Camping is allowed on the recreation islands, and managed on a first-come-first-serve basis. There are no reservations. With dozens of spoil islands open to camping throughout the region, finding a site is rarely an issue.
Selecting a Site
Many of the spoil islands see a high number of users and campers over the course of a year, and if every group camps in a new spot it leads to widespread impacts and damage. It is greatly appreciated if campers only use designated sites on the recreation islands that have them (see our maps page for maps of individual sites). For those recreation islands without designated sites, campers are encouraged to select minimally impactful sites, to ensure the longevity of the islands and their resources for future visitors. For more information on how you can do your part and be a responsible spoil island visitor, please check out our Leave No Trace page.
The recreation islands with designated sites also provide basic amenities in the form of picnic tables, pedestal grills, and fire rings. Those recreation islands without designated sites, provide no amenities.
There are no trash cans on the islands. Visitors must pack out any and all trash they create. Because of the high number of users, and the islands’ immediate proximity to the Lagoon, it is imperative that all visitors do their part and help to ensure a sustainable, healthy, safe, and enjoyable experience for all.
What to do about Waste?
There are no restroom facilities on any of the islands. Visitors must pack out not just their trash, but human and pet waste as well. With the high usage and unique environmental factors of the islands, they can quickly become unhealthy, unsafe, and unpleasant if this practice isn’t followed. For more information on ways to deal with human waste on the islands, please visit our Leave No Trace page. Note: catholes and/or toilets constructed and left on the islands are not acceptable alternatives.
Despite some recreation islands having a few basic amenities provided, camping on the spoil islands is still relatively primitive, and there is no fresh water available on any of the islands. Campers and visitors alike must plan ahead and be prepared with the necessary amount of water. Many of the public access points, such as parks or boat ramps, don’t have fresh or potable water, so visitors can’t always rely on these as last-minute supply or refill options.
Campfires are allowed, but must be contained to the fire rings. Campfires are prohibited during county or state-wide fire bans. For the latest information and maps on conditions and bans please visit the Florida Forest Service’s Current Fire Conditions page. Collecting of firewood or cutting of vegetation on the islands is prohibited. For those recreation islands without designated sites and associated amenities, campfires are still allowed, but must be kept small and built in an area naturally devoid of vegetation (no clearing of vegetation to make space for a fire, and no construction of fire pits using rocks or other materials).