This article about Ocala National Forest Camping is brought to you by Good-to-Go. Camping meals don’t have to be a hassle if you bring Good-to-Go.


The Ocala National Forest is a gorgeous, 600 square-mile nature preserve located in central Florida. Known for its more than 600 lakes, ponds, and rivers, Ocala brings in more visitors than any other national forest in the state. Ocala National Forest camping is perfect for those looking for a a classic campsite or even dispersed camping.

Campers who come to Ocala enjoy fishing, canoeing, boating, and swimming while they camp. The forest’s wildlife populations include white-tailed deer, wild boar, migratory birds, bobcats, and gophers give visitors a glimpse into animals in their natural habitat.

There are numerous campgrounds in Ocala, each with its own special charm. Discover 7 of Ocala’s best campgrounds that you can visit this year on your camping trips.





The 7 Best Ocala National Forest Camping Spots

Map of camping near Ocala National Forest.

Find Free Ocala National Forest Camping with The Dyrt PRO

1. Black Horse Resort Ranch

Photo from a person on horseback at a ranch campsite in Florida.

Image from The Dyrt camper Joann C.

If you are looking for a horse-friendly campground near Ocala National Forest, Black Horse Resort Ranch is the perfect location. They have spaces for your RV, camper, or tent and stalls for your horses. Black Horse offers an outdoor picnic area with a wine and beer bar for the adults, a recreation room with TV, Wi-Fi, and an outdoor area with bowling and corn hole games for the kids.

“I’ve had such a quiet, relaxing week here!! The site is a little sandy so make sure you have good chocks and blocks if leveling an RV and was 30 amp instead of 30/50 amp listed, so bring an adapter (if needed). ”Leah C.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $20-40
  • Number of sites: 2
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

2. Clearwater Lake Campground

If you’re planning a camping trip in the Ocala National Forest, Clearwater Lake Campground is a must-visit spot. This gorgeous campground offers waterfront views for sunrise and sunset along with a host of amenities. Firewood is available onsite, as are shower facilities. You can enjoy the convenience of hookups if you’re camping with your RV.

“Wonderful little campground by a beautiful lake. Restrooms and showers were great along with the dishwashing station.”Kevin D.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $22-23
  • Number of sites: 42
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

3. Salt Springs Recreation Area

Florida Salt Springs campground.

Image from The Dyrt camper Yankee D.

This recreation area receives its name from the nearby natural mineral spring. Campers who visit the Salt Springs Recreation Area spend their time swimming, fishing, snorkeling, boating, and hiking. Explore the Bear Swamp Trail, fish on Lake George, or stay near the campground and play basketball or horseshoes. Salt Springs is the only campground in the Ocala National Forest with full RV hookups.

“Very clean and neat place. A lot of space, so kids can play. We enjoy watching crabs, turtles, and big fishes in the spring. Springs has a good shallow area where kids can play inside the water.”Diana M.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $22-34
  • Number of sites: 160
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

4. Juniper Springs Recreation Area

Named as Reserve America’s Top 100 Family campgrounds, Juniper Springs Recreation Area offers campers a relaxing and shade-filled campsite near Florida’s majestic natural springs. At Juniper Springs, you can swim and snorkel, as well as hike on the nearby trails. Of particular interest is Juniper Run, a 7-mile waterway where you can canoe your way downstream and admire the birds and wildlife along the way.

“Overall it’s a beautiful place to visit, the springs are crystal clear and if you like to kayak this place is for you. A wonderful weekend getaway.”Aslynn A.

  • Price: $15-24
  • Number of sites: 79
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

5. Shanty Pond Campground

Jeep wrangler at forested florida campsite.

Image from The Dyrt Camper Chris G.

Known for its sparse amenities and natural setting, Shanty Pond Campground is the preferred spot for those who like to “rough it” when camping. The campground is favored by hunters and equestrians and is open from October 15 through April 15 annually. The site has picnic tables, toilets, and parking. If you crave a truly natural experience in the wilderness, Shanty Pond is an excellent Ocala National Forest camping spot.

“If you like to rough it, this is a great spot. Watch out for the bears. I love this spot!”Chris G.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $4-10
  • Number of sites: 120
  • RV sites: No
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

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6. Lake Dorr Recreation Area

A quiet, peaceful campground, Lake Dorr Recreation Area is located just along the northwest shore of Lake Dorr in the Ocala National Forest. This spot is set in a shady location and offers RV spaces, tents, and showers. If you enjoy boating, Lake Dorr has a boat ramp for easy access to the water. There is also a picnic area that overlooks the lake and the surrounding oak trees.

“This place is right on the lake, quiet and beautiful. It’s affordable and the camp hosts are very friendly!”Emily J.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $12-20
  • Number of sites: 34
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

7. Hopkins Prairie Campground

Women sitting atop her truck in a rootop tent in spanish moss of Florida.

Image from The Dyrt camper Ryan A.

This lovely campground is first-come, first-served, and provides a peaceful, private place to camp. Hopkins Prairie Campground is located in a shaded spot in the middle of a winding grassland. You will find a picnic site and toilets, but there are no showers at this tranquil location. The site more than makes up for it with its spectacular views and opportunities for birding and fishing along the shoreline of nearby marshes.

“Lovely campground, though fairly basic. Bathrooms, fire pits, and picnic tables. Beautiful view of the prairie, not many people.”Grace H.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $11
  • Number of sites: 21
  • RV sites: No
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

These campgrounds are only a handful of the many beautiful sites to visit in the Ocala National Forest in central Florida. Explore the surrounding beauty of the natural landscape on your Ocala National Forest camping trip. Check out more campground options on The Dyrt’s list of the best camping near Ocala National Forest.

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