Hi there!

 

So you’re planning a camping trip in Ocala National Forest!

There are many regular campgrounds in Ocala National Forest, and the Salt Springs Campground is one of them.

 

Salt Springs Recreation Area camping. Salt Springs campground. ocala national forest camping. florida travel blog

 

It is a part of Salt Springs Recreation Area that is one of the Ocala National Forest recreation areas that you can go swimming at some Florida springs.

Those springs would be Salt Springs!

 

Salt Springs Recreation Area camping. ocala national forest. florida travel blog

Salt Springs Recreation Area camping. Salt Springs campground. ocala national forest camping. florida travel blog

Salt Springs Recreation Area camping. Salt Springs campground. ocala national forest camping. florida travel blog

salt springs campground pictures. ocala national forest camping at salt springs recreation area. florida travel blog

salt springs campground pictures. ocala national forest camping at salt springs recreation area. florida travel blog

 

There are no campsites directly along the springs, but depending on your campsite, it can be reasonable to walk to Salt Springs!

There is a trail from one camping area that connects to the Salt Springs swimming area.

 

salt springs campground to springs trail. florida travel blog

 

Otherwise, if you bring your own bike, you can bike to the springs!

 

biking from salt springs campground to springs swimming area. florida travel blog

 

Or, you can just drive a couple of minutes to get to the Salt Springs parking lot too!

No matter your campsite within Salt Springs Campground, you are just a short drive away from being able to go swimming at the springs!

 

See more camping options: Springs in Ocala National Forest

 

A little bit more below about camping in Ocala National Forest at the Salt Springs campground!

 

 

🌴

 
More photos/info below, but first...
Side note!
Here's some info on Florida trip prep!


I have a lot of 30-90 second Florida outdoor travel videos. A few of them might be on this page. If you can't see the video directly below, it might be because you have an ad blocker. Save the Florida outdoors video playlist to watch on youtube later!



Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida which resulted in historic destruction. If you are looking to help but not sure how, consider donating to the Florida State Parks Foundation: DONATE HERE. One of the notable Florida state parks is Cayo Costa State Park in Southwest Florida. Cayo Costa is mentioned as the first spot that the hurricane made landfall. Also see: State parks in Southwest Florida

Are Florida state parks open after the hurricane? Check the Florida Park Service website for current closures. (There are many state parks that are closed.)
Are Florida national parks open after the hurricane? Check the National Park Service website for current closures (October 2 update: Most of the Miami side of Everglades National Park is open, except for camping)

 

 

Things to know about camping at Salt Springs Campground in Ocala National Forest

Salt Springs Recreation Area camping. Salt Springs campground. ocala national forest camping. florida travel blog

 

I did SUV camping / car camping at Salt Springs Campground in March 2022. I was traveling alone and I slept in my car. I stayed in the “primitive” campground at Salt Springs Recreation Area.

Your experience may vary!

 

 

1. It can be less than 5 minutes to drive to Salt Springs.

driving from salt springs campground to springs swimming area. florida travel blog

driving from salt springs campground to springs swimming area. florida travel blog

 

 

2. It can be a 5-10 minute walk to Salt Springs if you are staying at primitive campsites #128 to 137.

salt springs campground to springs trail. florida travel blog

 

There is a trail to the Salt Springs swimming area from the primitive campground.

This trail to Salt Springs is located next to campsite #134.

 

campsite 134. salt springs campground pictures. salt springs campground to springs trail. florida travel blog

campsite 134. salt springs campground pictures. salt springs campground to springs trail. florida travel blog
πŸ‘† Campsite #134 at Salt Springs Campground is the closest campsite to the trail to Salt Springs.

 

Salt Springs campsites #128 to 137 are the campsites closest to the trail that leads to the Salt Springs swimming area.

 

salt springs campground to springs swimming trail. florida travel blog

salt springs campground to springs swimming trail. florida travel blog

salt springs campground to springs swimming trail. florida travel blog

salt springs campground to springs swimming trail. florida travel blog
πŸ‘† Campsites #131 to 134 at Salt Springs Campground are the closest campsites to the trail to Salt Springs.

 

salt spring campground map primitive campground: best salt springs campsites near springs swimming area. florida travel blog
πŸ‘† Salt Springs Campground map of primitive campsites. Campsite #134 is the closest campsite to the trail to Salt Springs.

 

Once you are on the trail to Salt Springs, you’ll walk for a few minutes and then you’ll see the picnic area.

Keep walking and you’ll see the springs!

 

salt springs campground to springs swimming trail. florida travel blog

salt springs campground to springs swimming trail. florida travel blog

salt springs campground to springs swimming trail. florida travel blog

salt springs campground to springs swimming trail. florida travel blog

salt springs campground to springs swimming trail. florida travel blog

salt springs campground to springs swimming trail. florida travel blog

salt springs campground to springs swimming trail. florida travel blog

salt springs campground to springs swimming trail. florida travel blog

Salt Springs Recreation Area camping. Salt Springs campground. ocala national forest camping. florida travel blog

Salt Springs Recreation Area camping. Salt Springs campground. ocala national forest camping. florida travel blog

Salt Springs Recreation Area camping. Salt Springs campground. ocala national forest camping. florida travel blog

 

 

3. There’s a boat ramp at the campground.

salt springs campground to boat ramp. ocala national forest. florida travel blog

 

 

4. The Salt Springs campground is for tent camping and RV camping… and other types of car camping!

salt springs campground pictures. primitive camping in ocala national forest. rv camping, tent camping in ocala national forest. florida travel blog

 

 

5. There are 2 main camping areas within Salt Springs Campground: the full hook-up camping area and the “primitive” camping area.

According to the U.S. Forest Service, Salt Springs Campground is the only campground in Ocala National Forest with full hook-ups for RV camping.

 

Salt Springs Campground pictures: full hook-up campground with electricity and water at your campsite

salt springs campground pictures. RV camping in ocala national forest. full hook-up campground in ocala national forest. florida travel blog

salt springs campground pictures. RV camping in ocala national forest. full hook-up campground in ocala national forest. florida travel blog

salt springs campground pictures. RV camping in ocala national forest. full hook-up campground in ocala national forest. florida travel blog

salt springs campground pictures. RV camping in ocala national forest. full hook-up campground in ocala national forest. florida travel blog

salt springs campground pictures. RV camping in ocala national forest. full hook-up campground in ocala national forest. florida travel blog

salt springs campground pictures. RV camping in ocala national forest. full hook-up campground in ocala national forest. florida travel blog

salt springs campground pictures. RV camping in ocala national forest. full hook-up campground in ocala national forest. florida travel blog

salt springs campground pictures. RV camping in ocala national forest. full hook-up campground in ocala national forest. florida travel blog

 

Salt Springs Campground pictures: primitive campground without electricity and water at your campsite

salt springs campground pictures. primitive camping in ocala national forest. rv camping, tent camping in ocala national forest. florida travel blog

salt springs campground pictures. primitive camping in ocala national forest. rv camping, tent camping in ocala national forest. florida travel blog

salt springs campground pictures. primitive camping in ocala national forest. rv camping, tent camping in ocala national forest. florida travel blog

salt springs campground pictures. primitive camping in ocala national forest. rv camping, tent camping in ocala national forest. florida travel blog

salt springs campground pictures. primitive camping in ocala national forest. rv camping, tent camping in ocala national forest. florida travel blog

salt springs campground pictures. primitive camping in ocala national forest. rv camping, tent camping in ocala national forest. florida travel blog

salt springs campground pictures. primitive camping in ocala national forest. rv camping, tent camping in ocala national forest. florida travel blog

salt springs campground pictures. primitive camping in ocala national forest. rv camping, tent camping in ocala national forest. florida travel blog

salt springs campground pictures. primitive camping in ocala national forest. rv camping, tent camping in ocala national forest. florida travel blog

 

 

6. Primitive camping: The campsites don’t have electricity.

It is just a simple space for your camping style!

 

 

7. There are regular bathrooms at the campground.

salt springs campground bathroom. salt springs campground bathhouse. ocala national forest camping. florida travel blog

 

No matter which area of Salt Springs Campground you are camping at, primitive camping or modern camping, there are regular bathrooms.

 

salt springs campground bathroom. salt springs campground bathhouse. ocala national forest camping. florida travel blog

 

 

8. There hot water showers at the Salt Springs campground.

Similarly, there are hot water showers no matter how you are camping at Salt Springs campground.

The shower stalls are located toward the back of the bathroom.

 

salt springs campground showers. salt springs campground bathhouse. ocala national forest camping. florida travel blog

salt springs campground showers. salt springs campground bathhouse. ocala national forest camping. florida travel blog

salt springs campground showers. salt springs campground bathhouse. ocala national forest camping. florida travel blog

 

 

9. There’s a dishwashing sink at the campground.

salt springs campground dishwashing sink. ocala national forest camping. florida travel blog

 

This is also located in the same building as the bathroom.

 

salt springs campground dishwashing sink. ocala national forest camping. florida travel blog

salt springs campground dishwashing sink. ocala national forest camping. florida travel blog

salt springs campground dishwashing sink. ocala national forest camping. florida travel blog

 

 

10. Primitive camping: The dishwashing sink can also serve as your drinking water.

The dishwashing sink has water that is safe to be used as drinking water.

 

 

11. You can buy firewood and ice at the campground office.

salt springs campground ice and firewood. ocala national forest. florida travel blog

 

Because of invasive species that could come with wood brought from elsewhere, it’s always best to buy your firewood locally.

The “campground office” is the building you will see when you enter the Salt Springs Recreation Area.

 

 

12. There is a trash dumpster for campers.

salt springs campground trash. florida travel blog

 

 

13. There are bears in Ocala National Forest.

There are signs posted around Salt Springs Campground that bears are active in the area.

 

salt springs campground bears. camping in ocala national forest with bears. florida travel blog

salt springs campground bears. camping in ocala national forest with bears. florida travel blog

 

It’s also said that a fed bear is a dead bear.

 

salt springs campground bears. camping in ocala national forest with bears. florida travel blog

 

This means that once bears start to see humans as a source of food, they can become a threat to humans, and that means a potential threat to you!

Once it’s believed by park rangers that a bear is a threat, it’s possible that it can be killed.

Currently, bears in Ocala National Forest are generally not seen as a threat to people.

But it takes everyone, including all campers, to keep it like that and to keep everyone safe while you’re camping, and to keep the campers that come after you safe!

Among the things, be sure to take care to pick up after yourself after you eat.

You want to avoid leaving food in your tent, and be sure to store all food in your car.

There is even a “bear-proof” food storage locker on campsites.

 

salt springs campground food storage locker for bears. camping in ocala national forest with bears. florida travel blog

 

This also means it would be better if you didn’t eat inside your tent at all.

Another thing is to also try not to keep scented items inside your tent.

Scented items can even include things like shampoo, soap, toothpaste, and sunscreen.

 

salt springs campground bears. camping in ocala national forest with bears. florida travel blog

 

Before you go camping, you can read about camping with bears in Florida national forests.

For further reading, you can also read about camping with bears in national parks.

 

 

14. After you check-in, you’ll get a gate code so you can get back into Salt Springs Recreation Area after hours.

salt springs campground gate closed hours. florida travel blog

 

 

15. There is wifi at the campground office.

salt springs campground wifi. florida travel blog

 

You will also get a wifi password so you can get internet access from the picnic table or parking spots located just outside of the campground office. No internet throughout the campground!

You will have limited to no data service throughout the campground. (I had t-mobile with no service.)

You may also have limited to no data service throughout Ocala National Forest as well, so it could be good to download offline google maps before you go.

 

 

16. There is a small grocery store near Salt Springs Campground.

A couple minutes down the main road from the Salt Springs Campground, there is a small grocery store.

It’s located at the Marathon gas station.

 

gas station near salt springs campground. ocala national forest gas station. florida travel blog

 

There is even a small produce section!

 

grocery store near salt springs campground. ocala national forest grocery store. florida travel blog

 

 

Read the reviews of the Salt Springs campground.

 

 

What to pack for your Salt Springs camping trip

what to pack for camping in salt springs recreation area. ocala national forest camping. florida travel blog

 

Swimming at Salt Springs can be a pretty minimalist activity!

Wear your swimsuit and you can be off swimming in Salt Springs!

But it’s also a good idea to bring swimming goggles or snorkeling gear so you can see underwater at Salt Springs!

 
See more about planning your camping trip to Salt Springs:

 

 

How to make camping reservations at Salt Springs Campground

Although the Salt Springs Campground is not directly managed by the U.S. Forest Service, the official website for making an Ocala National Forest camping reservation is through the official national forest reservation website, which is recreation.gov.

You can type in Salt Springs Recreation Area for the search, and then go from there.

You can also see the individual campsites that are available.

If you click on an individual campsite, it will also give you the basics of the campsite.

If you have flexible dates, you can also look at the calendar availability.

This can also help you determine if you should book soon or not, based on the availability of the campsites.

There are also Salt Springs Campground reviews you can read on the camping reservation website.

 

 

Salt Springs Campground map

salt springs campground map. ocala national forest camping. salt springs recreation area map. florida travel blog
πŸ‘† Salt Springs Campground map received at the campground office at check-in.

 

salt springs campground map. ocala national forest camping. salt springs recreation area map. florida travel blog
πŸ‘† Salt Springs Campground map: full hook-up campsites with electricity and water

 

salt springs campground map. ocala national forest camping. salt springs recreation area map. florida travel blog
πŸ‘† Salt Springs Campground map: primitive campsites without electricity and water

 

You will also see the Salt Springs Campground map when you make your camping reservation on recreation.gov.

One note on the primitive campground map that appears on the camping reservation website.

When I made the booking, and also just now when I checked again, it shows that there are showers next to campsite #134. There are no showers there.

The bathroom with showers is the building between campsites 127 and 128.

When I made the booking, this is something I was confused by!

 

 

Cost of camping at Salt Springs campground

salt springs campground cost. ocala national forest camping cost. florida travel blog

 

The cost of camping at Salt Springs campground is around $31 per night for primitive camping and $50 per night for a full hook-up campsite. See current fees.

Included in your Salt Springs camping fee is the day use fee for Salt Springs Recreation Area.

This means you won’t need to pay extra for any sort of Ocala National Forest entry fee for Salt Springs Recreation Area.

 

 

Checking in to your campsite

salt springs recreation area day pass for camping at salt springs campground. florida travel blog

 

The entry for Salt Springs Recreation Area is located right off the main road.

 

getting to salt springs recreation area campground. ocala national forest camping check in. florida travel blog

getting to salt springs recreation area campground. ocala national forest camping check in. florida travel blog

getting to salt springs recreation area campground. ocala national forest camping check in. florida travel blog

 

Once you make that turn to drive in, you will see a building.

That is the building that you’ll go to for check-in.

You’ll see signs!

This also serves as a small campground store.

 

getting to salt springs recreation area campground. ocala national forest camping check in. florida travel blog

getting to salt springs recreation area campground. ocala national forest camping check in. florida travel blog

getting to salt springs recreation area campground. ocala national forest camping check in. florida travel blog

getting to salt springs recreation area campground. ocala national forest camping check in. florida travel blog

salt springs campground store. salt springs campground office. ocala national forest camping check in. florida travel blog

salt springs campground store. salt springs campground office. ocala national forest camping check in. florida travel blog

 

Then after you’ve checked in, off you go to find your campsite!

 

salt springs campground road to campsite. florida travel blog

salt springs campground road to campsite. florida travel blog

salt springs campground road to campsite. florida travel blog

salt springs campground road to campsite. florida travel blog

salt springs campground road to campsite. florida travel blog

salt springs campground road to campsite. florida travel blog

 

 

And that’s a bit about camping in Ocala National Forest at Salt Springs campground!

 

See more:

 

More things to do near Orlando:

 

HAPPY CAMPING IN OCALA NATIONAL FOREST AT SALT SPRINGS CAMPGROUND!

 

 

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Things to pack for your Florida vacation!

The ultimate beach towel for travel?!
Turkish towels are considered to be more absorbent and lightweight than your average beach towel. Be sure to check out turkish towels like these!
The cheapo way to waterproof your phone
You can take underwater pictures with a simple waterproof phone case like this. Touch screen may not work well underwater - try the volume button to snap the pic instead!
Get your suitcase more organized!
Packing cubes can make it so you're spending less time on your vacation looking for things! They are basically a form of drawers in your suitcase. Take a look at these packing cubes.
Wear less sunscreen by wearing a UPF swim shirt!
Wearing a swim shirt means less skin that's exposed to the sun which means less sunscreen you need to apply! See about wearing swim shirts with UV protection like these when you're swimming.

More for your Florida packing list



Watch the videos to see Florida in action!

Find more amazing things to do Florida: Watch my Florida videos on youtube
If you see an activity you like, look in the description below the youtube video for the individual blog post about that specific activity!