Beautiful campground in Ocala forest! I camped here for 2 nights and enjoyed everything about it! Campsite 160 is my absolute favorite because it's the only private tent ground. Everything else is an open layout with the neighbors. Salt springs is a short walk about 3-5 minutes. Great for swimming and snorkeling! Crabs, turtles and manatees swim nearby as well! Campsite includes entrance to springs, fire pit, bench, water hook up with your own supplies though. Shower house and sink house centrally located. All of the hosts and rangers were so nice they genuinely care for the property which is so wonderful to see!! Brings tubes/rafts or buy one at the springs shop. Only thing close by at 5minutes is subway, dollar general, and gas stations so be prepared.
We found this fun family friendly location from a facebook post about Tree house camping and had to check it out. Making reservations was pretty easy on the county website. There are a number of forms you will be emailed to print and fill out(will save you a lot of time if you plan to use the pool that is run by YMCA)
Check in was easy. The office is closed form 12– 1 so no chance of checking in early. There is a Girl Scout Museum near the main office where you check is– but is rarely open. This was an old girl scout camp and now id open to the public. There are many different types of cabins available for rent, tent sites and 9 tree houses. Each area set up as a grouping with a bathhouse and kitchen pavilion.
The tree houses were so fun to stay in and being higher up gave us chances of a breeze– many in our group brought battery operated fans. Though there was a threat of rain all weekend we stayed high and dry in the tree houses(2 sides are only screened)
There was a very large lighted screened kitchen pavilion with fireplace, stove, fridge, sinks and covered outdoor grill. There were other campers in the tree house area we shared this community area with. It was great to have a place to hang out during the rainy evenings. Bath house was centrally located and clean.
Pool was very nice and very strictly run by the local“Y”. It was closed a lot due to distant rumbles of thunder but we did get a few minutes to enjoy.
Trails were well kept and took you through the property and past many of the grouped cabin areas. One boardwalk took you out to the river and fishing dock another out through the area by the tree houses.
It was a good 10 minute hike with our gear to get to the tree houses from parking area near pool. Wagons are provided but pack light to save the trouble.
Summertime this place is a kids paradise. There were lots of families, parties and groups on the property when we went. Fall and Winter we are told is the best time to camp here but we were advised to book early!
Remember to Leave No Trace and enjoy this one of a kind experience!
This campground was huge! They had a camp store, playground, walking trails, volley ball, snorkeling, diving, and kayak rentals. A little bit for everyone to enjoy. The campground accommodates very well, there were enough bathrooms and maintenance that it wasn’t bad at all. There are limited electric sites which makes it tricky in the summer but so worth it to cool off in the springs any time of night. This is also the only spring you can drink on even get a keg delivered to your site. Please be curious of the nature we get to enjoy and clean up after yourself in the water and out.
A nice quiet free isolated campground on the western side of Ocean Pond in the cypresses and pines
A primitive site with about a dozen tent sites or more. Trash cans and out toilets are on site, with pick nick tables each campsite. Dirt road access, dirt road/undeveloped area other than the tables, trash cans, and out toilets. Beautiful views to the east through missy covered cypress trees with palmetto and pine forest behind to the west.
A nice, clean, remote campground in the north central Florida wetlands/pine and palmetto forests. The bathrooms are clean, as are all of the campsites. Some of the primitive sights might be a little wet after heavy rains but all the paved sites are nice.
No water or electric. Vault toilet. In the middle of nowhere. Nice lake
A great place to kayak! You will be able to see a lot of manatees if you are lucky. The showers are large. The campsites are good and shaded. It is slightly tight in some spots if you have a large camper or RV. But overall very relaxing campground with beautiful springs.
Florida has many many different camping options. I was looking for something unique and different from what I'd done before and this place popped up on my radar. Definitely Different and Unique for Florida. And the perfect place to review my icemulecoolers.com
Camp Chowenwaw is located in Green Cove Springs, FL adjacent to the St. John's River and on Black Creek. It was a Girl Scout Camp for 70 years and is now owned and operated by Clay County, FL (https://www.claycountygov.com/departments/parks-and-recreation/camp-chowenwaw-park). There are many different styles of camping available here with lots of privacy between the different sections.
I chose to camp in the Treehouse Point for a weekend where there are 9 Treehouses available for camping. A group of us went and had Treehouse #4 and #5. Each screened in non electric Treehouse slept 4 in bunk beds. There were several central fire rings with a picnic table/benches throughout the unit. A shared bathhouse with toilets, sinks, lights, and hot showers was available in the unit also. There was a central dining hall for all of Treehouse Point with electric, lights, fans, inside fireplace, stove, refrigerator, sink area, and porch with outside charcoal grill and picnic table.
Even with sharing the dinning hall with other campers it was great since it was big enough and everyone was friendly. The Treehouses are spread out with some trees in between so they are semi private. The pool is available but doesn't open til 10 am where as we were all ready to go earlier since it was HOT. It was very enjoyable but HOT in July with no electric in the Treehouses. We had no issues with mosquitoes or yellow flies and the frogs serenaded us every night loudly, so that was a cool experience. We had decided not to take kayaks since there was a bit of a walk into our area and we didn't want to leave them in the parking area on our vehicles, which turned out to be a good decision because the kayak launch was under repairs. They are planning on upgrading a lot so it should be great soon. They recently upgraded and replaced the fishing pier and its awesome. We are planning to go again in the Fall when its cooler. I would recommend this place for a unique experience. On a side note: Green Cove Springs has a pool also in a community park on the St. John's River that is spring fed and would be a cool stop.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get to test products. A Camp Chowenwaw I tested the icemulecoolers.com. I got the ICEMULE Pro XL (33L which equals 24 cans plus ice) in Camo.
1. What I loved about the ICEMULE was that I could wear it like a backpack and be comfortable and free my hands for something else.
2. I loved that the straps were wide and comfortable.
3. I also loved that the chest cross strap could be moved up and down to make it more comfortable for women to use the chest cross strap.
4. The straps had lots of room to make smaller or larger so it will be great fit for a variety of people and body styles.
5. It kept my ice solid for three days in the FL heat.
6. It has a port to add air to enhance the coolers insulation.
7. It holds A LOT!! I had 9 bottles of Propel water and 2 bags of grapes and 1 whole bag of ice. It wasn't too heavy and there was room for much more.
Only draw back I had was that the camo style is fabric and tends to sweat a lot. The other colors are vinyl and don't seem to sweat.
I'm ready to use my ICEMULE Cooler again. I even want to take it kayaking and get some more accessories for it from their site like a dry bag and a waterproof box.
What a wonderful location if you love water sports! Located right on the Sante Fe with the Ichetucknee River right around the corner. This site sits 1/2 mile from the confluence of the 2 rivers.
The site was easy to find using GPS, Paved roads almost the entire way. Last bit hardpak/gravel but well maintained. Wide drive so will be easy for RV/Travel Trailer to access. Powerbox(50/30/15)& Water are on right of site and nice fire pit and picnic table on left. Site is entirely gravel but there is grass on either side to pitch tents. Not many suitable trees for hammock on site but some by river.
Bathroom is on other side of residence(very close) has enclosed hot water shower and a campers toilet(bucket) with replaceable sanitary bags. All was very clean. Shampoo, toilet paper and lights we a nice addition!
Just down from site and visible is a dock on the Sante Fe River. Easy access for kayaks and not difficult to put in or take out from rocky shore. There is also a wonderful porch swing mounted on 2 trees to enjoy the sunrise from.
Check in was at 1pm but we were told we could arrive early as there was no one the site the night before. We also had the ability to check out late if we wanted as the site was not booked the night we left
Lots of fun for fishing, tubing and kayaking! Owner was more than accommodating! There were tubes available for rent onsite, access to launch for tubing or kayaking provided and firewood was stacked and ready for use near the fire pit.
Owner was very nice and told us where to go to put in our kayaks to paddle/go tubing down the Ichetucknee (about a 45 min float by tube). We kayaked the river downstream to the end and paddled upstream on the Santa Fe about a½ mile upstream to get back to site. The owner also advised we could put in at Hwy 47 on the Sante Fe and paddle the 9 miles back to the site.
The roads in the area were very busy the weekend we stayed. There is a lot of traffic as local residents loaded their vehicles with tubs and passengers to float down the river multiple times in a day. There was a good bit of golf cart traffic and dirt bikes on the roads as well. BUT, once evening hit& all the locals went home, it was dead silent for us as we watched the sun go down beyond the shore. Mullet jumping in the river and owls calling from across the far shore were the only sounds to be heard.
This was a wonderful experience for me; it was a great location with everything I loved nearby. There are at least a dozen springs nearby to explore!This site is booked up regularly and you will need to book way in advance for weekends and holidays.
I love this place! The entire property is protected by huge old oak trees, with a trail of camp sites winding through them.
If you aren’t out hiking in the forest from one of many nearby trailheads, you may be relaxing in one of the buildings at the campground. There is a community kitchen that offers campers a stove, oven, refrigerator, coffee pot, and more. My favorite is the main building with a stage for the band to play, lots of soft, upholstered chairs, and an amazing fire pit. If you’re lucky, Dan & Donna will come hang out with you around the fire.
Almost every surface on the property is covered with miscellaneous “hippy” paraphernalia and decor from the 60s and 70s.
There are 2 bathrooms and a shower available to campers, and good music is piped through speakers from one end of the campground to the other.
If you blink you'll miss the entrance to this hide-away in the woods, but that's perhaps it's secret ingredient :) We arrived too early (about an hour before our scheduled checkin time) but the owners allowed us to choose our site and set up our tents since a rainstorm was approaching. After setup (and an hour of rain) we toured the property. You'll have full access to: kitchen (with stove/range, coffee maker, pots & pans…..), shower, bathroom, and the common area complete with a band stage and COVERED fire ring. An awesome place to hang out and chill.
Small campgrounds, cant touch not even inch of grass. Ranger’s rude and acting over reacting. Harassing ppl around special one woman and i wish i remember her name. She walked site by site and harassing campers about everything. Surprise she didnt walk into tent see if we didnt killed ant or mosquito. Water close by not pretty looking dirty. U cant park by campground so travel little light.
Great Camping with well maintained sites. Lots of animals like deer, raccoon, armadillos, alligators and manatees. Definitely snakes but that's everywhere. Sites vary in sizes but pricing is very decent. They have renovated bathrooms and showers. They have kayak rentals and the springs are great for swimming, snorkelling and diving. They also have a boat dock that can offer tours of the river. During winter months you can see plenty of Manatee and even kayak in the water with them. Highly recommended you try kayaking at least one. There are also walking trails and most of them are good for mountain bikes. Overall it's a great state park with many things to do. Great to go with a group of campers to enjoy fires at night and the springs during the day.
Awesome place to snorkel and scuba dive! The water is crystal clean blue but very cold. We made the mistake of not bringing wetsuits and it was freezing after a while, so definitely bring a wetsuit if you can. Campsites are available and well maintained.
Nice campground close to the spring. Good hiking trails. Biking is iffy because of the loose sand, but doable. Just be ready for that fast stop in loose sand.
I believe they built a new bathhouse recently.
Be sure to have all your supplies as the closest town is a bit of a drive. Cell service was marginal.
The snack bar at the spring, when we were there, was an awesome bbq.
There’s a nice boardwalk along the spring run. We were there when there were no manatees so swimming was nice, but cool. Always 72°
We came during the week in the summer and the campgrounds were peaceful. There were lots of deer roaming the camps but I think that was due to the fact that people were feeding them which is disturbing. Our campsite (#11) was a dirt site which was not good when it rained (and it did). They have some gravel sites and a few concrete sites available as well. The hookups for the sites are not very well thought out. The hookup for the sewage was well far forward of any traditional RV or trailer’s setup. In addition, our site required us to dump UP HILL!! Gravity said otherwise. Would I stay again? Probably, but I would be more particular about which site I chose. Manatee Springs itself has great swimming in a small area and is a good spot for kayaking in the Suwannee River. The map they give you at the Ranger station is not to scale, everything is much closer together than it appears. A con is that we had no cell service in the campground. There was WiFi provided at the concession stand at the Springs but it was poor. Additionally, there is only one dumpster for the campgrounds at it is at the RV dump station which is a bit of a walk if you don’t have a car with you.
This is an awesome campground with lots of things to do. There are 2 loops. One is mostly RVs and one is tents. The sites are pretty big and most are well separated. Bathhouse is fine. The actual spring is quite a drive from the campground. But definitely worth the visit. It’s the site of a previous private venture that included a zoo. So you can still wander around the area on paths and see the old cages and other features. The garden is actually very nice. We also opted to rent kayaks and paddle up to the springs one day. The Rainbow river current is pretty strong. So the trip back was much faster. It’s also pretty cool to snorkel in the river. State law requires that you display a diver buoy while snorkeling. Again watch that current.
During the summer they have float trips down the river and a tram back to the campground. We rode bike down the tram road off season which was nice. Lots of wildlife. We heard coyotes and there are a fair amount of wild boar.
Ended up at this campground since we couldn’t find anything else open at the time. Sure glad we went. The campground is one loop in a field. With camping along the edge in the woods and also in the field with some trees. Lots of open tent camping also. The bathrooms are huge and modern and super nice.
The attraction here is the biking. It’s an international destination for mountain biking! While there are no mountains in Florida, there are many man made ramps and jumps and turns. It’s remarkable to see. There is also a wonderful cross Florida trail that is paved, is super smooth and it meanders through old plantations, woods, and horse farms. It’s gorgeous. It was a great place to visit.