Date of Stay: June, 2011
We have to agree with all the positive ratings for the Ft. DeSoto campground. The sites are all very spacious, clean, well-maintained and there’s plenty of privacy space in between each site. The park rangers are very efficient, friendly and helpful. The only negative is the lack of sewer, but bathrooms are well-placed and close by. The showers are roomy with lots of hot water, and the bathrooms are always clean. Our dog’s favorite beach at the park is the Paw Park dog beach, and there are always well-behaved, friendly dogs (with their responsible owners) there for her to play with. The award-winning North Beach is just breath-taking, and there are miles of trails through the park to challenge the runner in our family. There’s great seafood close by at the quaint and friendly little town of Tierra Verde, and many of the restaurants have excellent live music on the weekends. It’s no wonder we keep coming back to Ft. DeSoto time after time!
Date of Stay: April, 2011
The Hillsborough River SP campground is one of our new favorites. The sites here were spacious, clean, well-maintained and there was plenty of privacy space in between each site. Unfortunately, the mosquitoes were swarming when we were there in April, and the huge clouds of mosquitoes were rather intimidating so we chickened out of kayaking on the river. We went through a couple of cans of repellent and we burned a campfire every night (the park rangers sell some excellent firewood) so we still managed to have a great time. We don’t care for the lack of sewer at Florida State parks, but bathrooms at HRSP are well-placed and close by. There is no private dressing area in the showers, but the bathrooms are clean. The pool was being renovated when we were there, but it promises to be another great attraction of the park once it’s finished. There’s a small restaurant at the pool, but the food was nothing special. The nature trails are just beautiful, but we had to speed through them due the mosquitoes. But we’ll definitely return later in the year once the mosquitoes settle down.