Looking for a Fido-friendly place to stay in Florida’s Tate’s Hell National Forest? Well look no fur-ther than Rock Landing Campground! That’s if you two are willing to "ruff" it a bit, of course -- Rock Landing doesn’t have any showers, electricity or RV hookups.
But if you’re looking for a true wilderness experience, you’re in luck! Tate’s Hell features some of the most striking scenery that this part of Florida has to offer, varying from swamp to scrubland to tropical forest, and it’s both sandwiched between the Apalachicola and Ochlockonee rivers and threaded with the creeks and streams that feed both bodies of water. There’s a $2 fee to enter the forest, and sites will set you back $9.17. Since there are only three sites at Rock Landing, it’s best to book early.
Speaking of wilderness experiences, hopefully you’ll have a far better one than the forest’s namesake. Sick of having his livestock menaced by local panthers, Cebe Tate headed off into the forest in 1875 with nothing but a shotgun, his hunting dogs, and a heart full of rage. He wandered for a week, before getting bitten by a snake. Half-mad and close to death, the farmer fell out of the forest and uttered the words, "My name is Cebe Tate, and I’ve just come from hell," before expiring.
Take plenty of water and provisions, look out for wildlife, and you two should be fine.
You and your buddy are sure to sniff out something to do in the surrounding area! Keen anglers will be glad to know that the nearby Crooked River is a furrific spot to cast a line. If you enjoy birding, you might think you’ve died and gone to heaven! Tate’s Hell is on the Florida Birding Trail, and native species include grasshopper sparrows, kites, and little blue herons.
Hound-dog hikers won’t have to look hard to find entertainment, either. The 9-mile High Bluffs Coastal Trail is well worth a wander, meandering past dwarf cypress and native scrub plants. The mint and rosemary along the route make it so that this trail even smells good! There’s not much shade though, so take precautions.
WiFi isn’t available at Rock Landing, and cellular service varies from network to network. Fires are permitted, but unfortunately, there’s no drinking water on-site. Remember to bring waste bags for your four-pawed pal, and have a pawesome time!