Date of Stay: January, 2013
We were on site #1212. This review will be of the whole resort including campground. We have camped here many times so we know the drill. We were here specifically for marathon weekend. Upon check in we already knew our site because of a snafu with in laws checking in 1 day earlier. Check in cast member still would not tell us site number though, insisting we had to go to overflow and sit and wait for a text. Glad we did not because they NEVER texted us. Also many roads would be closed during the weekend but we were never informed about them at check in. In laws were able to get a brochure about the closures but they had to insist on getting one it was never offered to them.Every camper checking in this weekend should have received one in their packet no questions. It also should have been posted on restrooms and bus stops. It probably impacted many people trying to get to parks early until 1 pm. Also was not told where to catch bus to take runners and others to race area. Also no TV info in packet. Disney has all these channels to tell you how great they are but don't inform of what channels are what anywhere. We were able to enjoy our stay because we had low expectations since we are locals. But if we were here to go to parks it would not have been fun. The campground was great, but we ordered a giddy up and go at Trails End and it was cold and the biscuits were so hard that we left them out for the animals who didn't touch them either! It kind of ruined our first night tradition. Disney does lots of things right but you can tell they are starting to crumble at the edges.
Date of Stay: December, 2012
We were in site #13 a FHU site. There are 7 FHU (8-14) and 10 50Amp sites-2 are FHU.Sites are mostly short and unlevel. Ours was very long, but narrow. Most sites are shady. All sites are dirt. One bathhouse which was clean. Firewood is delivered to your site when you buy it. Park has playground, boat ramp, 2 short hiking trails, canoe/kayak rentals which are very reasonable $4 1/2 hr. There was a notice of a pontoon tour but did not happen while we camped. Most people come to fish. Campers were quiet, but there is noticeable road noise in park. Lots of road construction at entrance. Shops and restaurants are close by. Over air TV was OK, received most Orlando channels.
Date of Stay: October, 2012
We stayed in site #104. It is a non-reservable site. We were moved from our original site #41 due to soft wet ground and flooding from recent rains. We went to look at the original site and it looked like a big rig or truck had torn the ground up getting out of the soft dirt. Site 104 was very pleasant since no one was around us. This park has too many sites very close together. Luckily not many people were camping this same weekend either. It was the first time we had not seen this park crowded. There were lots of mosquitoes during our stay. Several people in our camping group reported not being able to go on the trails due to the mosquitoes biting them. During the day in the campground it was not too bad but as soon as dusk came they were out full force. There were no ranger led events except for the tram tour. FL Parks now have a geo cache trail for all the CCC parks that ends in HHSP. We visited the CCC museum and had a nice chat with the volunteer worker. We were able to get WiFi from our site, probably because we were close to the office. We had to park our RV carefully because of the low hanging tree branches in our site, since park is very shady. No smoke problems this time-not as many people cooking outside I guess. TV was not the greatest for over the air. We checked out the Lake Placid Orange Growers visitor welcome center, the Lake Placid Farmers market on Saturday morning downtown, and Henscratch Farms and Winery which was a very nice place to visit. Also stopped at Webbs Candy shop on Hwy 27 on way home. Lots of old FL places to check out in area.
Date of Stay: September, 2012
We camped in site #46. I was all set to give this park a 9 or 10 like I have before, but the volunteer who cleans this park is a jerk and left us with a bad experience this trip. We've camped here 7 times over 8 years and campers always had access to the spring area before and after the park was opened or closed. We are only taking pictures and observing wildlife in a National Rec area. We do not swim or disturb them in any way. This guy who is set up on site #9 was very adamant that we could not walk down to the springs 15 minutes before the park closed one night or 30 minutes before it opened another day. He ended up cursing us out when we questioned why has this changed. Otherwise, park was clean in the camping areas, needed cleaned in the day areas, because people always seem to leave stuff behind. Sites all have w/e/s 50 amp, bbq grills and fire rings with concrete pads. Our site had shade and was close to the bathhouse. There is a $9 fee to book here. Verizon cell was very spotty and our Mi-Fi did not work the whole time. Very limited TV channels over air as well. No playgrounds for kids but lots of open space to play.
Date of Stay: August, 2012
We had site #13 and have been here multiple times. Really like the woodsy feel and closeness of the camping area to the tubing area. Campground had noisy people next to us this time. People using loud voices until very early in the morning, not drunk (no alcohol allowed in park, they WILL check) just noisy. It rained at the start of our stay and there was some standing water in a few sites which breeds mosquitos here. Park was very crowded on weekend but quiet during week. Tube run is great and cold. Lots of lifeguards for safety, if you are not acting in a family friendly way you WILL be asked to leave. Park closes from 10a-3p on weekends because of crowding, so get here early or come late. Campers checking in must be IN sites before park closes for night. No late arrivals.
Date of Stay: July, 2012
We were on site #39 in the newer loop. The only bad thing about this loop is there is very little shade available. Campground is quiet. Bathhouses were clean, with washer and dryer. Our loop had the FHU older loop is W/E only. All sites had grills and picnic tables. The ones in the newer loops cannot be moved around. There are 2 pull through sites. Rangers were nice and helpful. The ads on the campground map were extremely helpful when we needed an RV repair. Only about 5 TV stations available on digital. Area has many restaurants, stores and grocery. Beach is clean, but same as last year there is green goo in the water and this year there were lots of biting insects in the seaweed. Campsites in newer loop are gravel and in older one they are sand. Lots of sandspurs even if you walk on the concrete you will have them on your shoes.
Date of Stay: June, 2012
We stayed in site #31 which was on the end of the camping loop. Site had picnic table, ground ring/grill, w/e hookups, and was sandy and very shady. Plenty of room to spread out. Magnolia loop has newer bathhouse and dog walk area with a playground in center of loop. Only 3 TV stations available. Campground was quiet even with park having a large family reunion going on. Park offers a Nature center, CCC museum, several trails to hike, suspension bridge, swimming area on Santa Fe River, and picnic facilities. Also has a large group camp with cabins that includes a dining hall, meeting building and open air pavilion. Rangers were very nice and patrol camping areas often. We also went to tube down the Ichetucknee River which was a great trip. $5 pp to tube and you can bring your own or rent from outside the park from vendors. That park was also clean and had a reasonable concessionaire stand for food. Changing rooms, restrooms and picnic facilities with a tram to take you back to the main area provided.
Date of Stay: May, 2012
We had sites 1729 and 1731. Our sites had concrete and coquina rock, w/e/s and disney cable with a few added channels, picnic table and stand up grill. No fires at sites. Campground provides a nightly campfire program for all campers with a movie and sing a long. Shady loop, clean bath house, trash picked up constantly. Cable in 1729 was too far to use, needed an extension. Can rent golf carts, we brought our bikes to use. Large swimming pool with slide,kids waterplay area, very small hot tub for 1298 sites. Lots of activities and boat to get to MK. Bus transportation to everywhere else.Bring decorations to place on sites, lots of people go looping to see them.
Date of Stay: May, 2012
We had site #109. This was our 5th stay in this park.Do not believe RA when they say it will fit a 35 ft anything. This is a site for popups and tents and very small RV's. We had to caddy corner ourselves in this site as there were no others to move to on a holiday weekend. Site was very unlevel as well. We had a picnic table and combo grill, with water and electric. Barely any TV due to many trees. Our mi-fi didn't always work probably due to the distance away from town. Pool has been remodeled and is nice but there are only 10 chairs unless you rent one. The store has gone downhill, now only carries very basic necessities. No more griddles in the table for the make your own pancakes. No free guided canoe trip on Thursdays. But you can rent surreys and golf carts at store. They were way overpriced though. There is a Fort tour on weekends for $2 pp. And the tram comes around on Friday nights for a tour of the loop around the park. On Saturday nights they give a ranger program in park. Dump station is up a hill so be careful when using it. Made it hard to hook up car.
Date of Stay: March, 2012
We camped in site #27. Site had concrete to park MH on and picnic table, with fire ring/grill combo. Trees too small for shade anywhere in camping area. Campground 1/2 PT 1/2 BI sites. BI sites are much more private than PT's which are right on the road. 1 loop is for campers with horses, though anyone can book. Park is building a barn with stables so maybe all sites will open to anyone in near future. Only about 3 sites have water view so don't go by what you see on ReserveAmerica. Baths are solar heated and were clean. We were able to get many over the air TV channels here. Not close to town so the night skies were beautiful with stars. Water is sulfur so it does smell. Bring bottled if it bothers you. We tried out the easy bike path Sand Pine. Was really fun but very intense in turns. Mostly flat, although the other trails are not. No swimming here so for us this will be a cold weather park in future. March was very hot in FL. Also checked out nearby Paynes Creek SP which has a museum and hiking trails, it is about 45 minutes away. Also nearby is Bunker Hill Winery in Duette.
Date of Stay: December, 2011
We stayed in site#10 in Big flats which is an older campground. We've been here before and chose this area even though the newer area had opened with FHU. We like being closer to the action and Big flats is closer to marina, bird walk, tram rides, air boat ride and stores. It was a short 15 minute bike ride to the canopy walk. TV reception was non existent but we knew that last year. Cell phone for Verizon and ATT was fair. Our Mi-Fi would not work here though. They have widened the spaces and taken away the middle sites in both older campgrounds to give more room. Campground was very quiet at night and we enjoyed our campfire and solitude even though it was New Year's weekend. There was no partying going on in Big Flats from what we could tell. Park has many trails and bike routes as well as a small museum. There was also a naturalist out on Saturday with animal skulls and pelts and footprints to educate people in the park. Even though it was a holiday, the park wasn't too crowded. But because of the warm weather, we did not see as many animals as last time. The birds were plentiful but the gators were able to stay in the water since it was mild, so not many opportunities to see them. They have removed the playground that was at the picnic area to enlarge the parking lot for the boat parking. While in the area we went to Rosa Fiorelli winery, Hunsader Farms, Crowley Nature Center (has farmer's market on Saturday mornings), Yoder's Amish restaurant and Alpine Steakhouse. For most of these, use the back gate it will save a lot of time driving. We might take a site in the newer section if we come back. We drove through it and it looked nice but sites are all gravel which in our experience in FL means ants. Roads are paved though in the newer area.
Date of Stay: December, 2011
We stayed in site #44 a pull through site. We had fire ring/grill and picnic table, 30A, site was hard crushed gravel. Very long and wide with bushes along roadway for privacy. This was our 3rd stay, we came for the Christmas lights. Enjoyed the festival both nights we were here. All craft houses except blacksmith's were open and selling their wares. Main store was giving out cookies and hot chocolate. There was free popcorn, marshmallow roasts, movies, snow and Santa visits. Lights were great, kudos to the volunteers who spend their time installing them. Dump station has been rebuilt since we were here last. TV reception is still extremely poor w/o a SAT dish. Carillon was playing Christmas tunes instead of SF's music. Bathhouses were very clean and all volunteers were friendly. We ventured into Lake City and they had a Winter Festival that was totally free for all the activities. Also a great homemade, homegrown farmer's market is set up near the lake downtown every Saturday. We didn't get to the trails as we did on our last visit, but neighbors of ours said they were in good shape. The springhouse is getting a new roof so it was closed to the public. Not much going on in the town of White Springs, Lake City is where you would need to go shopping. Wi-Fi is available at main store if needed.
Date of Stay: November, 2011
We were in site #11. It was shady, had a concrete slab, picnic table and FHU with cable. We backed up to the road so there was more noise than if you are closer to the beach. The clubhouse has been renovated and heat and air added with new windows since our last visit. We were in town for the Blue Angels Homecoming show so did not spend much time in park. We did receive a notice of a potluck on Saturday night by some of the residents. The beach is close by and now there is a boardwalk to cross the dunes. PNS Lighthouse is a short walk on path or by the beach. Air Museum down the street; new section just opened. Roads are dusty in park from the limestone gravel. No fires allowed. Cable was really fuzzy and did not get many channels. Park has wi-fi for $8 day. Central location to what we needed for this trip, and it was fun to see all the planes fly in the day before the show.
Date of Stay: October, 2011
We were in site #1219 a non pet preferred loop. Our loop had a shared bath house with 1300 loop and larger concrete pads. It was so large that we could pull forward our RV and hook up our car behind us without leaving our site. We've stayed here many times and each time it has been good. Our loop was very spread out and quiet, occasionally you could heard activities at pool if wind was blowing right. Lots of activities for families in park. You can hop a boat to MK and then more boats, buses or monorails to get anywhere on property. Park has horseback riding, archery, swimming, hot tub, food, musical show, pony rides, etc. Lots to do.
Date of Stay: September, 2011
We were in site #59 for a mini family reunion. This site was very sunny most of the day. Most sites seemed to have an invasion of ants this time of year so be careful leaving out any food because they will get it. Also we were told there were bears spotted in the area, but we never saw any. Each campsite has W/E/S 50 amp, a stand up grill and a fire ring with a lantern pole. All sites are asphalt and no cars can be parked on the grass. Bathrooms were very clean especially for a holiday weekend. You do have to pay a $9 reservation fee if made with Rec.gov. The springs were nice and cool and the rangers were checking coolers and handing out wristbands while we were there. There are 3 wineries that we visited in the area and we ate in Astor at Sparky's, very good hamburgers and salads. On Saturday's there is a flea market and farmer market across the street with a good diner. Not much to do inside park except for the springs. No real trails inside park. TV reception was OK for this area. There is an area for basketball and horseshoes near the extra car parking area.There is a store near the springs that carries swim supplies and ice cream.