Last updated on April 2nd, 2020 at 02:17 pm
All Florida State Parks and state forest campgrounds and recreation facilities are closed, as are recreation and restroom facilities at national parks and forests in Florida.
While some local parks around the state may be open today, they may not be open tomorrow. Day by day, local governments are closing parks as stay-at-home directives trickle down.
Everglades National Park is complying with an order from Miami-Dade County to shut down all operations in that county. This closes the Homestead entrance, Flamingo and Shark Valley. But campgrounds in the adjacent Big Cypress Preserve remain open. Primitive campgrounds Burns Lake and Monument Lake normally shut down April 15, but the more-developed Midway Campground is still accepting reservations beyond that date. All that can change any day.
The Florida Keys has officially shut down tourism, banning non-resident traffic entering the Keys with checkpoints on Card Sound Road and at Mile Marker 112. While some Monroe County-managed parks are open to provide an escape for residents, Key West, Islamorada and Marathon have closed their parks and beaches. Everything can change quickly.
County park campgrounds around the state have shut down, and while some are allowing existing campers to stay in place, all are closed to new campers and have shut down future reservations.
Check online with local governments and follow their guidance, as well as guidance from the CDC, which you’ll find in our sidebar.
Private campgrounds throughout Florida are responding based on local directives. For example, Broward, Miami-Dade and Orange County (Orlando) have deemed private campgrounds as “essential services” and are allowing them to remain open. Public campgrounds in those counties, however, have been closed.
The state of Florida is allowing individual counties to define “eseential services” in their respective jurisdictions.
But like everything else, this is a rapidly changing landscape and remains quite fluid.
More than a million people across the U.S. are full-time RVers, many of them families. Shutdowns of both public and private campgrounds across the country present a particular dilemma for full-timers as they are forced to move.
Where do they shelter-in-place?
While some full-timers have a base residence to which they can return, most do not. Many will likely impose on friends and relatives to camp in driveways or back lots, but sometimes that’s not practical or easily achieved.
Wallydocking is always an option when you are on the road, but staying too long in a Walmart parking lot is discouraged.
So what to do?
The Campendium blog is a good place to start. The community-based blog offers a comprehensive list of campgrounds in ten states, including Florida, and is attempting to track closures of both public and private campgrounds throughout the U.S. and Canada, updating their listings frequently throughout the day based on tips of their members.
Here’s their current list: Campendium’s State by State Campground Closures
Full-time RVers may also find these two Campendium articles useful:
Stay well, stay safe
We invite you to continue reading our stories about outdoor adventures and recreation, understanding that these stories were written before the outbreak of coronavirus.
But you can still plan your future adventures, you can still enjoy reading about our adventures, and relax with our photography of the great outdoors.
Stay well, and stay safe. We’ll get through this, but it may take awhile.
Thank you for visiting FloridaRambler.com
— Bob Rountree and Bonnie Gross