Date of Stay: February, 2010
This is our first visit. The campground, which was renovated over the past year or so, will be a standard by which I will compare all other campgrounds! The sites were very large with a long driveway and a large square "yard" offering plenty of room for seating, bikes, kayaks, another shelter etc. The outside site we booked had excellent privacy with low level shrubs and palmettos. Except when looking out the front, we could barely see another camper. The sites have water, 30 and 50 amp service and sewer. The shower and bathroom facilities were new, spotless, and had plenty of hot water. There is a rec building which we did not use and a swimming pool which we also did not use as the temps were in the 50s-60s. I bet it is popular later in the spring. The park had a small nature trail, access to the Rainbow River for excellent kayaking and access to the Rainbow Springs Headsprings section of the park a few miles away which had beautiful gardens, swimming in the springs, canoe/kayak rental. There was adequate cellphone signal which we also used for Internet access. TV signals were poor using our antenna but that is no big deal. About 20 miles to Ocala and 5 to Dunnellon for groceries etc. Not much to do in the immediate area but a beautiful relaxing place to visit. We will definitely stay here again.
Date of Stay: January, 2010
There are a lot of things we love about Collier Seminole but the campground is not one of them and the weather during this trip brought out all its deficits. It was cold, with temperatures down to the 20s at night and there were several nights with rain some of it torrential. The whole campground was muddy, rutted and some areas were absolutely flooded. Sites are small, way too close together and there is not gravel or other surface to absorb water. Electrical couldn't handle the high use of space heaters. Bathrooms were in sad shape, with showers offering only a skimpy vinyl curtain and no place to hang your clothes so they did not get wet. The best things about the park are the people, the staff and volunteers, proximity to Marco Island, Naples and the Everglades. This place is popular as it is as far south as we can go other than the Keys but is is sorely in need of renovation. We hope the state puts it on the priority list.
Date of Stay: March, 2009
This is one of Florida's oldest state parks. The campground is not quite as nice as some of the others, as it is poorly laid out with some very sandy dirt roads and others paved, lots of large trees making backing into tight spaces really challenging in some spots. Big sand traps complicate the situation as well. The sites are close together with some large trees, but no lower level vegetation to screen you from the other campsites. There are about 2-3 times more campsites for the same space as there are in the newer parks so it can get to be pretty densely populated, especially on weekends when families show up with lots of tents, kids, bikes and vehicles for weekend get-togethers. Friday and Saturday is very active, Sunday-Thursday it is mostly retirees from the northern states and Canada in motorhomes and RV’s and there is about 50% occupancy. The park has beautiful, well marked hiking trails of all kinds mostly 20-30 minutes long, easy to walk with boardwalks and level pathways, an interesting CCC museum and a restaurant. Great corps of volunteers who maintain the sites, provide activities and assist in the office. Dump station is a BIG negative with long lines that block traffic at busy times. Avoid leaving on Sunday if at all possible! Showers closed one day for low water levels. There is a lot to like about this park and we will return with planning to accommodate for the drawbacks.
Date of Stay: February, 2009
This is one of the first Florida state parks we visited when we started camping here several years ago and this is our third visit here. It is one of our favorites due to its proximity to the gulf shore beaches, Siesta Key, Venice Beach and Sarasota. It is a beautiful park with great hiking and biking trails, a nice “creek” for kayaking, a nature center and dense tropical foliage in the campgrounds giving us lots of privacy. Some sites, on the creek do not allow pets. Some pull through sites but most others are back in and can be tight so check dimensions when booking. Little "lake" for swimming but we go to the gulf beaches at Nokomis and Siesta Key. Nice nature center that now has Wi-Fi. Good TV reception with just antenna and good cell phone reception. Limited laundry facilities. Lots of volunteer provided activities if you are into those things including low impact exercise, nature walks, guided canoe trips and hikes, music etc. Staff were friendly and helpful.
Date of Stay: February, 2009
This is our second visit to this park which was chosen as it is close to Orlando, so that we can go to Walt Disney World. The park is large, with an extensive hiking trail system, equestrian camping, primitive camping sites and about 60 modern camping sites in 2 loops with electric and water at each site. The sites are smaller than those we found in some other parks, but are adequate and well maintained. The higher number loop seemed to have larger sites and more privacy as the folieage was more dense with good shade. The lower number sites were near an area that was recently burned so it was not nearly as attractive, was dirtier and more open. They are near the highway so traffic noise is sometimes intrusive especially early in the morning. Facilities were clean, no laundry available. Park store, concession is about 1 mile from campground near the springs. It and the river are crystal clear and we could see large fish clearly while we were kayaking. The river is beautiful and easy for an out and back paddle. Some pluses and minuses, but we will definitely be back.
Date of Stay: February, 2009
Great park if you want to feel like you are camping, not RVing. Sites are large but sometimes complicated by trees that make backing in, setting up a challenge. Dense foliage provides privacy, but at lower level so that they do not block the sun completely. Nice nature trail, boat launch, canoe rental. No laundry facilities, dirt road into the campground is about 2 miles long. About 15 miles to historic St. Augustine sites and to Crescent Beach and grocery shopping. 30 sites with about 80 percent reservable. Campground was full as it was Race week in Daytona. Staff was friendly and facilities were clean.
Date of Stay: January, 2009
Fort Clinch State Park is on Amelia Island, the most Northeastern point in Florida with Georgia just across the river. We stayed here last year and found the campsites to be overly shady and damp. When I booked this year we had an idea of the best sites and were able to get a site that has afternoon sun and a great view of the river. The park has beaches on the Atlantic and on Amelia River which is a major port on the Inter-coastal waterway. As a port town Frenandina Beach has a great historic district with beautiful Victorian homes and shops. The park is really close to all the action but goes back 2 miles so the campground is away from the traffic. There are 2 campgrounds, The “Beach” campground that looks out on the dunes and has pathways to the Atlantic beach. There are some tall palm trees but very little shade and the grounds around it are sand, scrub palm and lots of cactus. We were in the “River” campground that goes down to the Amelia River but the sites are heavily shaded and has Live Oak Trees dripping with Spanish moss. The sites vary in size but are difficult to negotiate because of the overhanging trees. We gouged our roof with a branch when trying to park the RV. Facilities are adequate, clean. Staff were helpful. Fort Clinch is an real fort that was first built during the Revolutionary War, was used during the civil war and was decommissioned after WW-II. There is an interesting fort with a museum and a “Union Soldier” from 1864 who gives visitors a characterization of life at the fort as a northerner stationed in Florida. He was very entertaining. It is maintained as it was during the Civil War period.
Date of Stay: January, 2009
All I can say is “What a find!” We traditionally stay in state parks but research through RVparkreviews led us to this gem. The facilities are impressive from the large, full hook-up sites to the bicycle and hiking trail system, kayak and paddle boat facilities, a playground and water-park which we did not use, and even a dog park. There is freshwater and saltwater fishing, and even a climbing wall. We were here during the Festival of Lights which is an impressive display of over 2 million lights in stunning displays throughout the park. Our site was spacious and there was adequate vegetation between the sites to offer some privacy. The park is close to all needed services and facilities and is only a 15 minute drive to downtown Charleston. We took advantage of the shuttle bus to town. It also runs out to Folly Beach County Park. Personnel were very helpful and gracious. I would definitely rate this as one of the top parks we have visited.
Date of Stay: January, 2008
Now this is a 5 star campground! We were booked into a site but were able to switch to a waterfront site when we arrived as these are available on a first come first served basis. They reserve 10% of their sites for “walk-ups” so they always have some availability. It was about twice as much per night as an average State Park campsite but it was worth. We backed in and had a view and access to Tampa Bay on one side and in front of us was a canal so had water on both sides. Tropical vegetation surrounded the site so it was very private. The canal was popular place for fishing and we even had dolphins come into the channel and right in front of our camper. There were heron, egrets, osprey, pelicans, fish jumping out of the water all in view from our site. We took our chairs down to the beach area that was available for several hours every day at low tide. This park also has a museum, 2 big fishing piers, a 4 mile gulf beach and a 1 mile stretch of beach on Tampa Bay looking out on the Sunshine Skyway bridge. It even had a dog beach and Paw Playground where we took the dogs to play Frisbee. Every place else requires them to be on leash so they loved getting a chance to just run and play. There is an historic fort, great hiking and biking trails. Facilities were well maintained and staff were very helpful.