The Blackwater River State Forest found in Santa Monica County is Florida's largest forest, named after the river which trails through it. Deep in this forest, you will find Bear Lake -- a great place to get away from everyday life. Though the campground is hidden in the woods, it is a busy place to visit during spring and summer months.
The grounds are made up of 40 campsites, some with electric options and others only suited to tents. A dump station is located on-site, along with drinking water, making your stay here easy. You'll also find a dining hall and pavilion, though reservations are needed to use these facilities. What the facility lacks in cell service, it definitely makes up for in bears, so be aware and store your food hidden away in your vehicle. Fire rings and picnic tables are provided for patrons' convenience. Nightly rates for tent campsites start at $8.93.
Bear Lake is beautiful -- but resist the urge to jump in, or else you may come face to face with an alligator! Swimming is prohibited here for this reason, so keep your pupper well away from the shores at all times. Boating, however, is a-okay, with a boat launch accessible from the camp. The lake is a great place for canoeing, and you can even bring your rod with you to cast some lines out in the water. Electric motors are the only motors allowed here, so keep that in mind when bringing your vessel along.
Canine campers are welcome here, but, like all Florida state forests, you need to have them leashed at all times. This is for the safety of others, as well as the well-being of your pooch, with all of those bears and gators around! Be a good pet parent and always clean up your pupper's dog bombs, disposing of them in the proper receptacles.
If the wilds of Florida don't scare you, Bear Lake Campground in Blackwater State Forest is an excellent place to camp.