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Posted: 2/7/2020 10:26:09 AM EST
Are there any rivers in Florida that are remote where you can kayak and camp on the river? I'd prefer to find a place where I can be away from it all and pull over wherever/whenever I want and wilderness camp as opposed to a place there there is a designated non-primitive campsite with other campers.

I did a kayak trip down the Myakka (about 16 miles) and had an absolute blast. However, they don't allow camping by the river
Link Posted: 2/7/2020 11:18:14 AM EST
In my misspent Florida youth, we used to do it all the time. Whether is was legal or not, nobody ever bothered us. These days, I am not so sure. It seems most of the land along the banks of most creeks & rivers is private property so you would have to get written permission in advance. The waterways through the State Parks have their own rules about how and where you can camp. I'm betting that generally they are not going to allow you to set-up a campsite without sanitary facilities nearby.

You might try calling some of the canoe rental places on some of the rivers and ask them about primitive camping along the paddle routes.
Link Posted: 2/7/2020 12:13:00 PM EST
Check out the Suwannee River, on the upper part it has little huts on the river for camping, on the lower part we just hammock camped on the river. Took us about 6 days to do the trip to the gulf in kayaks, i think we averaged around 30 miles a day. Very nice.
Link Posted: 2/7/2020 12:16:52 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Makarov:
In my misspent Florida youth, we used to do it all the time. Whether is was legal or not, nobody ever bothered us. These days, I am not so sure. It seems most of the land along the banks of most creeks & rivers is private property so you would have to get written permission in advance. The waterways through the State Parks have their own rules about how and where you can camp. I'm betting that generally they are not going to allow you to set-up a campsite without sanitary facilities nearby.

You might try calling some of the canoe rental places on some of the rivers and ask them about primitive camping along the paddle routes.
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Yes, that's what I'm finding. It's mostly private property and if not, the park or whatever .gov entity owns it doesn't want any primitive on the fly camping. I know Myakka State Park does not.
Link Posted: 2/7/2020 12:17:49 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/7/2020 12:27:33 PM EST by rssc]
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Originally Posted By Fishingstickman:
Check out the Suwannee River, on the upper part it has little huts on the river for camping, on the lower part we just hammock camped on the river. Took us about 6 days to do the trip to the gulf in kayaks, i think we averaged around 30 miles a day. Very nice.
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Good information. Thank you. Do you know if the lower part is privately owned?
Link Posted: 2/7/2020 1:08:13 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/7/2020 1:09:21 PM EST by PR361]
Anything below the high water mark is Sovereign land, as long as you camp on the bank , you should be fine. Water is low this time of year. Lots of folks paddle and camp the Suwannee.

Check out the Little Big Econ, several primitive sites for camping on State land along the river. I have often run across them while hunting there.

https://www.fdacs.gov/Divisions-Offices/Florida-Forest-Service/Our-Forests/State-Forests/Little-Big-Econ-State-Forest

Also, the Upper St. john’s has lots of sites on islands.

And the Kissimmee River.

Lots of opportunities to paddle and Camp in Florida.
Link Posted: 2/7/2020 4:31:04 PM EST
Suwannee, Santa Fe, Withlacoochee are my three choices. I know for a fact there is a state-owned tract/park in Citrus with a primitive camping site right on the water.
Link Posted: 2/7/2020 5:15:45 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/7/2020 5:20:27 PM EST by g8rgunner]
I've done several trips on the Suwannee. I made some pretty long posts a few years ago, but not sure if I can find them again. The upper Suwannee, from the Okefenokee swamp down to south of White Springs is probably best. Further downriver from there, it gets bigger and more crowded with boats, people etc. We never had problems with finding spots to camp along the way. Suwannee Canoe Outpost in Live Oak has good info. We used our own canoes, but had them take us upriver and drop us off. They have several different spots they take you to based on how long of a trip you want. They have a pretty good chart on their website about the water levels. The river can be entirely different based on the level. Too low and it's slow going with some areas actually too low to paddle. Too high and the current can be so fast it can be dangerous.

Another really nice trip we did was the Blackwater River out west in the Panhandle. It's the onle complete sand bottom river in Florida. It averages only 2-3 feet deep and there are sandbars perfect for camping at almost every corner. Blackwater Canoe Rental will take you up river and drop you off at a spot based on how long you want to stay. I only did that river once, but have wanted to go back ever since.

Edit: I found a couple of the old posts...

https://www.ar15.com/forums/hometown/Another-canoeing-camping-trip-on-the-Suwannee/10-552865/
Link Posted: 2/7/2020 6:13:17 PM EST
Lopez River where they just extracted a guy lost for 12 days.

There are camping docks with huts.

Link Posted: 2/7/2020 7:03:47 PM EST
I’m camping on the Suwannee River right now. Stopped for the night along the river at the Shoals. We were shuttled to Cone Street boat ramp and will finish Sunday at Spirit of the Suwannee Park.

3 days.
Link Posted: 2/7/2020 10:59:47 PM EST
Blackwater would fit the bill. I've floated it but not camped there. I have kayaked an camped on Juniper Creek which feeds into Blackwater.
Link Posted: 2/8/2020 11:00:40 AM EST
Several choices here on the Oaklawaha in Ocala NF offered by the outpost in Eureka. https://www.outpostresort.com/rivertrips.html The Silver River is an amazing run, for those that haven't seen it it is a must see. one of our favorites.
Link Posted: 2/8/2020 8:46:57 PM EST
Peace river on the right hand side of the river while going downstream.
Link Posted: 2/8/2020 9:01:29 PM EST
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Originally Posted By rssc:

Good information. Thank you. Do you know if the lower part is privately owned?
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The Federal refuge is the lower part and you can camp on the river , i cannot recall the couple small private campgrounds we camped at about halfway down, the little huts require a reservation, they were nice. we did stay at Manatee state park and rented a cabin one night due to a really bad storm coming off the gulf. I want to stay there again,they are nice.
i do more hammock camping now, on islands and up creeks on federal property and haven"t seen anyone, at all. I got the onx hunt app and it shows all the property lines everywhere in Florida for 30 dollars a year, even shows primitive camp sites on state property along rivers i had no idea existed. You can download large sections of the river and use it when you have no phone service.
Link Posted: 2/8/2020 10:29:14 PM EST
I’ve done the Suwannee, Little Econ and Wekiva in the past (as a scout, a while ago). Knew people who did the Peace River as well.
Link Posted: 2/9/2020 10:55:31 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/9/2020 5:12:38 PM EST by g8rgunner]
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Originally Posted By Fishingstickman:
The Federal refuge is the lower part and you can camp on the river , i cannot recall the couple small private campgrounds we camped at about halfway down, the little huts require a reservation, they were nice. we did stay at Manatee state park and rented a cabin one night due to a really bad storm coming off the gulf. I want to stay there again,they are nice.
i do more hammock camping now, on islands and up creeks on federal property and haven"t seen anyone, at all. I got the onx hunt app and it shows all the property lines everywhere in Florida for 30 dollars a year, even shows primitive camp sites on state property along rivers i had no idea existed. You can download large sections of the river and use it when you have no phone service.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Fishingstickman:
Originally Posted By rssc:

Good information. Thank you. Do you know if the lower part is privately owned?
The Federal refuge is the lower part and you can camp on the river , i cannot recall the couple small private campgrounds we camped at about halfway down, the little huts require a reservation, they were nice. we did stay at Manatee state park and rented a cabin one night due to a really bad storm coming off the gulf. I want to stay there again,they are nice.
i do more hammock camping now, on islands and up creeks on federal property and haven"t seen anyone, at all. I got the onx hunt app and it shows all the property lines everywhere in Florida for 30 dollars a year, even shows primitive camp sites on state property along rivers i had no idea existed. You can download large sections of the river and use it when you have no phone service.
Those little huts you're talking about are called River Camps, they're actually part of the state park system. I believe there are five of them running the length of the river. They are designed to be a day's paddle between them. You can google Suwannee river river camps and get info. You can make reservations and they are free. We have stayed at the one below White Springs. There are five camping platforms and a couple of primitive sites there. The platforms are basically raised screen enclosures allowing you to sleep inside without needing a tent. They actually have a fan and electricity and a shower house at each. There is a camp host there and ice and firewood for sale. Very nice. You don't have to have a reservation, but I'd recommend it.

Edit to add:River Camps
Link Posted: 2/10/2020 2:58:18 PM EST
Guys, just wanted to thank everyone for their input. It seems as though there are options for kayaking & camping. I am very interested in doing the Suwanee and a few of the others that were mentioned. I'm still getting info and think i need to call the local canoe outposts in some of these locations to get more info.
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