The newest string of closures and cancellations: Florida’s campgrounds

Florida state parks will remain open during the daytime for the next two months, but overnight will close starting Friday.
A lone kayaker enjoys a morning paddle down the Weeki Wachee River at Weeki Wachee State Park.
A lone kayaker enjoys a morning paddle down the Weeki Wachee River at Weeki Wachee State Park. [ Michele Miller ]
Published March 17, 2020|Updated March 18, 2020

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Cancellations, postponements and closings are everywhere amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Florida’s campgrounds are not immune.

Officials announced Tuesday that all camping accommodations at Florida state parks will be canceled for 60 days after Friday night. Parks will still be open during the day, but now with reduced hours — from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The state park system said in a release that it will honor existing camping reservations that begin on March 18, but those individuals must arrive at campgrounds prior to 5 p.m. on Wednesday. After Wednesday, existing reservations will be canceled and refunded.

The Department of Environmental Protection also announced the cancellation of all events, activities and special event reservations for the next 60 days. The decision was made in response to the coronavirus’ spread throughout Florida, which now has nearly 200 cases and has claimed six deaths.

State parks will join Honeymoon Island and Fort DeSoto in its decision to not allow new reservations.

The Southwest Florida Water Management District also announced Tuesday that it will close all campgrounds throughout its 16-county region. This includes sites such as Colt Creek, Sawgrass Lake and Withlacoochee River parks, all of which will be closed for 30 days.

To close out the cancellations, the Florida State Forest Service announced Tuesday that all of the campgrounds in its jurisdiction will be closed as of March 20. You can find a list of those campgrounds here.

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