Primitive campsites have been established on the
Big Bend Wildlife Management Area for use by through paddlers on
the Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail. Paddlers must possess an
approved permit from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission to use these sites. Permits are required in order to
conserve and protect this beautiful but fragile coastal wilderness,
and to ensure adequate camping space for paddlers. The use of the
Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail guide is strongly recommended.
This unique guide may be purchased on-line.
We now have a new reservation system for the Big
Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail. Go on-line to check trip
availability, reserve campsites, and download permits by accessing
this link: reservation
For safety, FWC will not issue camping permits for
canoers or solo kayak paddlers.
Separate applications must be submitted for each
You must provide your Social Security Number (SSN)
as required by State and Federal law when applying for any
recreational permit. This site is secured and your SSN is not
shared with any other sources.
Applications may be submitted up to six months in
If you are unable to complete your paddling trip
please cancel your reservation on-line. This will give
another group the chance to use the campsites you no longer
There is no fee at this time for permits.
One permit will apply for each paddling group.
You may purchase a copy of the Big Bend
Saltwater Paddling Guide on-line or by calling (850)
An applicant may apply for no more than one trip
We ask you to abide by the following permit rules
to ensure protection and the future enjoyment of this paddling
- CAMPING is allowed for only the permitted dates and sites and
only within defined camping areas on designated sites. All sites
are limited to a capacity of 8 people and 4 tents.
- FIRES shall be built within established fire rings; keep them
small and monitor at all times. Collect only dead wood from the
ground that can be broken by hand. No cutting of standing trees.
Extinguish fires completely when leaving the campsite.
- SOLID HUMAN WASTE shall be deposited in catholes dug 6 to 8
inches deep and located at least 200 feet from water, campsites and
trails. Cover all waste completely and pack out all toilet tissue
and hygiene products.
- FOOD AND TRASH should be stored securely to avoid attracting
animals. Repackage food to minimize waste and pack out all food and
- WILD ANIMALS should be observed from a distance and never fed.
If animals move away or appear disturbed, you are too close.
- PETS are not allowed at any campsite.
- The permittee must have THIS PERMIT in possession while camping
on the area.
- EMERGENCIES - if emergencies such as severe weather force
paddlers to remain at a campsite beyond their permit limitations,
campers must accommodate other permitted parties.
- The permit is NONTRANSFERABLE.
- See the Big Bend Recreation page for detailed RULES AND
REGULATIONS. Rock Island - (Hickory Mound Unit); Spring Warrior
Creek - (Spring Creek Unit); Sponge Point and Dallus Creek - (Tide
Swamp Unit); Sink Creek and Butler Island - (Jena Unit). All units
are part of the Big Bend Wildlife Management Area.