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Before this was a campground,and even had private dwellings, back in the late 90’s we found evidence of 18th century artifacts on the island. We also hiked inland to stay in the canopy, among the no-see-ums, to find equine bones. Legend has it that wild horses roamed free until the great hurricanes of the early 20th century. Magnificent!!!!!!
Called here and was told there was a campsite for $90 a night. I told the woman on the phone that we would be sleeping in our rooftop tent. She said they were not allowed anywhere on the premises and when I asked why she said she just knows they are not allowed they had turned someone away with one before and all she does is answer the phone so she wasn’t sure why. I asked her if we took the tent off if we could stay there, (which we aren’t going to do), she was still trying to talk me out of it saying that the site was on concrete. Decided to not stay there because of price, although it would’ve been interesting to have been kicked out for sleeping in our rooftop tent lol.
Our stay here was a bit weird. Since it was March in Florida (and nearly impossible to find available campsites unless you reserved 11 months in advance), we called ahead to see if there was room. When Carl learned we only had a 17-foot camper van, he agreed to “fit us in”. Yes, there was a slot that we backed into and we had room to erect our screen room on the concrete pad next to our van but there was absolutely NO privacy between sites. Many of the people here were long-term residents and not generally vacationing campers. Although information says the rates range from $30-$60 per night, we paid $50, cash only. There were no restrooms on-site, but we were able to use the clean restrooms at the county park across the street (but had to make a mad dash across the busy road to get there). It suited our needs for two nights to enjoy small and quirky Matlacha, including walking distance to kayaking opportunities, but we wouldn’t choose to stay here again.
We needed a place to stay for a spell and seeing it was a trails collection, we decided to utilize it. Very clean, friendly campground. A bit of road noise, mostly during the day. At times low flying plane from a near by small airport. Best part about it, close to Arcadia where one can easily spend the day between the murals on many buildings to downtown where there are a ton of collectable and antique shops, including the "haunted" Opera house as seen on ghost hunters. There is laundry, hot tub and a heated salt water pool as well as a small pond with a gazibo to utilize on the campgrounds.
We came back to Florida to retrive our car after a 3 month stay in New England. This campground was right down the road from where we needed to conduct our business. Well orgaized, clean, friendly staff and level campsites. What you expect from a TT campground. Very laid back campground. Easy in and out yet well maintained and secure. Even though its close to the highway, the setup eliminates most nosies to give you a restful nights sleep. We spent 8 nights there. Will post some pics in a coupel days, tons of pics to edit from road trip down from New England area.
This is a true gem in South Florida, a remote island paradise. Miles of beaches with very few people and great hiking/biking trails through the scrub. Pack lightly as you will need to load and unload all of your stuff on the ferry and then the tram and then carry it to the campsite. There is no electricity but cell service with AT&T was great (not that I wanted to use it much). The camp store sells souvenirs and necessities (snacks, cold drinks, firewood, ice, more insect repellant). Restrooms are clean and there is potable water available there, so no need to bring your own and waste plastic. I was glad I didn’t bring my kayak, as it would have been a lot to haul with me, and I rented one for $20 for a half day on the island. Although bikes are also available for rent, I would probably bring my own bike next time as it would be helpful to get around during the 4 days I was there and find more remote locations.
Insects are a serious issue, even in the fall and winter. Hope for a breeze to deter the no-see-ums. I used DEET spray and a thermacell and a permethrin-treated tent and still left with dozens of bites, and that was in November. Next time I would wear pants and long-sleeve shirts in the evenings. Fortunately I didn’t see any rats while I was there
My campsite was #13 and it was one of the smaller ones but well-shaded and apart from the louder cabins. Some campsites have hammock posts and otherwise you are not allowed to hang hammocks on the trees, so plan accordingly.
This is a park with permanent sites, transient and seasonal people, with a the locals prominently making the social life active and fun. I have met families, retirees, and some are in RVs, some bought a place. It s declared full, yet lots of spaces have yet to be filled, so it is nice to be some of the first ones here for the season. My receipt declared this as an Encore resort.