Many state lands are available for primitive, or "no trace" camping free of charge. Primitive camping means camping in a forest with no developed facilities and leaving the site with little or no evidence of human visitation.
Lands designated for primitive camping are usually in areas with difficult access. No facilities are provided and there are no designated water supplies. Primitive camping is a remote camping experience in a forested setting, not a wilderness experience. Expect to find evidence of human activity ranging from recreational trails, to past logging activity, to remnants of the land's past use.
Primitive camping is also available during the winter. Extra precautions and planning are necessary to address cold weather concerns. Access restrictions apply to most primitive camping areas due to unplowed roads and lack of plowed parking areas.
No amount of regulation will protect our state forest land unless each of us makes a personal effort to lessen our impact. Practicing "no trace" primitive camping techniques and being thoughtful about your camping activities are a good way to start.
Primitive camping is available in State Forests and Wildlife Management Areas and are not the same thing as State Parks. For more information on primitive camping, you would call the district office that manages the land. Permits are not required. See below for where to go and who to call for more information.