Tallahassee, Fla. – As Memorial Day approaches, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and the Florida Forest Service are reminding Floridians that state forest campgrounds, campsites, and recreational areas are open with some restrictions.
"With Memorial Day weekend approaching, we’re reminding Florida’s residents and visitors that many of our Florida State Forest recreation areas have reopened for their enjoyment. Our main priority remains the safety of our Florida Forest Service personnel and visitors, so we urge everyone to enjoy responsibly and ensure the health and safety of their families," said Commissioner Fried. "Whether fishing, hiking, or exploring Florida’s boundless natural resources, Floridians should still practice social distancing and adhere to State Forest precautions to reduce the risks of COVID-19."
Numerous Florida State Forest campgrounds, campsites, and recreational areas reopened Friday, May 8 with modified procedures and amenities. Some recreational, day-use areas, and restrooms remain closed except at open campgrounds. Visitors may participate in activities such as fishing, hiking, and enjoying Florida’s natural sites according to the first phase of Florida’s reopening plan. Residents should expect portions of parks and trails to be restricted to day use only or limited capacity and hours of operations.
Florida State Forests are not requiring day-use passes at this time. Campsite reservations must be made online at FloridaStateForests.
As Florida State Forest recreation areas re-open, officials urge the public to continue following CDC guidelines. Commissioner Fried is encouraging social distancing and group limits of 10 or less at state forest sites.
The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, manages more than 1 million acres of state forests and provides forest management assistance on more than 17 million acres of private and community forests. The Florida Forest Service is also responsible for protecting homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire on more than 26 million acres.