This winter, we camped for free in Florida at Cumpressco Campground! This beautiful campground is in the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve in southwest Florida and features beautiful shaded boondocking sites for RVs or tent sites.
Read or watch below for our full review of the campground and to find out more about how to find free campgrounds in Florida.
About Cumpressco Campground
Cumpressco Campground is part of the Southwest Florida Water Management District in the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve, Dade City Florida. It is a free campground, but reservations and a permit are required. You can get these online from the water management district website.
Keep reading for detailed instructions on how to make a free reservation.
Getting to the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve
The road into Cumpressco Campground is a pretty easy drive. You’ll probably be coming in on i75, and then head toward Dade City on i98. There are a couple of roads in to the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve, but no matter which way you come, you’ll end up driving on a dirt road.
However, the roads are wide and any size rig can fit on it without a problem. Right before you get to the entrance campground there’s a one-lane bridge with no posted weight restrictions.
There were a lot of rigs that drove over the bridge while we were there without any problems. So, it’s not something you’ll need to be concerned about.
Past the bridge a little ways are some potholes that can get muddy when it rains, but it’s also pretty easy to go around them.
In terms of boondocking locations, the drive into Cumpressco Campground was very smooth.
The entrance: A locked gate
Once you get to the entrance of the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve, there is a parking area where anyone can park and walk in to access hiking trails in the preserve.
Beside the parking area is a gate with a lock on it. That’s where you’ll enter to drive back to Cumpressco Campground. This is also the entrance for Ashley Campground, which is in the same area.
You are emailed the gate code when you confirm your reservation. If you don’t get emailed a gate code for some reason (like us), there is a phone number posted on the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve sign at the entrance that you can call. However, I recommend trying to get in touch with someone prior to arriving. Because, you can expect that the gate will be locked.
They do change the gate code every week or so. You will receive an email with an updated gate code if you have an active reservation when it was changed.
Once you get past the gate, the road is dirt, but it’s pretty flat, smooth and appears to be well maintained. However, there are a few low-hanging branches, so just be mindful of that as you’re driving. You can go around most of them and they don’t really look like anything that would cause any significant damage to your RV.
The road back to the campground is about .5 mile and you’ll see a sign for the campground as you approach it. There is also a sign indicating that there is not supposed to be any vehicles driving the dirt road past the campground.
Cumpressco Campground Review
The actual campground is a really pretty area. It’s got nice shaded sites with picnic tables and fire rings.
That being said, the campground isn’t so great if you’re counting on getting a lot of solar power from the sun, because every single site has quite a bit of shade. We were the first ones to the campground and managed to grab a site where we could angle our RV to get as much solar as possible throughout the day.
We didn’t have to get our generator out, but we also have 2,800 watts of solar on our roof!
There are also several non-potable water spigots throughout the campground that you can use to fill up your tanks if you aren’t drinking from them.
And perhaps the best part about the campground is the donkey who lives next door! If you go over close to his fenced area, he will likely RUN over to you, making excited donkey noises the entire time.
Internet performance at Cumpressco Campground
As far as Internet goes, we didn’t even attempt to put Starlink out because there was really no point with all the trees. There would have been too many obstructions.
However, Verizon was really good. We 30 mbps down and 3-5 mbps upload. AT&T did not work well for us (that’s who our phones are with). We could make calls without problems, but the
Overall, we really enjoyed our stay here at Cumpressco Campground! It was beautiful, and FREE, which is always a good thing for our budget.
How to Book Free Campgrounds In Florida
Watch the section below of our YouTube video for a step-by-step walkthrough on how to find and book free RV campgrounds in Florida!