Camping at Lake Arbuckle, Florida

Camping at Lake Arbuckle, Florida
Lake Arbuckle is situated in Central Florida, due south of Orlando and to the east of Tampa. It is popular with anglers as a bass fishing spot, as much of the lake is quite shallow and few places are deeper than 12 feet. The lake is also open to canoeing, the Florida Trail passes through the area and it's also a good spot for bird watching.

Lake Arbuckle WMA

Lake Arbuckle is not a state park, but it is a wildlife management area and part of Florida's forestry system. While it does not have extensive camping facilities, there are camping sites immediately around the lake. The lake itself has a campground off Rucks Dairy Road, while the Florida Trail has sites at the Lakeside, Hidden Hammock and Grave Island points of its Arbuckle Tract loop. There is a daily usage fee. For planning purposes, treat all these sites as primitive--be prepared to provide all your own water and exercise "leave no trace" standards, including packing out all your trash. These sites are open to tents, camping trailers and RVs. Backcountry camping might be permitted, but only with a special-use permit from the Florida Division of Forestry.

(863) 635-7801

Lake Wales Ridge State Forest

Lake Arbuckle itself is managed from the larger Lake Wales Ridge State Forest. The other major part of the forest is the Walk-in-Water Tract, which sits just a few miles to the north of Lake Arbuckle. This other half of the state forest has two more primitive camping sites available similar to those at Arbuckle Tract. Once again, be prepared to meet all your own water needs and to exercise "leave no trace" standards.

Lake Wales Ridge State Forest
851 County Road
Frostproof, Florida 33843
(863) 635-8589

Lake Bonnet Village

The closest campground after the primitive sites immediately around Lake Arbuckle is 15 miles away at the RV Park at Lake Bonnet Village. If you have an RV and are looking for a place with full hook-ups (including cable), this is where you need to go. The 175 RV sites are suitable for rigs up to 40 feet long. The site is in Avon Park, so it offers access to several lakes other than Arbuckle, as well as its own birding trails, two swimming pools, shower house, hot tub, a barbecue pit, laundry and a library with reading room.

Lake Bonnet Village
2900 East Lake Bonnet Rd.
Avon Park, Florida 33825
(863) 385-7010

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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