While the summer heat can be brutal in The Sunshine State, venturing out into the gorgeousness of Florida’s state forests this season is simply irresistible — especially when you need a break from the touristy spots. However, this summer is gearing up to be a bit different in terms of visiting your favorite forests. If you want to hike your preferred haunts this year, you’ll have to make sure you’re prepared to pay without cash.
In a press release posted on Monday, The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced that all state forests will be transitioning into a completely online system.
The new system comes as a way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and streamline the payment process for visitors as more public campsites, pavilions, and picnic areas open back up to the public.
The official statement also explains that while cash will not be accepted at Florida State Forest recreation sales, checks and money orders can still be used for items that aren't available online.
Don't forget to pack that checkbook in your wilderness bag just in case!
"The online system not only streamlines the payment process for Floridians and visitors but reduces the risk of spr… https://t.co/U2i9cx64tY— Florida Forest Service (@Florida Forest Service)1592838622.0
If you’ve been itching to hit the trails again, you'll want to mark these dates on your calendar.
On June 24, Annual Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) passes will be up for grabs, valid from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.
July 1, you can purchase day-use passes for recreational areas, including trailheads and OHV riding areas.
And on July 10, group campsites, picnic pavilions, and other great recreational areas will finally reopen, but with a limited capacity of 50 people.
Passes and campsite reservations will be available on The Florida State Forests website as well as by phone call to (877) 879-3859. At day-use areas, you can find Quick Response (QR) codes posted for alternative payment with smartphones.
🌲 STATE FOREST ANNOUNCEMENT 🌲 OHV (off-highway vehicle) riding areas located on #Florida state #forests will re-op… https://t.co/kmXsWv4dGe— Florida Forest Service (@Florida Forest Service)1590087600.0
The forests are going green without the green, and campers will be along for the hike with them!
We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.