Campgrounds in Central East Florida

Campgrounds in Central East Florida
There are plenty of public lands for campers looking to pitch a tent along the Atlantic Coast of Florida between Flagler Beach and Jupiter. With additional campsites in the forests just inland of the coast, outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy a wide range of ecosystems, from ocean and river systems to estuaries and woodlands. Unique opportunities abound in this area of Florida, including viewing a space-shuttle launch from a kayak, canoeing along the scenic Loxahatchee River, hiking a Florida National Scenic Trail, watching shadows cast from large flocks of migratory birds each winter, and sharing the beach with sea turtles as they come ashore to nest during the summer.

Canaveral National Seashore

Primitive beach and island campsites are available at Canaveral National Seashore adjacent to NASA's Kennedy Space Center. Atlantic beach campsites are accessible by foot, but the island campsites located along the lagoon require a boat or kayak to reach. Most campsites have a fire ring with no additional amenities. Winter camping provides a drier camping experience with fewer insects as migratory birds from around North America descend, allowing for phenomenal birding. Fishing in the pristine waters of the lagoon or along the coast produces excellent table fare, including pompano and redfish.

Canaveral National Seashore
212 South Washington Avenue
Titusville, FL 32796
(321) 267-1110
nps.gov/cana

Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area

Stretching between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean, Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area offers tent and RV campsites with water and electricity just south of the city of Flagler Beach. While kayaking, biking and hiking are available at this park, it's the surfing, swimming, fishing and snorkeling along the ocean beach that's the real draw. Guest accommodations include restrooms, showers, picnic areas and a boat ramp.

Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area
3100 South State Road A1A
Flagler Beach, FL 32136
(386) 517-2086
floridastateparks.org/gamblerogers

Jonathan Dickinson State Park

The Loxahatchee River is the focal point of Jonathan Dickinson State Park, located north of Jupiter. Bike trails ranging in difficulty from beginner to expert traverse the park, with additional trails available for hikers and equestrians. Canoe and kayak rentals are available so boaters and kayakers can cruise the river. Visitors with a historical interest may take a ranger-led tour of the Depression-era homestead of Trapper Nelson. Campers may select one of the primitive campsites, developed campsites with water and electricity, or rental cabins available at the park.

Jonathan Dickinson State Park
16450 S.E. Federal Highway
Hobe Sound, FL 33455
(772) 546-2771
floridastateparks.org/jonathandickinson

Sebastian Inlet State Park

A strong current flows through Sebastian Inlet State Park, luring anglers to drop a line from the jetties in hopes of landing the Spanish mackerel, sharks and other sport fish that transit between the Atlantic Ocean and Indian River Lagoon. Kayakers can paddle on the lagoon side, while surfers can enjoy the beach side of the park. Tent and RV camping is available with electric and water hookups, with showers and restrooms providing a more comfortable experience. A 40-mile paved bike path and three off-road bike trails provide visitors with more than just sun, surf and sand.

Sebastian Inlet State Park
9700 South State Road A1A
Melbourne Beach, FL 32951
(321) 984-4852
floridastateparks.org/sebastianinlet

St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

A short distance inland from Sebastian Inlet State Park, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park offers campers multiple equestrian and primitive campsites. The primitive campsites are accessible only by foot, with no water or other amenities available. More than 60 miles of trails will test both the equipment and conditioning of hikers, cyclists and equestrians; those who reach their limit will find that fishing the brackish water of the St. Sebastian River will yield both freshwater and saltwater species.

St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park
1000 Buffer Preserve Drive
Fellsmere, FL 32948
(321) 953-5005
floridastateparks.org/stsebastianriver

Tiger Bay State Forest

The sand and surf of New Smyrna Beach and Daytona Beach often lead Volusia County visitors to overlook the interior sections of the county. Campers unwilling to travel to the western edge of the county, where the Ocala National Forest stretches for more than half a million acres, can find Tiger Bay State Forest just seven miles inland from Daytona Beach. Primitive and equestrian campsites lie within the forest with non-potable water. Wetlands and ponds dominate the wilderness of the forest; hikers and equestrians looking to explore these habitats will find trails included in the Florida Division of Forestry's Trailwalker and Trailtrotter Programs.

Tiger Bay State Forest
4316 West International Speedway Boulevard
Daytona Beach, FL 32124
(386) 226-0250
fl-dof.com/state_forests

Tomoka State Park

Tomoka State Park, located immediately north of Ormond, features RV and tent campsites with electricity, water, showers and restrooms for birders looking for a base camp from which to spot the 160 species of birds that frequent this area. Paddling the creeks and rivers bounding and traversing the park enhances the birding experience; canoe rentals are available within the park. Anglers will find sheepshead, spotted sea trout, snook, tarpon and redfish among the species lurking below the surface of the water.

Tomoka State Park
2099 North Beach Street
Ormond Beach, FL 32174
(386) 676-4050
floridastateparks.org/tomoka

Article Written By David Chandler

David Chandler has been a freelance writer since 2006 whose work has appeared in various print and online publications. A former reconnaissance Marine, he is an active hiker, diver, kayaker, sailor and angler. He has traveled extensively and holds a bachelor's degree from the University of South Florida where he was educated in international studies and microbiology.

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