My mother had a trailer there for a long time until her death. I am going to try to be the snowbird and stay a few months. With an active population and a transient one, many travelers and residents enjoy this old park. A big contingent from Canada also has a section they call their slice of Quebec. The RV section is mingled around some non mobiles, and the clubhouse and pool areas are nice and friendly as my mothers decades of ownership there will attest. Visiting several times I enjoy the atmosphere and friendly neighbors. There is also laundry and other services I will use this winter.
Very friendly camp host, he was eager to greet me n my crew of moto riders and offer us a cooler with ice and a dozen bottles of water. Gave us a site away from the main area for some peace and quiet and a great view of the sky’s above. Definitely a nice place to search out for a nice nite star gazing.
Most sites are permanent residence. There is no drainage - it rained and I woke up to find my camper surrounded by 4" of water. Although most available sites are pull-through, very narrow roads make it difficult to get in and out of the campground sites. The laundry facilities appear that the buildings have not been cleaned in many years. The best thing was mango trees providing all the mangoes one could carry.
We recently stayed at Koreshan Historic State Park because our son and his family moved to the Ostero area and this is very convenient to their house. We had heard of the park and took the chance to drive trough before staying there. The campground is pretty small with a total of 54 sites and only 42 open to RVs with the rest reserved for tent campers. There is one bath house for the entire campground. It is located closer to the front of the camping loop so campers in the sites towards the back will have longer to go. The sites are equipped with electric and water. The sites are narrow and quite close to each other. There is some under story in between but they are so close that it makes little difference. They are sandy sites which I imagine can get quite soft in the dry season. We stayed in July and the rain tends to keep things fairly easy to drive on but it sticks to everything. Be sure to bring leveling blocks for your RV. The sites are very uneven. The park is close to Tamiami Trail so you do hear some traffic noise at night. We stayed in site 28 which is near the back corner of the loop and the traffic noise was minimal. There is a path that runs behind the sites that leads to the bathroom facilities but the trail from our site to that path was overgrown and unusable. This was not the case on all the sites.
The rest of the park is very nice with a newer picnic pavilion and nature trail along the Ostero River. There are canoes and kayaks to rent with a well maintained boat ramp. The nature trail runs from the picnic area through a large stand of bamboo to the historic site from which that park gets it's name. The Koreshan settlement was founded in the very early 1900s by a religious sect from the Chicago area. Many of the original buildings are still in the park and there are daily tours of the buildings and lots of information about the people who settled here.
As I mentioned, this park is close to Tamiami Trail at the end of Corkscrew Rd.. You are minutes from grocery stores, hardware stores, restaurants and all kinds of retail shops. The Coconut Point Mall is right down the road. There is a movie theater, restaurants and the typical collection of upscale retailers you would find in a mall. The park's entrance is across an intersection from a good size strip mall with a Publix.
Overall, we liked this park and found it a very convenient place to stay and hang out with our family. Not exactly "getting away from it all" but that's not why we came.
We first came to Koreshan ( core-resh-in) as a place to get near Naples to visit relatives. The campground is mainly two circles, one inside the other. Sites are small but manageable and have relatively good screening between sights. There’s kayaking on the river and a little bit of hiking. The main attraction is the historic Koreshan commune. It’s a short hike along the river. There’s lots of wildlife snakes, gopher tortoises, etc to see and some very cool giant bamboo from the original gardens. If it’s windy stop and listen to the bamboo!
The historic buildings and information is very interesting, very odd beliefs and well kept.
There are frequent gatherings at the historic site such as vintage camper trailers when we were there.
Bathhouse is in serious need of renovating, but is kept clean. It’s located in the center of everything and sometimes quite a walk depending on your site. The campground stays pretty busy all year.
Growing up, this was one of our go-to campgrounds because we had jet skis and it was nice that they have their own boat ramp for guests to use. They do a lot of games and kid-friendly interactions on big weekends (holidays). The last time I was there, they expanded their sites, but all the new sites have absolutely no shade so I would not recommend that side during the hot summer months. The staff is very friendly and helpful. Very clean, pool is nice and they have a game room.
My husband and I have camped here numerous times, I actually frequented this campground with my family growing up, and we have had more good experiences than bad (from what I can remember we only had 1 bad experience). It used to be more family oriented than it is now, but still family friendly (it’s nothing like the crazy parties at mud holes like RYC and those places). I feel they have started to nickel and dime the customers (IE - you have to pay extra per day to use your AC in your camper and you have to have a wristband to even ride and ATV/SXS/golf cart). It’s gets pretty crowded on holiday weekends, which could be fun or annoying, depends on the type of person you are. I like that they are staying to do events with live bands on the weekends to bring in more customers (look on their Facebook page), but like I said, we frequent this campground and overall, do and will continue to recommend to our friends and family. I think my favorite part about this campground is the site options. They have buddy sites that you can share with up to 4 campers. It’s great for when we bring friends with us, so we all share a concrete/brick pad but they do sell out fairly quickly so plan in advance if you’re going on a holiday weekend.
If your looking for a weekend get away this is not the place. If you are looking for long term camper living this is the place for you. The sites dont have fire rings or bbq pits and they are very small and cramped together but what can you ask for. They do have a heated pool and are close to town since they are in the middle of it. Coin operated laundry and there is a day room
Sites are a bit tight if you have a larger rig but they are big enough. My family and I enjoy this campground. Rent a canoe from the ranger station to go down the estero river and see manatees and dolphins or take a stroll in the historic living area. There are plenty of gopher tortoises and armadillos around to see and every trip we have taken here we have seen at least 1 giant Easter diamond back rattlesnake!
Tgis place offers a nice fishing area and screened in community area by the bathrooms. However the bugs at this park are the worse I have ever encountered. It's like prehistoric times with teridactles coming in to suck your blood. I kid you not the mosquitos are that bad. If you have a good camping net room for around the picnic table you may make it out alive.
RANGER REVIEW: GREGORY ZULU 35 BACKPACK AT PICAYUNE STRAND STATE FOREST-HORSESHOE CAMPGROUND
CAMPGROUND REVIEW: Florida offers very diverse camping opportunities throughout the state. Not many states can offer year-round camping along lakes, rivers, oceans, swamps, undulating terrain to pancake flat, grasslands, sugar sand to elevated chickee huts. Camping in Florida is not for the faint of heart, but for the adventurous…much like any state. However, in Florida, you may encounter crawling or slithering reptiles and spinning spiders in various shapes and sizes, non-venomous and otherwise…gators or saltwater crocs…otters, manatee or sharks…wild hog, bear, bobcat or relocated panther. In the fairly young Picayune Strand State Forest many of these reside. Most are shy and elusive, rarely to be seen…but they are present. Many wrongly assume the voracious and plentiful mosquito is the state bird…not so much…but come prepared with repellant any time of year.
Almost comically, Picayune Strand State Forest (https://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Florida-Forest-Service/Our-Forests/State-Forests/Picayune-Strand-State-Forest) was the location where the 1950's phrase has its origination…"If you believe that, I've got some swamp land in Florida to sell you." Land developers laid flat the land southeast of the city of Naples, put a grid of sandy roads in and flew prospective buyers in helicopters above the land during the dry winter months to sell them on the dream of cheap prime SW Florida real estate. Problem is…this land is all part of the Everglade watershed and is under a few feet of water every year from June through November, once the rainy season begins June 1. Some bought, but very few built…so to return the sheet flow back to its original state…the State began purchasing land back through eminent domain from the mid-1980's until a remaining parcel was purchased in the mid-1990's when the Picayune Strand State Forest was named. The man-made pump-regulated canals are being blocked to allow the natural sheet flow to reclaim much of this area.
Unilike many State Forests, while you can hike and bicycle the roads and trails throughout Picayune Strand, you cannot camp wherever you like. Horseshoe Campground https://floridastateforests.reserveamerica.com/camping/horseshoe-primitive-campground/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=FLFS&parkId=1120199 is located on the north end of the State Forest, which travels on the south side of Alligator Alley (Interstate 75) as it turns and slices across the Everglades to Miami.
Horseshoe Campground is a small parcel of high ground carved out of the swamp scrub. The grounds are well-maintained and clean. I found Ranger Reid, in the Ranger office, to be very friendly and helpful. He even offered a highlight that a panther, the night before my arrival, was chasing some deer about 300 yards west of the campgrounds.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:
⦁ No potable water (bring all the water you need)
⦁ No Electricity (None, zero, zilch…plenty of sunshine for solar chargers though)
⦁ No Showers (I'd also advise against swimming in any water nearby)
⦁ No waste recepticles (Carry out what you bring in)
⦁ No Internet offered (Adequate cell service is available)
⦁ Open fires permitted in designated camping areas, in fire rings, unless posted
⦁ Two portable pit latrines enclosed within wood fence enclosures
⦁ Prepare for mosquitos year round
⦁ Don't forget your sunscreen
Reservations can be made through Reserve America's website. Or you can chose to utilize one of the six (6) walk-up sites. Actually, I liked the added feature of the two tarp poles (or hammock poles) on the non-reservable walk-up sites. Between mid-November and April, it does not rain often, so its of no real advantage…unless you utilize a hammock. But from mid-May to mid-November, you are likely to experience some heavy downpours each afternoon…so sturdy tarp poles would be appreciated.
Each site is grass covered, has one fire ring and one picnic table.
Can't beat the pricing…$10 a night.
True to its name, Horseshoe Campground offers paddocks for the horses and ample room for horse trailers. The Equestrian Group Camping area also has picnic tables, some grills and a pavilion. Horses must be picked up after in the campground, just like dogs.
I saw one pop-up camper during my stay. I imagine you could back in a larger RV, but there is no gravel or concrete pad…and the grass is on a sugar sand base. So plan accordingly.
Several trails leave the campground from the northwest corner. Adequately marked and all are sandy. If you choose to ride a bicycle on the trails or gravel roads, you'll want the largest tires possible to have both comfort and control. You can drive to other trails, such as the3.2 mile Sabal Palm trail…though during the height of the rainy season, the back road there will likely be impassable.
Wildlife abounds and birding is huge during winter migratory months. You are also likely to see the nesting pair of bald eagles, gopher tortoise, wood stork, eastern indigo snake, red cockaded woodpecker, osprey, red-shouldered hawk, kites, and a myriad of wading birds.
Numerous activities are nearby, whether you want to take in an Airboat Everglade tour, Shark Valley National Park, kayaking, canoeing throughout the Big Cypress Basin. Gulf Coast beaches are an hour away…either in Marco Island, Naples, Bonita Springs or Fort Myers Beach.
Bike racers convene on Picayune Strand every May for the 50 mile Tour de Picayune https://tourdepicayune.org/.
PRODUCT REVIEW: NEW GREGORY ZULU 35 BACKPACK
Gregory Mountain Products have really stepped up their game in recent years! Not that they’ve been a slouch…Gregory Packs have long been synonymous with easing heavy loads, durability and comfort. Here's a look at Gregory's New Zulu 35 backpack https://www.gregorypacks.com/packs-bags/day-packs/zulu-35-1115ZUL35.html?dwvar_1115ZUL35_color=Fiery%20Red&cgidmaster=packs-day-packs#start=1 As a TheDyrt.com review Ranger, I have opportunity to review gear at no cost or substantially discounted pricing, as was the case with Gregory's New Zulu 35.
•Very limited pole loop and bungee
First and foremost, Gregory's Zulu 35 prolific use of breathable cutouts in the hip-belt and shoulder strap padding, coupled with the large holed mesh liners elevate airflow to new levels. The taut mesh back panel creates ample space between the pack body and the wearer’s back resulting in more airflow. Greater airflow, greater comfort. A thinner aluminum loop outlined the back panel for pack support and stability.
The Hip Belt: All hip-belts are not created equal. The Zulu 35 is a huge departure from previous Gregory models. The 3D Comfort Cradle was created to eliminate hotspots. Absent is the lower lumbar padding, thick hip bone padding and swivel…present is the FreeFloat ventilated suspension system. Hip-belt bellow pockets are cavernous in comparison to former Gregory models…8” zippers offer plenty of room for current smartphones, even when housed in protective cases. The pocket bellows 1.5” at the top and 2” at the bottom…and is nearly 11” from front to rear. Both pockets are coated nylon packcloth in contrast Gregory’s former generation Baltoro with one waterproof pocket and first generation Paragon packs that offered one of the pockets in a light breathable fabric. Note: Cram too many hard edged or lumpy items in those pockets and you may feel them through the ‘foam cutout’ areas.
Shoulder Straps: They may not be thinner, but they feel thinner… amply comfortable. Adjustment for size is a snap…well, actually more of a pull. Slide a hand down and separate the hook-n-loop and adjust to your desired height (marked in 1” increments). The chest strap slides along 9” integrated piping making the perfect placement simple. At 6'0," and with my torso length, I felt I was at the very top end of the adjustment.The logo’d QuickStow eyewear band and elastic keeper strap adorns the left shoulder strap simplifying sunglass storage. The right chest strap incorporates a hydration hose retention hook…but the coolest is the chest strap buckle now has an integrated high shrill whistle! How cool is that?! Buckle coloration has changed too. Male end is a dark gray, female end a light gray.
Pack Body: The main body is a lightweight coated, nylon pack cloth shell with lightweight stretch fabric ambidextrous 8”x 6” deep waterbottle/storage sleeves and a 12” x 7” deep breathable stretch fabric exterior rear stash pocket with adjustable top buckle. Two compression straps on each side help keep the load stable. The Zulu 35 offers one large compartment with a top load cinch opening and a U shaped 40” zipper allows easy access to entire main pack contents. Absent is an unnecessary bottom zipper. The top load offers a 34” circumference so no worries about restrictions. The main body interior supplies a protective hydration sleeve along with both a Gregory hydration pack specific SpeedClip snap hook and also a nylon loop for other brands. Trekking/ski pole or ice axe loop (adjustable!) and cinch bungee are intended to keep items secure. (*I found the combo for attaching my poles to be rather ineffective, as the bungee, even cinched tightly, did not prevent my poles from swinging metronome style at the top, which you can see from my pics). All pack zippers include molded Comfort Grip nylon loops for easy pulling.
Pack Hood: The hood has one outer and one inner zippered pocket. The outer pocket will hold ample ancillary items, whereas the inner pocket is intended as a dedicated “labeled” Rain Cover storage pocket. But stuffing the Rain Cover into the main body stretch stuff pocket or water bottle/storage sleeve frees up an additional zippered pocket. Two small web lash loops on the outside of the hood are nice for securing solar panels or carabiners for hanging your Tentlab Deuce shovel.
Final Thoughts: Born a skeptic, things are rarely as advertised but the New Gregory Zulu 35 is the real deal. Until now, I loved my overly padded hip belts, shoulder straps and back panels of yesterday’s packs…but the Zulu 35’s comfort level was astounding, catching me totally off guard. Granted, I was only hauling 30lbs, but it was ‘out of sight-out of mind.’ The purposefully engineered breathable mesh and cut-outs worked…in blazing sun and 89 degrees, I was comfortable. I usually haul heavy loads (55-65lbs) for long treks…but I was able to pack enough in the Zulu 35 for four days worth and still had room. Apart from the ineffective bungee cinch/adjustable loop for poles…it is nearly perfect! In the future, I’ll just stick my trekking poles (upside down) in the side pocket and cinch ‘em down with the side compression straps with my tent poles. Problem solved.
Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Size: Gregory Zulu 35 (Med/Lg)
Capacity: 35 liters/2136 cu in
Pack Weight: 2.89
Recommended Maximum carry weight: 35 lbs
Reviewer: 6’0/185, 21” torso
Price Point: $169.95
Unlike the name would lead you to believe, the Seminole Campground and RV park in North Fort Myers, isn't actually a campground at all -- it's just an RV park.
Located just off of I-75 and Hwy 78 (Bayshore) the location of the park is a short drive (in FL terms) to anywhere in the Ft Myers area. There is a Publix not far away, and a new restaurant called the Boat House near the Civic Center.
The "campground" is convenient to Lee County Civic Center and Echo (a global agricultural non profit learning center).
RV sits are 55$ a day including hookups. The campground has a pool, bath house, and a community area.
There are trash receptacles onsite and a recycling bin at each site. Each site also has a picnic table and grill.
There are a lot of RVs at the campground that look like they're there to stay awhile. The campground has more the feel of a mobile home park than it does a campground.
RANGER REVIEW: PRIMUS LITE+ 'ALL IN ONE GAS STOVE' AT BOW-TIE ISLAND PRIMITIVE CAMPSITE, ESTERO BAY, FLORIDA
CAMPGROUND REVIEW: When it comes to "camping," often people immediately think of hiking, backpacking or traveling by car to a campground or campsite. But throughout North America (U.S. and Canada) paddling your way to a campsite often leads to greater solitude. Another distinct advantage to paddle camping… unless multiple, long portages are involved…you can carry luxuries and more of them with greater ease.
On this journey, I chose to paddle six miles North from home, along the Great Calusa Blueway-Estero Bay, to Bowtie Island Primitive Campsite. (GPS: N26 22 35 W81 51 13) Of note: The Great Calusa Blueway has over 190 miles of intercoastal waterway paddling trails with several barrier island primitive campsites. https://www.fortmyers-sanibel.com/media/30166/phase-1-update-9-05-17-proof.pdf . On this pdf you see number 11 for Bow-tie Island and the primitive campsite on the southeast portion of that mangrove island. If you are traveling the Blueway south, Bow-tie Island is to the east of marker 9. Paddle to the southeast corner and you will locate a narrow trail that leads to the campsite. It is first come=first served…no reservation system exists presently, nor is there an informational phone number. Bonus: It's free
Most of the paddling hugs mangrove islands in this area, with a few larger open-water crossings. Be very alert, as power boaters tend to be less than gracious with their kayak swamping wake as they fly by.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:
⦁ Solitude- you will likely have this small mangrove island to yourself
⦁ It is a primitive campsite
-No potable water (bring all the water you need for hydration and cooking)
-No electricity (plenty of sunshine for solar chargers)
-No facilities (Leave No Trace-pack out everything)
-No internet (There is strong cell signal present)
-No lights (Stargazing is incredible on clear nights, but bring illumination)
-No picnic table
⦁ Bring mosquito repellent (do not forget this!)
⦁ Bring sunscreen
The campsite is not openly obvious, even to those that boat and fish the area often…I startled a boat of fisherman as I dragged my kayak out of the mangroves. At the time I stayed, the east side "beach" entrance was blocked by a large, wayward uprooted tree that was washed up. So the only other trail opening is on the southeastern side. I would estimate that trail to the cleared camping area, a 50 foot walk.
There is no signage visible when on the water. Near the "blocked" eastern beach entrance is a small Calusa Blueway placard indicating Bow-tie Island Primitive Camping area.
The cleared campsite area is large enough and flat enough for possibly two 2-man tents. I used a 3-man tent and had ample room for a hammock and chair. This is a mangrove island that is comprised of broken shell, so bring that tent footprint to save your tent floor. Though there was a fire ring comprised of a dozen rocks, I did not brave the outside from dusk to daybreak, as the mosquitoes were savage…and I just so happened to have forgotten my repellent. Mangroves are fairly dense, so you don't get a strong enough breeze to keep the bugs away.
During the winter months (Dec-May), you will hear some road noise from the nearby beach roadway (depending on the wind direction)…but it is sporadic at night (I do sleep with earplugs) and didn't bother me. Power boat traffic is quite heavy during winter months also…and noise travels on the water…but there was no boat traffic during the night.
If you don't bring it…you won't have it…and you can't get it…no stores within five paddling miles (and some walking) or on the water in this area. There is a marina just south of Big Hickory Island that has a nice restaurant, and there is a hotel restaurant on the north end of Lover's Key…but not simple 10 minute jaunts.
Fishing is great, for both sport and meals…just make sure you get a license. Big Hickory Island and Lover's Key have beautiful beaches to enjoy a short paddle west…via New Pass. I'm not suggesting that you paddle over to the Lover's Key State Park restrooms to enjoy modern facilities…but its only a 20 minute paddle. Mound Key Archaeological Site is a close paddle in Estero Bay…and Koreshan State Park is a further paddle up Estero River on the mainland. If you paddle south, 3+ miles, you can dock at Coconut Jack's restaurant along Bonita Beach Road and enjoy incredible seafood meals.
Check the weather forecast when boating…and continue to check it, as SW FL weather can change rapidly. Winter months see sparse rain, but nights can get downright chilly. Summer months are gloriously hot, but from June through October it usually rains each afternoon…and when I say rain…I mean torrential deluge. I thoroughly enjoy paddling in rain storms, but in Florida, "the lightning capital of the world," I would advise against it.
Consider the challenge of the Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail and its island primitive campsites.
Note: I contacted State of Florida Parks, FWC, County Parks/Recreation and City of Bonita Springs regarding rules, regulations and reservations…and each one deferred to the other, so nobody really knew. Biggest concern will be where you leave your vehicle while you paddle.
PRODUCT REVIEW: PRIMUS LITE+ "ALL IN ONE GAS STOVE"
Primus makes sturdy, reliable, innovative stoves…and the Primus Lite+ is no exception https://primus.us/products/eta-lite-7?variant=38436885010 . I have and still own numerous stoves by various manufacturers, but the stove I use exclusively when in the backcountry on short or extended trips is the lightweight Primus Express piezo ignition stove…front country camping, I utilize my Primus Primetech 1.3 Stove set especially if I'm cooking for multiple people, where weight and size is not critical.
Enter the Primus Lite+ "All In One Stove"…featuring a creative locking mechanism that secures the 500 ml pot to the stove burner with a simple insertion and twist. The Primus Lite+ also incorporates their proprietary Laminar Flow Burner Technology, which minimizes distance from pot to burner…along with lowering overall height. Like the Primetech Stove pots, the Lite+ pot also utilizes the integrated heat exchanger which both distributes burner heart evenly, thereby reducing fuel usage, and helps block the wind, also assisting with faster cook times and lower fuel consumption.
As a TheDyrt.com Review Ranger, I get the opportunity to test and evaluate outdoor products for review either for free or deeply discounted, as was the case for the Primus Lite+ "All in One Stove."
⦁ Stove with locking mechanism and Piezo ignition
⦁ 500 ml (nearly 16 oz or 2 cups) pot with integrated heat exchanger/wind-block
⦁ Plastic lid with strainer holes
⦁ Removable, felt-lined Insulated pot sleeve with strap grab handle
⦁ Folding canister stabilizing legs
⦁ Suspension cord
⦁ 3 Threaded Stabilizing Studs (for using standard flat bottom pots on stove)
⦁ Coffee press
A 500 ml pot will give you two cups of coffee using the Primus Coffee Press (not included). This sized pot is sufficient in the backcountry to provide meals for two…based on the one cup meal servings.
⦁ Reasonably lightweight at 13.9 oz
⦁ Integrated Ignition is simple and works
⦁ Insulated sleeve with handle gives it a "mug" feel
⦁ Pot Heat Exchanger heats fast and evenly
⦁ Pot/Stove Burner interface locks securely
⦁ Canister stabilizing legs fulfill their purpose
⦁ Primus did not use their new Ceramic coating on pot interior
⦁ No Stove Pouch provided like their Express Stove includes.
The Primus Lite+ ticks almost all the boxes for my preferred usage. If Primus would've used their ceramic coating inside the pot, along with providing a nylon storage pouch for the stove burner…it would place Primus further ahead of the competitors in this hot market. Clean up would be a breeze…and the storage pouch would minimize stove damage and pot interior scratching.
There is nothing difficult or foreign about usage, nor is there a learning curve…remove the contents from the box, thread the stove burner head onto a fuel canister, line up the triangle on the stove head with the triangle opening on the bottom of the pot, insert…twist and shazaam! Fill the pot with your desired contents, turn the black fuel adjustment knob so it releases gas…press the red piezo ignition inward…adjust the flame and in a few minutes dinner is served.
The Primus Lite+ is a solid all-around performer! Light enough to take with you anywhere-everywhere again and again. Absent are any complexities… simply user-friendly and practical. As previously mentioned, I would like to see Primus utilize their ceramic coating on the pot interior and include a protective mini stuff sack for the burner…their absence doesn't affect performance or function in any way…though I think it would help bring the competition to their knees.
Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Pine Island is a small fishing community. The island has no beaches. They are about 30 minutes from the closest beach in Cape Coral, and about 45 minutes from Fort Myers Beach in Fort Myers. There are many marinas to launch a boat. The island is 17 miles long. They have bike paths.
This is an out of the way park. The map may show that it's close to Sanibel and Ft Meyers but it is not really by car. This place grows on you. Pine island has no beaches but does have a lot of fishing spots and great restaurants. The noseeums about did me in there. No one sits out once the sun starts to set. The pool closes at dusk. The laundry room is spotless and adjoins a wonderful library. This park has mostly permanent residents but the people are friendly. There is a nice dog park and playground.
Campground Review: If you are looking for a clean, remote, large camping area, with large spread out sites and few amenities - this is it. Reservations for the Oak Hill campground can only be acquired through the Peace River Canoe Outpost. They maintain, clean and patrol the sites in addition to hauling your gear/firewood there so you do not have to paddle down the river with it. Sites have picnic tables, fire rings and port-o-lets available.
You can hike around the peninsula of Oak Hill and explore, look for fossils and sharks teeth at the waters edge or just site back and enjoy the peace and quiet. We had no trouble from squirrels or raccoons (we hung our trash out of reach just in case). Kids will find a way to keep busy exploring but there is space for a bit of catch or game of Frisbee.Manhunt was popular on our trip! These sites are very popular with scouting troops and locals - call easily to schedule your trip especially on weekends!
Product Review: As a “Ranger” for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time – this weekend I tested the ICEMULE Pro backpack cooler. This cooler was the large model (23L) in my favorite color green! Product was put through it’s paces on a hot spring day in Florida while kayaking on the Peace River. We packed a couple frozen water bottles and a few chilled bottles and everything for breakfast casserole for 11 the next morning, 2 small icepacks and a quart size back of loose ice cubes. Everything held temperature. We barely had room to fold over top 3 times as suggested and we did inflate just a small bit to add to the insulation properties per instructions using small valve on side of bag. Backpacking straps were a bonus for carrying to the launch and back to camp!
This cooler is so well built and tough! All seams are well put together and sturdy exterior fabric will surely last though quite a bit of abuse. I did not test to see if it floats when full as advertised. This cooler rolls up nice and small when empty and for storage – but mine will not see much storage time – this cooler will be going out on the water with me all summer! The ICEMULE Pro outperformed 2 other coolers persons in our party brought… they will be purchasing one like mine soon!
All rv. Did not see any tents. Stayed here two weeks and could not find anything to gripe about. Well maintained. Outstanding pool. Away from hustle of Ft. Myers. Bathrooms very clean with best showers I've ever encountered camping. Great wi-fi. No cable but get many channels on hd antennae. Super areas to walk dogs. Very pleasant experience. Most sites shaded. A little expensive at close to $70/night. Approx. $450/week.
Great COE campground. Spacious sites, with level cement pads.Best sites are 21 to 26 back up to small canal with a lock. Fun to watch boats navigate thru. Fishing on canal.
Also like sites 17 to 20. Beautiful landscaping. Friendly, informative hosts. Lots of birds, eagles, hawks and a family of otters!
Two negatives- gate closes 7 to 7. You have to get out, unlock a hard to read padlock, open gate, drive thru and then close. Hard to do in the dark
Second negative- the bathhouses are clean but no shelf by the single sink and the two showers are set up oddly where you have to pass thru one to hey to the other.
All in all a great place.
This park is nice for a short bike ride or hike along it’s nature trail. Don’t forget the kids helmets because it’s a law in Florida for them to wear them and the park ranger will remind you of it. The park is also on a river you can kayak or put a canoe in. They even provide rentals. The campground is well maintained and has three good size shower houses. The RV sites are pretty close together especially in the back. There is a nice playground by the river and a few historic markers to explore. The location is about 30mins to the beach depending on traffic. We visit Naples and Marcos island which were both nice but crowded. The park is also a short distance to the northern part of Everglades National Park. You can easily hitch a ride on an airboat tour there. We visited in December and the mosquitoes were definitely thirty that time of year! The ones that got in ate us alive while we slept in our camper. I still have nightmares but with out a breeze that’s just florida. Overall, great little park to explore just sleep under a mosquito net.
The campground located inside the historical state park has a total of 54 sites, 39 are RV or tent, 3 only RV, and 12 Tent only. There is a bath house on the inside loop of the sites, it has hot showers and flush toilets. Each site has electrical hookup, with picnic tables, fire pit, and utility pole. Each site has good foliage and privacy from other sites. The park has water fountains and water faucets for portable water. Each site has a gravel drive and sandy/grassy area for tents, no tent pads. It is also pet friendly. Two sites I have stayed at are 020 and 009, both are large sites with lots of privacy from neighbors. From October-April it is fairly busy, and availability is scarce, so planning a head is usually necessary to get the site you want. It is $26 a night with a $6.70 nonrefundable reservation fee, reservation is on the park website.
This state park is part of a Historical Settlement of a religious group that built this particular settlement in 1893, there are lots of buildings still preserved and available for you to walk through. A couple short and nice trails, some along the Estero river. Kayaking and fishing are also permitted.