CAMPSITE REVIEW: Hampton Tract/Green Swamp Wilderness
Dump/Water On-site: None
Stayed here two nights in the middle of January 2019. Free campsite maintained by the Southwest Florida Water Management District. To camp, you need to obtain a permit ahead of time on the website. https://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/hampton-tract . You get your approval almost immediately. You need that because it will have your gate code. Without the code, you cannot get back to the campground. The road leading in is gravel, sand and dirt, but we have no trouble at all. The gate is locked with several combination padlocks. The permit will tell you which lock to use and give you the combination to open it. The campground is about a mile from the gate on the left.
We were the only campers there both nights we stayed. A few hunters/walkers were there in the morning of our second day, but they didn’t bother us. It was incredibly quiet and there are no lights in the campground, so it was nice and dark too. We had 2-3 bars of AT&T and Verizon, but the internet was almost unusable most of time we were there. There would be small pieces of time that it could be used, then other times it was horribly slow or non-existent. We had to cut our stay short because of that since I work from the road. The downside to this campground is there is no hookups, no potable water on-site, no dump on-site and no dumpsters. The campground is very wooded which is normally great, but we have solar for our electricity and there were probably only 1-2 areas we could get any use out of it. One was right by the pit toilet which is where we setup. There are not really designated spots, but some areas have outdoor grills. We had no trouble leveling and the entire campground seemed level. There were several spigots, but all were non-potable water and there was a trough for water for horses.
There are lots of walking, biking, equestrian trails in the area. There are maps at the entrance. We road our bikes down to the lakes and that was about a 3-mile bike ride from the campground. There was also a nice trail we walked right by the campground. We saw beautiful trees, a gator, lots of birds and a deer while walking one early evening.
We didn’t need to go into town at all, but Lakeland was not too far, and I assume you could get whatever you need there. Overall, we would not stay here again due to the internet issues. If you don’t need to worry about connectivity, this is a great free spot.