Sunday ยท June 23, 2024
Explore Charles H. Bronson State Forest: A Horse Camper's Haven in Florida
Author: Admin
Charles H. Bronson State Forest in Florida | Top Horse Trails

Charles H. Bronson State Forest, located in Seminole County, about 40 miles east of Orlando, Florida, is a pristine and serene destination for nature lovers and horse enthusiasts. This expansive forest offers a variety of recreational activities and primitive camping opportunities that immerse visitors in the beauty of Florida's natural landscapes.

Primitive Camping at Its Best

The Charles H. Bronson Primitive Campsite offers a unique and authentic camping experience. With three primitive campsites available, visitors should be prepared to hike in and hike out, as there is no direct vehicle access to these sites. Each campsite is equipped with a fire ring and a picnic table, providing the essentials for a rustic outdoor stay. While there are no water or electricity hookups, the campsites offer a peaceful retreat into nature.

Recreational Activities

The forest is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, featuring activities such as hiking, bird watching, wildlife viewing, wildflower viewing, and nature study. The diverse ecosystems within the forest provide a rich environment for exploration and discovery.

Equestrian Trails

For horse campers, Charles H. Bronson State Forest is a true gem. The forest boasts 20 miles of horse trails that connect to three other conservation lands along its boundary: Little Big Econ State Forest, Chuluota Wilderness Area, and Orlando Wetlands Park. As riders traverse these trails, they will encounter a variety of ecosystems, including sandhill, pine flatwoods, and oak-palm hammocks. The trails also pass by a freshwater marsh bordering the St. Johns River and weave along the edges of picturesque cattle pastures.

Trailtrotter Program

The forest features a designated 4.7-mile loop trail that is part of the Trailtrotter Program, encouraging riders to explore and enjoy the scenic beauty of the area. This loop offers a manageable and enjoyable ride for both novice and experienced equestrians.

Access and Amenities

The Charles H. Bronson State Forest is open during daylight hours, inviting visitors to picnic, hike, fish, and observe wildlife. Access to the trails is provided at two main trailheads: the Joshua Creek Trailhead at the end of Phillips Road and a shared trailhead at the Chuluota Wilderness Area at the end of Curryville Road. Overnight parking for campers is available at the Joshua Creek Trailhead, with the primitive campsites accessible only via hiking trails.

Why Choose Charles H. Bronson State Forest?

Charles H. Bronson State Forest offers a unique blend of primitive camping, diverse ecosystems, and extensive horse trails. Its remote and rustic setting provides a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Whether you're an avid horse rider, a passionate bird watcher, or simply someone looking to reconnect with nature, this state forest offers an unforgettable outdoor experience.

Plan Your Visit

Discover the natural beauty and tranquility of Charles H. Bronson State Forest. Pack your gear, prepare your horse, and embark on an adventure through some of Florida's most captivating landscapes. Whether you're camping under the stars, riding through diverse ecosystems, or simply enjoying the serenity of the forest, Charles H. Bronson State Forest promises a memorable and enriching experience for all visitors.



From I-95: 

Take exit 215 for FL-50 toward Titusville/Orlando-0.2 miles. Turn right onto FL-50 W (signs for Christmas/Orlando) -7.9 miles. Continue straight onto FL-50 W/ E Colonial Drive-2.8 miles. Turn right onto SW Christmas Road-2.7 miles. Merge onto FL-420-0.4 miles. Turn right onto Phillips Road-1.5 miles. End at 3563 Phillips Road Christmas, FL 32709

From I-4:

East on FL- 46E, Right onto S.French Avenue, Left onto W 25th Street/Paola Road West, Follow slight right, Slight right onto FL-46 E/East 25th Street, Right on CR 426 W, Left onto Snow Hill Road, Left onto Avenue H, Left onto Brumley Road, Right onto Lake Mills Road, Left onto Fort Christmas Road, In 5.8 Miles turn left onto Phillips Road. End at 3563 Phillips Road Christmas, FL 32709


Charles H. Bronson State Forest offers the following facilities and amenities:

  • Equestrian trails
  • Bird Watching
  • Camping, Backcountry
  • Fire Rings
  • Kiosk
  • Parking
  • Picnic Tables


Cost Details:

  • Tent Only - $8.89



  • Passes are no longer available at the State Forest office. To purchase a pass or make a reservation, visit ReserveAmerica or call 1-877-879-3859.
  • ALL horses must have proof of current negative Coggins Test results when on state lands. All children under the age of 16 are required to wear a protective helmet while riding on state lands.
  • Contact Details: (407)971-3500


If you want to discover and explore other campsites and horse trails, here are some of them that you may visit:

West Trailer Park Mobile Home Park

Bronson Loop 3

Bronson Trail 2

Chuluota Loop


Charles H. Bronson State Forest does require reservations for overnight accommodations. Please visit their page here on Top Horse Trails - Charles H. Bronson State Forest for more information