A lot of folks camp with their dogs or other small pets. But what if you like camping with your larger four-legged friends, like horses? Well, Florida’s got you covered! Many of its state parks have horseback riding trails and even equestrian campgrounds with RV parking. If you like horse camping, these Florida state parks are a must-visit.
About Horse Camping in Florida
Horse camping in Florida is camping with your horse in a designated equestrian campground. Some of these campgrounds have paddocks, corrals, water troughs, and tie-outs for your horses, but many do not. Make sure you know before you go, and be prepared to trailer your horse, set up a temporary corral, or provide your own water if required.
Also, be aware of any park-specific equestrian rules. The most important rule across all state park campgrounds is to make sure you have proof of a negative Coggins test for your horse(s). Other rules will vary by park, so we recommend checking the Florida State Parks website before visiting.
Best Campgrounds for Horse Camping in Florida
1. Wekiwa Springs State Park
Location: 1800 Wekiwa Cir, Apopka, FL 32712
About the Campground: This park is known for the crystal springs that flow into the Wekiwa River. The gorgeous surroundings are popular for those that like to hike, bike, swim, snorkel, camp, and, of course, horseback ride! There is an 8-mile equestrian trail at the park, which also allows bikes and hikers. And there is a horse corral at the start of the trail for your convenience.
Primitive horse camping is available at Big Fork Campground in Florida’s Wekiwa Springs State Park. The primitive sites are not accessible by vehicle, so you must carry in your water and gear. There are also 60 sites at the regular campground that can accommodate RVs up to 50 feet. Each site has water and electric hookups. Some even have sewer hookups, but no corrals. The cost is $24 per night plus a $6.70 nonrefundable reservation fee.
Wekiwa Springs State Park is located near Orlando. If you’re looking for things to do in the area, we’ve got some great recommendations: 9 Best Things To Do In Orlando, Florida
2. Shangri-La Trailhead and Campground
Location: 12788 SW 69th Court, Ocala, FL
About the Campground: With miles of historic trails, beautiful greenery, and wildlife, this area is popular with equestrian trail riders. If you are staying overnight, there are 24 pull-through sites in this horse camping area in Florida. Some are ADA accessible as well.
The sites are primitive with no hookups, but there is a bathhouse, horse wash racks, horse tie-outs, and a dump station. This campground also has a couple of shared picnic shelters and is partially shaded. The cost is $18 per night or $126 per week with a $6.70 nonrefundable reservation fee.
3. Little Manatee State Park
Location: 215 Lightfoot Rd, Wimauma, FL 33598
About the Campground: Little Manatee State Park has 2,400 acres to explore along the Little Manatee River. Visitors can enjoy hiking, kayaking, and horseback riding here.
There are 4 back-in campsites for horses that can accommodate RVs up to 25 feet. These sites have water and electric hookups (20 and 30 amp), and there is a bathhouse. Canoe rentals are also available in the park. The cost to camp is $22 per night, plus a $6.70 nonrefundable reservation fee.
4. Jonathan Dickinson State Park
Location: 16450 SE Federal Hwy, Hobe Sound, FL 33455
About the Campground: Jonathan Dickinson State Park is the largest state park in Southeastern Florida, coming in at over 10,000 acres. It has a diverse ecosystem and a storied past. In fact, the park is named after a Quaker merchant who shipwrecked on the Florida coast in 1696.
There are 8 miles of multi-use equestrian trails, and 5 campsites with tie-outs for horses. Portable corrals are permitted, but electric corrals are not. To reserve a horse camping site at this Florida park, please call the ranger station at 772-546-2771.
5. Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park
Location: 33104 NW 192nd Ave, Okeechobee, FL 34972
About the Campground: This preserve is part of the Everglades headwaters and helps to protect Florida’s largest tract of dry prairie. Bird watching is one of the most popular activities in this park, in addition to horseback riding (many people do both!). Kissimmee Prairie Preserve has 100-miles of two-trail roads. However, it’s important to know that trails are shared with bikers and hikers and are not equestrian-only.
The Kilpatrick Hammock Campground inside this Florida state park offers 10 horse camping sites with 50 amp electric hookups and water. Additionally, each campsite includes access to one horse paddock. If the paddocks are full, temporary fencing areas are available. The camp also has an ADA accessible bathhouse. Nightly rates are $16 with a $6.70 nonrefundable reservation fee.
6. Highlands Hammock State Park
Location: 5931 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872
About the Campground: Highlands Hammock State Park opened in 1931 before the state park system was even created. It’s now on the National Register of Historic Places. With 9,000 acres of rare and endemic species – more than any other state park in Florida – this is the perfect area to experience plants and wildlife on horseback. In fact, Highlands Hammock boasts 11-miles of day-use equestrian trails.
The campground offers both water and eclectic hookups for RVs, and it has a dump station. Campsites vary in length from 20 to 50 feet, with a 50 foot maximum for RV length. There are also drive-to wilderness sites. However, these wilderness campsites are primitive and have no hookups or running water. There is a solar outhouse at the primitive campground, and each site has a picnic table and fire ring. Campsites range in price from $18 to $22 per night, in addition to the $6.70 nonrefundable reservation fee. You must trailer your horse at this state park.
7. Picayune Strand State Forest
Location: 2121 52nd Avenue SE, Naples, FL, 34117
About the Campground: This 74,000-acre forest has plenty of beautiful lands to explore with your four-legged friends. Picayune Strand also has numerous endangered species, including elusive Florida panthers. There is a 22-mile equestrian trail, as well as horse paddocks, non-potable water, and a portable restroom. All drinking water must be brought in.
A small number of primitive tent camping sites are available at Picayune Strand Horseshoe Primitive Campground. Group camping in tents or RVs is also available at the Horseshoe Equestrian Group Camp. Groups cannot exceed 15 people and 4 vehicles. Primitive sites start at $9.09 per night, and group camping starts at $18.18 per night.
We personally stayed at Picayune Strand and loved watching the horses come and go!
8. Rock Springs Run State Reserve
Location: 30601 County Rd 433, Sorrento, FL 32776
About the Campground: There are 17 miles of multi-use trails in this park, and there are guided trail rides as well as rental horses available. The equestrian parking at Rock Springs Run State Reserve has stalls, corrals, tie-outs, grills, and a restroom with showers. There is water for the horses and troughs in multiple locations. However, potable water and all other items must be packed in. Trash must also be packed out.
Primitive horse camping in this Florida state reserve is available for both tent campers and RVers. Reservations are required, and the cost to camp is $5 per person per night.
9. O’Leno State Park & River Rise Preserve
Location: 410 SE Oleno Park Rd, High Springs, FL 32643
About the Campground: The Santa Fe River goes underground and resurfaces 3 miles later in River Rise Reserve, making for a spectacular natural area. This state park has an impressive 35 miles of horse trails, and you can stay overnight at a primitive horse camping area.
The camping area can accommodate up to 40 rigs at a time, and a reservation is required. Additionally, the equestrian campground has 20 horse stalls in a barn available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Camping costs $5 per night per person.
Explore Horse Camping in Florida
If you like to camp with your equine partner, Florida State Parks have miles and miles of trails across the most beautiful ecosystems in the state. Not to mention, they have numerous camping areas that let you stay overnight. You can spend an entire weekend exploring historic lands in the same way the explorers traveled these lands hundreds of years ago.
Bring your equine pals and enjoy one of the many horse-friendly camping destinations in the Sunshine State.
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