Matanzas State Forest Cedar Creek Campground is a small, public campground situated within the 4,699-acre Matanzas State Forest in St. Johns County in Augustin, Florida. It is approximately half an hour from the historic town of St. Augustine and twenty minutes away from Crescent Beach. Since the campground is located inside the state park, visitors need to obtain a free day-use permit to be able to access the grounds. Although hunting is permitted in certain areas, it requires a license and a permit as well.
The pet-friendly Cedar Creek Campground accommodates tent camping, small RVs, and pop-up campers. However, there are no water, electricity or sewer hookups available. There is a total of four campsites, which means you are unlikely to get a spot without reserving it in advance. Each campsite comes with its own fire ring, grill, and picnic table. The sites are spacious and well spaced out, which gives the patrons enough room away from each other for a sense of privacy. The campsites are located in a quiet, secluded area with only the bare necessities – it's pawfect for those that enjoy primitive, nature-filled camping. Although there is no electricity or water, there is a portable toilet.
It is the ideal location for picnicking, hiking, horseback riding, and wildlife watching since the areas are filled with animals such as deer, otters, gopher tortoises, and a variety of birds that include songbirds, bald eagles and wading march birds. Most of the area nearby is wooded, though part of it is made up of wetlands. If you visit, make sure to check out the local beaches, as well as Lake George and the St. Augustine amphitheater.
Although the amenities are limited, the $9 per night is worth if you want a true, bare-bones camping experience with your canine companion. Just make sure to pack plenty of bug repellant, water, and dog waste bags to last the entire trip. Please also note that the campground may be tricky to find and the roads that lead towards it are narrow, not paved, and thus get muddy depending on the weather conditions.