Date of Stay: January, 2009
The park is really nice. It is fairly large and has lots of trails and boardwalks. The park roads and trails are great for walking, running and biking. They have several facilities and a tower along the beach. We saw a plenty of wildlife. The park is very quiet except for the occasional Navy trainer flying over. There are lots of sightseeing opportunities in the area plus the Naval Air Museum. I have been going to the museum for many years and I think it is one of the best in the nation. I highly recommend it. However, as nice as we thought the park was, we cannot say the same for the camping sites. The sites are very small, sandy, and uneven. Most will only accommodate the camper and one vehicle. A couple of the sites are big enough for a slide-out, an awning and the fire ring but not much more. The campground road is very narrow. Most everyone regardless of equipment size had trouble getting into their sites. The bathrooms and facilities were very clean but are older and in need of upgrading. They were working on one bathroom while we were there. There are no laundry facilities on site but the staff said there were some close by. Even though we loved the park, because of the condition of the campground sites and the availability of other nicer campgrounds in the Florida panhandle, we are not sure if we will be going back. We would love for them to improve the sites but I don’t think there are any plans to do.
Date of Stay: October, 2008
We really enjoyed this campground. The hosts and staff were very friendly and helpful. They do a great job keeping the park and facilities clean and in good working order. There are lots of trails for hiking and biking. The site we had was very nice and roomy. There are some sightseeing opportunities in the area but requires a little driving. The sites are laid out by color-coded sizes and can be confusing when trying to choose a site. A plus is they have gray water dump areas. These are gravel pits built throughout the campground where you can dump your gray water; really convenient. The only issue we had were some really noisy neighbors there the first couple of days. The parents let their children run wild with an electric car. Overall though, a great campground and we will be going back.
Date of Stay: April, 2008
We really enjoyed the park. Lots of trails and the areas around the park offer lots of activities and sightseeing. The scenery and views are great in the park however we saw very little wildlife. That maybe due to the amount of visitors they get and spring break had just ended. The campground was very nice and had a friendly and helpful staff. We stayed in the upper most full-hookup site that faced away from the other campers. If you like a little space I do not recommend the full-hookup area. There are very few of them and they are very close to each other. Our neighbor’s fire ring was less than seven feet from our camper and about three feet from our hookups and sewer drain. That is a little close for me. The most distance between any of the full-hookup sites was about 20 feet which was the host campsite. Additionally, we had no view. However, they had some roomy partial sites with great views. Next time we will stay in one of these sites. The hiking trails that go to Helen are connected to the campground/lake trails and are very nice and moderately easy. They have a great mountain bike trail that is a little hard in places but it doesn’t go to Helen. Without a bike path along the road, there is no way to bike to Helen other than on the highway which is very busy and not a place to take children. We had cell phone coverage and there is WiFi at the lodge.
Date of Stay: February, 2008
We’ve camped in this park a couple of times. Overall we enjoyed the park. It has lots to offer both inside and outside the park. There is a very nice golf course, lakes with good fishing and miles of hiking and separate biking trails. Also, there is great shopping, dining and other activities within minutes of the park. However, the campground does have problems. There are two areas, “A” and “B”. The sites in the “B” area are very crowded and built in the “trailer park” style. But the “A” sites are built on a road along a hill overlooking the lake and offer some nice rooming sites with good views. The camp sites and bathrooms do need updating but the main issue we had with the campground is the lack of rule enforcement. We had problems during both of our visits. On the Friday night of our first visit, loud parties went on all night in a couple of the primitive sites. The rangers stop their patrols at about 8pm and we are not seen again until the next day. During our second visit, we were forced to move to another site because of the men in the site next to us. They were workers laying a new water line through the park and would sit outside all night drinking, playing loud music and saying things I didn’t want my young children to hear. When I complained to the staff, I was told I could leave or move. The park did nothing even though the rules clearly state the quiet hours and that no alcohol is allowed in the park. We put in a comment but have heard nothing. We had no cell phone cover at the campground but had it in other areas of the park. Even though we had some problems, we like what the park offers and are planning to stay there again. We just contacted the park and were told they are closing down area “A” for renovation.
Date of Stay: October, 2007
We have stayed at this site a couple of times. Very friendly and helpful staff. Nice and clean bathrooms. Sites are fairly roomy and have a nice view of the bay. Destin right across the Mid-Bay bridge. However, this is a toll-bridge. The sites do not have fire-rings. There are several community fire-rings along the bay. Lots of long-term campers. A lot of the sites are in poor condition. Most of the sites patio covers and grill are severely rusted. Also, the sites we were given had ruts, exposed roots and were not very level. Lastly, the Mid-Bay Bridge can be noisy.
Date of Stay: October, 2007
Great campground. Lots of wildlife and great fishing. Within minutes after arriving we saw six dear and a rattlesnake. Well maintained roomy sites and very clean bathroom/showers. Very friendly and helpful staff. Also, there is a beautiful and inexpensive golf two miles away at Bagby State Park. Bagby Lodge has Wi-Fi. The only issues (very small) were no cell phone coverage and the park could use a couple of additional bathrooms. Lastly, it is miles from the nearest good size town. If you need more that milk or bread, you must drive about 25 miles. Fort Gains doesn't offer a lot.
Date of Stay: August, 2007
Great campgrounds. Very quiet and secluded sites. Very well maintained and clean bathrooms. Was there during the middle of the summer but had the beach to ourselves. There are bike/walking paths to nearby communities. Most sites are sand, could be messy when it rains. Also, we saw larger rigs having problems getting into some of the sites. One never made it and had to move to another site.