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The Croom Tract Primitive Camp Zone PaddleIn is located on the Croom Tract of the Withlacoochee State Forest, approximately 9 miles northeast of Brooksville, FL. This campground is a paddle in and paddle out site only. There is no water and there are no amenities, although some areas may have a fire ring and/or picnic table. The camp zone is delineated by yellow colored bands on the trees and is approximately 1.2 miles north of the parking/boat ramp area of the Silver Lake Recreation Complex and is located on the west side of the river. Recreational activities featured here are: hiking, bird watching, wildlife viewing, swimming, fishing, star gazing, wildflower viewing and nature study.
Current Status – Open year round
01 Oct 2019
30 Apr 2020
01 May 2020
30 Sep 2020
01 Oct 2020
30 Apr 2021
The Withlacoochee River, Little Withlacoochee River, and Jumper Creek have all been designated as Outstanding Florida Waters, and each meanders through this forest which spans across 5 counties and exceeds 165,000 acres. Withlacoochee is a Native American word meaning “crooked river”. This accurately describes the Withlacoochee River as it makes its 70-mile journey from the Green Swamp, in northern Polk County, to the Gulf of Mexico at Yankeetown. Complementing the natural water features are the open pine sand hills, dense woodlands, and canopied roads and trails. Tree species found on the forest include slash pine, longleaf pine, pond and bald cypress, maple, southern magnolia, hickory, and various species of oak. There is also an abundance of colorful wildflowers during the Autumn, including goldenrod, thistle, and blazing star. These natural features create excellent habitat for bald eagles, fox squirrels, gopher tortoise, white-tail deer, and turkeys, to name a few. For additional information about Withlacoochee State Forest, please
In 1999, the Withlacoochee State Forest was ranked #1 on the World Wildlife Funds “10 Coolest Places You’ve Never Seen in North America”. Facilities include many miles of trails for hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, and paddling. Seasonal hunting is available in most of the forest, and fish are plentiful in the many lakes and flowing waterways. Full-facility, primitive, and group camping are available at numerous locations. Many day-use facilities are available on Withlacoochee State Forest for picnicking and wildlife viewing. And, the Croom Motorcycle Area provides a developed campground and 2,600 acres of off-road trails for motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle (ATVs) enthusiasts. For additional information about Withlacoochee State Forest, please
Canoe In and Canoe Out facility located along the Withlacoochee River. There are no amenities in the Primitive Camp Zones. Some site may have a fire ring.
- Central Florida major theme parks (within 1-1 1/2 hour drive time)
- Professional and college sports stadiums (within 1 hour drive time)
- Art Galleries
- Boyett’s Grove (Brooksville)
- Bushnell Motorsports Park
- Dade City Wild Things Zoo
- Florida Bass Conservation Center (Webster-south of SR 50)
- Lowry Park Zoo (Tampa)
- Museum of Drag Racing (Ocala)
- Nature Coast Botanical Gardens (Spring Hill)
- Pioneer Florida Museum (Dade City)
- Rock Crusher Canyon (outdoor concerts and events)
- Tree Top Adventures/Zip Line (several within 1- 2 hour drive time)
- Webster Farmer’s Market
- Wineries (Clermont, Land o Lakes, Spring Hill, Tarpon Springs, Mt Dora, Eustis, Oxford, Orlando)
County/State/National Parks, Preserves and Refuges
- Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge
- Chinsegut Conservation Center
- Dade Battlefield State Park
- Good Neighbor Trail
- Florida National Cemetery
- Van Fleet State Trail
- Weeki Wachee Springs/Buccaneer Bay
- Withlacoochee State Trail
Less Than 100 Feet
GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude)
Take Exit 301 – SR-50/US Hwy 98 S. Head east on SR-50/US Hwy 98 S. Continue east to Croom-Rital Road located at the 3rd traffic light. Turn left (north) on Croom-Rital Road and continue approximately 3.5 miles to the entrance to Silver Lake Recreation Complex on the right. Continue past the Gate House to the Day Use Area. Launch from the boat ramp and paddle north on the Withlacoochee River for approximately 1.2 miles. The paddle in location is on the west side of the river.
Via Suncoast Parkway: Take the Suncoast Parkway (TR-589) north to the Interchange 46-SR-50 Bear right (east) onto SR-50 and continue through Brooksville following the SR 50 Truck Route. Continue east on SR-50 passing under I-75 to Croom-Rital Road located at the 3rd traffic light east of I-75. Turn left (north) on Croom-Rital Road and continue approximately 3.5 miles to the entrance to Silver Lake Recreation Complex on the right. Continue past the Gate House to the Day Use Area. Launch from the boat ramp and paddle north on the Withlacoochee River for approximately 1.2 miles. The paddle in location is on the west side of the river.
Croom Tract Primitive Camp Zone Paddle In
15003 Broad Street
Brooksville FL 34601-4201
Information : (352) 797-4140
No potable water, no restrooms, it is suggested trail users wear bright colored clothing during hunting seasons
Please contact WSF Dispatch at 352-797-4100 before you begin to verify if there will be any prescribed burns during your trip.
Please contact myfwc.com for specific hunting seasons and dates. It is recommended that visitors wear 500 square inches of Blaze Orange while hiking in the area during hunting seasons.
Per Florida Administrative Code, 5I-4006(4)(k), Chainsaw use in camping facilities is prohibited. Operation/use of chainsaws in other areas of the forest requires a Fuel Wood Permit.