News About Florida State Parks

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Things to do at Florida State Parks

Florida state parks are often overlooked by visitors who have no idea that they are by passing some absolute hidden gems. Plan your adventures to 175 award-winning Florida state parks parks, trails and historic sites.

Did You Know?

Interesting & useful facts


You can choose from 175 Florida state parks to visit.


Most of Florida's state parks are open from 8 a.m. to sunset, every day of the year.


Museums, visitor centers and historic sites may be closed two days per week and hours may vary.

Can I fish? Do I need a fishing license?

Fishing locations are abundant in Florida State Parks. Check the park’s webpage for specific information. Visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s website to determine if you need a fishing license.

Can I reserve a picnic shelter for a family, business or church outing?

In general, parks offer picnic shelters on a first-come, first-served basis. However, some picnic shelters may be reserved. Check the park’s webpage for specific information.

Can I use my metal detector?

The use of metal detectors is allowed in certain designated areas in Florida State Parks.  Metal detectors may be used at coastal parks between the waterline and toe of the dune, as determined by the Park Manager, except at archaeological sites within the zone. Metal detectors may also be used during authorized archaeological research projects, and to recover lost personal items, with supervision of a park staff member.  Please check with the park of your choice for special details and arrangements.

Is hunting allowed?

Florida state parks are managed as natural systems. All plant and animal life is protected in state parks. Limited hunting with a special permit from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is allowed at Rock Springs Run State Reserve, Cedar Key Scrub State Reserve and the Marshall Swamp area of the Cross Florida Greenway. To fully enjoy the experience of visiting a wilderness area it is recommended that you contact the reserves in advance of your visit.

Where can I swim with the manatees?

Resource protection is foremost at all state parks and swimming with manatees is not allowed. However, the endangered Florida manatee can be seen every day at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. Visitors can go below the water’s surface to view these gentle giants from the underwater observatory in Homosassa’s main spring.

Can I bring my pet to stay in a state park cottage, cabin or lodge?

No. Pets are not permitted in state park cabins, cottages or lodges. Pets are permitted in designated campgrounds. Service animals are welcome in all public areas of Florida’s State Parks. The Pet Policy shares guidelines for bringing your pets to the park.

Can I make or change reservations using my mobile device?

Yes. Reservations can be made securely using the ReserveAmerica website. This website is now responsive and friendly for users of mobile devices. Website and phone reservations, cancellations and transfers are subject to transaction fees.

Do you have lodging in state parks?

Wakulla Springs State Park is home to a 27-room lodge, and 21 state parks from Pensacola to the Florida Keys include overnight cabin accommodations. Some are “modern” vacation cabins with two bedrooms and some are rustic. Cabin fees range from $30 to $180 per night. Reservations may be made from one day to 11 months in advance online through ReserveAmerica, or by calling toll-free (800) 326-3521 or TDD (888) 433-0287 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. EST.

Does the current reservation system give an advantage to any particular group or individual in making reservations?

No. The reservation system does not give an advantage to any particular group or individual in making reservations. Everyone has the same opportunity to call or go online and make a reservation. Everyone also has access to the bookable inventory at the same time. However online reservation seekers do have a slight advantage over those who use the call center. The call takes longer than making online reservations. Online reservation seekers can use multiple computers at the same time which can increase their success of getting a desired reservation.

Has the price to camp  changed?

No, camping fees remain the same, ranging from $16 to $42, depending on the park. However, beginning July 1, 2015, the non-refundable reservation fee charged by ReserveAmerica, a fee that has been paid by the Department in the past, will now be paid by visitors at the time they make their reservations online or using the call center. Visitors pay a non-refundable $6.70 fee when they make a reservation online or by using the call center. Visitors will continue to pay fees of $17.75 to cancel and $10 to change a reservation.

A three-day camping trip to a Florida State Parks costs an average of $75. With the addition of the $6.70 reservation fee, the average cost is now $81.70.

How do I make a reservation to camp?

Visitors to Florida State Parks can reserve campsites and cabins online at ReserveAmerica or by calling toll-free to (800) 326-3521, 1-866-ICAMPFL or TDD (888) 433-0287. Reservations may be made from one day to 11 months in advance. Visitors will pay a non-refundable $6.70 fee when they make a reservation online or by using the call center. Visitors will also be charged a fee of $17.75 to cancel and $10 to change a reservation.

How far in advance can I make a reservation?

Reservations may be made from one day up to 11 months in advance of your arrival date.  Reservations can only be made beyond 11 months when the reservation period starts within the 11 month period and ends outside that period.  The result is reservations could extend 11 months and 14 days in the future.   In an effort to ensure fairness in reserving campsites and cabins, reservations made with a departure date beyond the 11-month advance reservations window may not be changed until 18 days after the reservation is made.