Pretty, paw-friendly, and close to all sorts of outdoor activities -- Bennett Field Campground in Florida’s Tiger Bay State Forest really does have it all. Everything except certain creature comforts, of course -- facilities at Bennett Field are rather rustic. You won’t find any showers, electricity, or RV hookups here.
That being said, if you and your pooch are willing to "ruff" it a bit, you can reap the benefit of Bennett Field’s furrific location! The campground is only a thirty-minute drive from Daytona Beach, but you’d be forgiven for thinking that you were hundreds of miles away from civilization. Tiger Bay State Forest boasts some of the most spectacular scenery in the Sunshine State, with several lakes, pine islands, wildflower meadows, and Tiger Bay itself, a perfectly preserved stretch of swampland that shelters some of Florida’s most interesting and diverse flora and fauna.
Tiger Bay State Forest is little frequented, so it’s an ideal spot for doggos and owners seeking some solitude. However, there are only eight campsites at Bennett Field, so it’s best to book early, particularly if you’ll be vacationing in winter. There's a $2 entry fee to the forest, and sites start at just $8.89.
Hound dog hikers won’t have to venture too far to sniff out their holiday entertainment! A trek on the Buncombe Hill Interpretive Trail should be of interest to nature-loving pups and cultured canines alike. This two-mile loop has plenty of educational signs that provide information about the forest, and you might even spot the remains of the clay pots used to collect pine resin back in the 1900s. You can also take a trip down many of the old forest and logging roads. Tiger Bay State Forest is something of a place of pilgrimage for birders, and you’re likely to spot all sorts of feathered flying critters during your stay, including yellow jackets and even a bald eagle if you’re lucky!
WiFi isn’t available at Bennett Field, and cellular coverage varies from network to network. Fires are permitted in designated rings, but unfortunately, there’s no drinking water available -- you’ll need to bring your own bottle. One further note: the forest is home to all sorts of biting bugs, so be sure to bring insect repellent. Remember to bring waste bags for your buddy, and have a pawesome time!