enjoy some fresh air, and reconnect with nature. So whether you are looking for a digital detox, or just want to spend some more time outdoors.
We hope this list has inspired you and helped you find the free camping spot in Florida that you were looking for.