Looking for a Fido-friendly base camp you can return to after a long day of losing yourself in the true Floridian wilderness? Look no fur-ther than Walk in the Water Campground! Located in the Walk in the Water Tract of the stunning Lake Wales Ridge State Forest, this campground is ideal for pups and people who are looking to really get back to nature -- and that means "ruffing" it a bit. You definitely won’t find any showers, water, or electricity, though unlike many other primitive Florida campsites, Walk in the Water does offer restrooms and a dump station.
But who can complain about lacking a few creature comforts when you’re in such a furrific location? Lake Wales Ridge State Forest showcases some of the most striking natural scenery that the Sunshine State has to offer. Some parts of the forest don’t have a lot of tree cover, but once you look closer to the ground, you’ll see the real draw. Lake Wales Ridge, formerly the only part of the entire state not to be underwater, is home to some of the most diverse and endangered flora in Florida. The prehistoric peninsula evolved an almost entirely unique ecosystem, and one of the only natural habitats of the scrub-blazing star, Carter’s mustard, and the pygmy fringe tree.
While ReserveAmerica claims that there are RV sites available, the state forest website points out that the Walk in the Water tract can only be accessed by foot, so it’s best to take your tent instead. While one of the ten sites at Walk in the Water is allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, it’s still best to make your reservation early. There’s a $2 entrance fee to the forest, and sites start at just $8.89.
You and your buddy certainly won’t be bored during your stay! The forest offers op-paw-tunities for serious hound-dog hikers and laid back lapdogs alike. If you’re looking to learn a little more about the location, the one-mile interpretive Old Cabin Nature Trail is a good bet, and it features a pretty lake to boot. Fancy a bit more of a challenge? Check out the 20-mile long Florida Trail System Loop Trail. Avid birders might also want to keep an eye out for the elusive scrub jay.
As you might imagine, WiFi isn’t available at Walk in the Water, and cellular coverage varies from network to network. Fires are permitted, but there’s no drinking water -- you’ll need to bring your own bottle. Remember to bring waste bags for your buddy, and have a pawesome trip!