Date of Stay: May, 2016
We chose the Gulf Breeze section since it is closer to the gulf. There are some partially shaded sites. The sandy sites are irregular and fairly close. Our site was listed as pull thru - it was at the end of the road. If no one was on the site, you could drive thru to the main loop. There are a few paved sites across from the older bathhouse. As stated previously, there is a newer bathhouse that is much nicer. There is also an outdoor shower for rinsing after the beach.
Date of Stay: May, 2016
The campground loop roads need much improvement - sandy and full of pot holes. Sites are sandy and most have a little wood fence around them. Most sites are large and shaded with trees and shrubs between the sites. The Magnolia Loop is the nicer of the two. The bathhouse is newer - roomy, clean showers, well maintained. Magnolia is also closer to the river and activities. Many sites in the Dogwood loop are not level. River Sink trail is a nice walk. Very interesting how the river goes underground for miles. Some mosquitoes but not too bad. I would give it a higher rating if the campground road was in better shape.
Date of Stay: April, 2016
We chose the East Rim as it is close to the canyon/waterfall trails and overlooks. Most of the sites are good size, gravel pads, nice picnic table, some are shaded. Some sites have terraces with woods behind. We really liked Site 55. The East Rim sites are more open and you can see your neighbors. The restroom is clean but very outdated and (showers especially) were very small - not ADA compliant. You have to go to the West rim for ADA facilities. West Rim sites are shadier and more spacious. The trail down to the waterfalls is definitely worth doing (even though there are 600 steps total, they are spaced far enough apart, that coming back up wasn't bad at all. Not much around so have all your supplies before going into park, although there is a gas station, cafe and little shop not far from entrance.
Date of Stay: April, 2016
There are two campgrounds - the upper & lower (by the lake). I prefer the upper. There is a one way loop road from the visitor center to access the lodge, restaurant, Tower, Bald Rock Boardwalk trail, cabins & campground. The upper campground road is hilly and has pot holes. The sites are large, most partially shaded. CCC built many of the facilities. The beautiful stone exterior restrooms are very old. There is a newer bathhouse within easy walking distance of sites 12 & 22, so I recommend those sites. The newer bathhouse has separate unisex/family shower rooms. To pick up a WiFi or phone signal, you need to be near the visitor center store. Be sure to take the Bald Rock boardwalk trail and to go up to the Tower.
Date of Stay: April, 2016
Very nicely forested campground, sites are large - most pull thru, but you can see your neighbors. Some sites are paved. There is an incline to some of the sites so leveling may be required, depending on your rig. It looked like the exterior of the bathhouse & laundry had been redone, but the interior was old and could stand to be updated.
Date of Stay: October, 2015
Nice shady park, but note that not all sites are shaded. Although there is grass, most sites are sandy. Some of the nicer shady sites are for tents only. Most, but not all sites, are fairly close together. RV sites have electric, water & sewer; tent sites have water & electric. Restrooms/showers near pool are nicer than bathhouse closer to river. Family restroom/shower available. There is a pier on the river. Several people fishing. Place to launch canoe or kayak. Also large fenced dog area. I would stay here again if in the area. Wish there was a rocket launch while we were there as the view would be awesome. 2 nights required for on-line reservations We found a good site as a one night "walk-in"
Date of Stay: April, 2015
You camp here for the park, not the campground. This is a park where it is nice to have a bike. There is a bike path along the loop road & bike racks at the trail heads. Most trails are approx 1/2 mile long. If you only have time for a couple of trails, I recommend the ones with boardwalks like the Cypress Swamp & Fern. All sites are not created equal and it is hard to choose from the photos on ReserveAmerica. As others have said, there is no privacy between sites. Most are partially shaded under pines, but there are some sites in full sun. There is a new modern shower house across from sites 129-130. The sites across from this bathhouse are large, paved, ADA accessible but not limited to handicapped, but most of the RV parking area is in full sun. Many sites are pull thru, as you have to watch for all the trees. Some hookups are right next to site, others are a distance - check the notes on ReserveAmerica before booking. This park is best in the dry cooler seasons. There were no bugs in the campground, but deer flies on the Wild Orange Grove trail where it was damp. I can see where in rainy season, there may be mosquitoes & flies.
Date of Stay: June, 2014
This is a fairly nice campground. Rates are less than private ones around. Most sites are shaded. Level sites are nearer to the campground entrance. Sites in the upper 30's across from the restrooms, are shaded and level. The ones heading down hill are slanted as previously mentioned. Parking is on concrete pads. The sites are large but open, therefore you can see your neighbors. You can see the lake from most campsites; but, there is a fence between the campground and the lake. Some sites including ours lacked a picnic table. They could use a paved walkway from the road to the restrooms - it must be hard on handicapped people. Restrooms could use some updating. They are cleaned daily from 7:30-9 am by a service. Park & swimming pool are heavily used on weekends. There is no swimming in the lake. We did see a couple of alligators.
Date of Stay: April, 2014
This is a beautiful park. The springs is a local swimming hole, very busy on weekends. There are 3 loops in the campground. Most of the sites are shaded and very large with a good amount of space between. The Fern is for tents only, with dirt road and no set tent pads. The Sandpine has more vegetation separating the sites. I prefer the Tropical Loop which is an easy walk to the springs and nature trail. Your neighbor may be visable but is a good distance away. There are several pull-through sites. A few sites are in full sun during the day, but most are under large trees. You can hear traffic on Hwy 40 at night but it isn't that loud to wake you up. Bathrooms were kept very clean even on the weekend. Showers have a push button which automatically turns off after a couple of minutes. I would give it a 9 or 10 if they had electrical hook ups. The Juniper Canoe Run is 7 miles, narrow and shallow in most places. Toward the end it is more open and sunny. They say it is not for beginners as there are lots of fallen trees in the water, curves, a constant current and one small area of rapids. They check coolers for disposal bottles and alcohol. They will send you back if you have these. They have a shuttle service to take you back at the end of the canoe run but you must register and pay at the store in advance. We also stayed at Alexander Springs but I prefer Juniper Springs.
Date of Stay: April, 2014
Beautiful river for canoeing with lots of wildlife, also a short boardwalk trail. They have rentals as well as carts to help wheel your canoe to the boat ramp. The spring is the local swimming hole - very busy and crowded on weekends. They do check coolers for disposable containers and alcohol. The campground has mostly large shaded sites. Most have vegetation between sites. Most have nice tent pads, picnic tables, and paved area to park. The campground road is narrow and has a lot of potholes. The bathrooms are adequate but kept clean even on the busy weekend. The showers are controlled by a push button the turns off after a few minutes which is annoying. Note: check the site map as not every loop has a shower house. It would be nice if they had electric hook ups as it gets hot at night in the warmer months. I gave it a 5 due to lack of hookups, and need for road maintenance.
Date of Stay: October, 2013
Beautiful park - 4 loops that are pretty much the same with very large campsites, many pull thrus in wooded area so sites are mostly shady, on hardpacked gravel pads. Sites are spaced far apart with trees and shrubs in between IMO the nicest sites are the pull thrus nearest to the restrooms. The best time to camp here is in the cooler months after or before rainy season. Reservations are needed for weekends. A paved pathway leads to modern bathhouses /restrooms (including 2 family /handicap units) that were kept immaculate by campground hosts. Infrared heater lamps in showers. Several nice easy walking trails within walking distance from campground. Bike trails are for experienced mountain bikers. There is a boat ramp for canoes & kayaks which can be rented at the Silver Springs attraction area. One point six (1.6) mile loop around to the spring. Silver River is a beautiful paddle with lots of wildlife like including monkeys. You can also take a ride on the historic glass bottom boats ($10).
Date of Stay: September, 2013
This is not really a campground, but an older trailer park with permanent and seasonal residents. They have a few sites available for short term stays. It is a quiet park (sign says for over age 55). Most sites are nicely shaded by the oaks and mature landscaping. The gulf beach is 2.5 miles over the causeway. Manager was very friendly and helpful. There were 2 restrooms with shower (1 men, 1 women) - no paper products supplied; we had to bring our own toilet paper. There is a large laundry area and community room. No picnic tables on RV sites. It was fine for a night, but I wouldn't want to stay much longer.
Date of Stay: September, 2013
It is a beautiful state park with lots of trails and wildlife. I highly recommend the canopy walk and tower overlooking the area from above the trees. There is a marina that rents boats and bike and gift shop and snack bar/restaurant. You can easily bike from any of the campground loops to these places on the 7 miles of paved road. The newest loop Palmetteo Ridge is the nicest with 2 newer modern bathhouses, paved entry road, very large gravel sites, with an extra area for picnic table or tents. This area has sewer and more suitable for big rigs than the other 2 loops. The only drawback is the lack of shade. Site 72 is the shadiest, 80+81 partial shade. Big Flats seems to be favored by tenters. Since we wanted a shady site, we stayed in the Old Prairie which has a dirt entry road with several ruts. The small bathhouse was very clean, but old. The campground hosts kept the loop very clean. Summer is not the best time to camp there as there is standing water in several areas. Some sites flooded during heavy rains. No problems with mosquitoes, but I heard they can be a problem. Rate is $26 plus taxes and fees = $29. The Palmetto Ridge loop fills up first so you might want to reserve a site, if you want to stay in the newer area.
Date of Stay: July, 2013
This is a nice RV park in a great location (also the only one on the island). If it was closer to the Gulf, it would be even better. It is a 1/2 mile walk which can be long if you are lugging beach gear, but a quick bike ride. The campground has a lot of trees and tropical vegetation. Some sites are partially shaded, others in full sun. The area we were in was grassy and some hard packed shell-gravel. There may be pads in the other areas. There are a lot of permanent sites - mostly seasonal residents. Not very full in summer season so we weren't crowded by other campers. If it was full, some sites are fairly closed to each other. June - Nov 2013 off season rate is $35/night - $50 in season. Full hook ups. No dogs allowed. There is a tent area. Sites are very large and private, but no one was camping in that area while we were there. They have 2 duck ponds with swans and rare ducks. Also tropical birds & lemurs in cages. Lots of benches so you can sit an watch the birds. A nice place to relax. Restrooms (3 toilets, 3 showers) in ladies were clean, but people do track sand in. Bathhouse has ceiling fan, but as others have said, it does get hot. There is a laundry area, mail center with regular mailbox, fish cleaning area, etc. Great launching point for bicycling along Periwinkle. There are bike paths, water fountains, shady rest areas. So bring or rent bikes. We had dinner at the Lazy Flamingo which is in walking distance. The mesquite grilled grouper was excellent. There is a Dairy Queen next door, too.
Date of Stay: June, 2013
There isn't much choice in this area. Campground is dirt/gravel level sites, but well maintained with hookups easily accessible. Full sun, no shade. Sites are right next to each other like a parking lot. Hardly anyone there this time of year, so we had plenty of room. Restrooms (2 uni-sex bathrooms) with showers along with a washer & dryer are in an old trailer. Park is right off the main road and close to the entrance of Big Bend. Had the best steaks at the Starlight Theatre.