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.
This seemed like the only option around for staying on the east side of everglades. It's a very large campground. We had no problem getting a site (apparently they are first come first serve but I've read reviews that there is a way to reserve sites) during "peak season". Some of the sites are fairly close to one another but we got one on the perimeter which was really nice and a little more private. The showers are huge plus (beware water only gets luke cold at best- no hot or warm water in the winter) and having flushing toilets are always nice. Tables and fire rings at each campground. I believe I read that you needed to bring your own wood but I think you could buy some. The campground is in a pretty ideal location. Close to a couple great trails (Anhinga and Long Pine Key). We were able to break up our 2 days in the everglades by splitting it with an day in Biscayne bay- driving too and from the campground to Biscayne NP was very reasonable from this "home base". The only down side to the campground is how close sites are to one another (again perimeter sites seem a little better). Additionally, walking around and seeing people sitting in their RVs watching TV kind of takes away from the camping experience (especially a NP). It's also pretty pricey for camping in a tent. Lastly, their staff is terrible. They're not bright (they'll have trouble figuring out which sites are open and then tell you sites that are obviously taken are actually open). They also lack any customer service skills and can be rude at times.
Amazing campground (as long as you're cool with pit toilets and without showers). Great picnic tables and fire rings. We're tent campers and loved this place. There's only 7 tent sites and they're on the opposite side of the lake from the RV's (I think there's about 10 RV sites). It's far enough from the road that's it's quiet (about a mile on gravel from the state route to the campsites). Stars are great. Bathrooms are clean. Bring your own firewood. We didn't see any hikers or OHVers (their website says this campground is commonly used by them). There was an alligator swimming in the lake at dusk. Don't make the mistake like we did and wear sandals though, the chiggers/no see ums are terrible.
My husband and I lucked out to get an absolutely gorgeous day to tent camp at this campground. The next day was back to Florida’s hot and humidity. This campground is in one of natire’s most wonderful places, big cypress national preserve. This campground has tent and rv sites. No electric sites. We went on a Sunday and the whole campground was full, it’s a popular spot, would recommend making reservations in advance. There are vault toilets over on the rv sites and flush toilets by the tent sites. There are campground hosts, fire pits in the tent area, and a lake that does have alligators, because this is Florida. The nite sky was perfect so many stars to see. Little to no noise pollution. Make sure to bring your insect repellent, I got eaten alive once the sun started setting. No trails at the campground but there are trails within big cypress. Tent campsites were level and not right on top of one another. There were a few trees for shade as well.
This campground is in the Everglades National Park but is managed by a third-party. That was good for us because we were able to stay here during the government shutdown. We stayed for 8 nights at the beginning of January 2019.
First, the website shows that sites are first-come, first-serve except for a limited number of sites that can be reserved. I called and was told reservations were not accepted so we took our chances on getting a spot. When we arrived, the agent stated that there were only 3 spots available for the 3 nights we were going to originally stay (we weren’t sure about connectivity). Needless to say, that was incorrect, there were tons of spots available for the time frame we were there. Anyway, we also found out that they do take reservations somewhere on-line, but I couldn’t find the website for it. We stayed three nights in spot #5. It was a good spot, but our solar was struggling because it was in shade most of the afternoon. We decided to stay a few extra days to explore more. Connectivity was not an issue – Verizon has 3-4 bars without booster. AT&T has no service though. With our booster, we were able to get about 1-2 bars of AT&T and thankfully one of our phones as Wi-Fi call capability, so we were able to make and receive calls. Keep that in mind if you are AT&T only. The campground Flamingo about 40 miles from this campground does have AT&T connectivity, but we didn’t explore the campground to see how it compared.
When we decided to stay longer, we were told we had to move because someone reserved spot #5. That was fine because we wanted to move spots for better solar anyway. The agent said she couldn’t look up which spots were available for the time frame we wanted, but we could drive around and find a few spots we wanted and then she could look it up. That seemed weird, but we did that. We found that spot #66 had great access to solar in the mid-late afternoon so chose it. Thankfully that spot was available. There was some confusion about whether we could reserve it or not. Each person we spoke to said something different, but after many tries, it ended up working out and we were able to stay longer.
We stayed another 5 nights at our new spot #66. Solar was much better there, and we had a nice view of the lake. Both spots we were on were level and it seemed most in the park were level. The road coming in is paved so no issues with accessibility. Since the campground is in the park, you do have to pay the entrance fee, but we have the national park pass. Of course, because of the shutdown there was no one at the gate anyway.
We didn’t inspect the bathrooms or shower houses, but the park was clean and well-maintained. They have a camp host on-site and we did not see any issues that were seen in other parks because of the shutdown. For some reason, the dumpsters were not emptied until our last day there so some people had put their trash next to the dumpsters, but it was otherwise clean. Very quiet and peaceful as well.
The campground has a lot of slash pine trees which give some shade, but still allows some solar. There were not a ton of good spots for solar IMO (at least in the winter), but anything by the lake would be good. There are no hookups at this site, but they do have potable water and a dump station near the entrance to the campground.
Tons of things to do near this campground. There are trails and of course exploring the Everglades. Homestead/Florida City is about a 20 min drive and you can get groceries, gas and whatever you need there. Robert is Here is a nice fruit stand in Florida City you may want to check out. Worth a trip to the Flamingo visitor center to see crocodiles and manatees. I would also recommend the Royal Palm visitor center and the anhinga trail.
Overall, despite the confusion and frustration over the reservations, it was a nice place and we would stay again. It is closed in the summer months which makes sense, it would be way too hot, and mosquito infested for the summer. Mosquitos were tolerable when we were there, but you need bug spray.
Nice campground all the way around, great staff, nice clean restrooms and showers, beautiful beach within the campground itself, nice pool, secure and if I left anything out I didn't mean to. Loved this campground all the way around! They let me bring my portable hot tub if I paid for the water and they didn't charge us enough in my opinion! We were able to rent kayaks from local rental for 24 hrs. and they delivered and picked up at the campground!! Close to everything!
This little park is off of Route 1 ( Overseas Highway ) on the North bound side. The park is decently maintained. There is a boat launch and docks. You can rent boats and scuba equipment. You can also take one of the parks many boat tours.
This park is located right off Route 1 in Florida City. For the area this is a large park. I believe over 150 sites. The sites are decent in size. The park fills up quickly come the winter time with the “ Snow Birds” but the park overall is wonderful. There is a bar/Tiki Hut on premise and a big swimming pool open year round. This is a pet friendly park but with a breed and size restriction, so call ahead if you have Fido with you.
Miami Everglades RV Resort is in the Miami area but it doesn't feel like Miami at all. They have a really nice big pool, shuffleboard, putt putt golf, arcade and walking trail. It's off the beaten path but worth the drive. The front office staff was so helpful. We arrived after an afternoon storm had blown their power. They still checked us in with now problem. We stopped here for 2 nights while exploring The Everglades on our way to Key West. Close to Miami Everglades is a fruit stand called Robert Is Here. Don't miss it!
We have camped here twice. It’s conveniently located to a lot of things to do. We have a toddler and each time she loved the pool & beach area. We love sunset point everyone hangs out there, shares drinks makes friends etc. some people bring guitars and sing and hang out, very laid back & happy atmosphere. Tons of manatee hang out in the marina at the resort. You can get great pictures of them. We’ve met a lot of families and made some friends. We like the lobster pub on the property, they make good drinks and it’s nice to sit under the tiki huts. We are coming back this winter. We love this place!
Very secluded, obviously you can only get there by kayak or canoe, perhaps a smaller boat on high tide. Water is nearly fresh this far into the glades, good place for a bath. A bit small, it would be cramped if two or more groups arrived there at the same time.
Great campsite. We were camping in the tent, but still felt a little crowded since Irma took a lot of trees. Don’t let It dIscourage you! reasonable prices, neat and clean facilities, and a couple of nice snorkling spots worth it.
Fabulous location midpoint on the keys. This enables day trips to Key West or Key Largo. The resort has a marina, a pool, and a beach bar and restaurant. A little pricey but you are on a private key. We enjoyed sleeping with our door open hearing the waves. Beautiful sunsets.
Sites are pretty close together without much privacy. Nice, well kept park, but the maintenance people closed ALL the bathrooms for cleaning for up to two hours late mornings every day we were there. Otherwise nothing too notable - there were some hiking trails available to take advantage of, but we had bad weather. I might be willing to come back with better weather and more accessible bathroom facilities!
There are plenty of RV spots around a cute lake. We stayed in a tent only campsite which was a little farther from the lake. They were far apart from each other and did not seem too crowded. It seems every site was full the weekend we camped there. There is no shade in the tent only campgrounds and as this is south Florida, I recommend bringing some sort of pop-up or tarp to escape the sun. They had pretty great fire rings that were high with a grate across the top. There is one building with bathrooms and showers. It was pretty clean while we were there. There is also animal proof trash cans that are near by as well.
Keep in mind that there are no stores anywhere near this campground. It is located in the big cypress preserve almost right between Miami and Naples. You have to bring everything you need with you (water, firewood, food, etc). There aren't many activities in the campground besides a short walk around the lake. The lake is NOT for swimming as there are gators so you'd have to drive to get to the activities.
All in all it is nice if you are looking just to relax and hang out around your campsite for a few days but it is a littler underwhelming.
I am a member of Passport America, they are listed as 50% off campsites for 5 days maximum. When I called to reserve they told me that our trailer would not fit on the designated Passport Amerca sites, but we could have the next level site for 50% off instead, but they were $10.00 more a night. When we drove by the office, on our way out to eat on the night we arrived, they had prices posted for late arrivals to check themselves in, the price listed for the two sites on either side of us was $16.00 less than they charged me for the site before my 50% off. There were several empty sites in the Passport America area that we could have easiily fit on, they were about the same size as the site we were given. With them making me upgrade to a more expensive site, then charged me more than the other sites next to me, that were identical to mine, I did not get the 50% off price stated on Passport America. We thought the campground was nice, but there are way too many rules! For example, try telling your dog that he can not do his business until you get all the way across the campground to the doggie park. The rules for pets stated that you would loose your deposit if you let your dog do his business on any campsite or common area. There was only two places acceptable, one was up front between the RV Park and the main road, on a tiny strip of grass or in the Bark Park. The pool closed at sundown. We usually relax in the pool at night at most campgrounds to wind down before bed. I tried to do our laundry the night we arrived, the laundry room was open, but they did not have a change machine, so I had to wait until the next day, after we went to get change. We actually had plans, but I had to do laundry instead, we had to have clean clothes, we had already been traveling for 17 days, the campground we had been in for the last 4 days did not have a laundry room. The machines were small, but cost $4.00 per load to wash and .25 cents, per 5 minutes to dry. It cost us $38.00 to wash and dry 6 loads! We did not get to do all of our laundry, we only washed what would fit in the machines, for each color. The showers were clean, but there were signs posted that said the water temperature and pressure were pre-set, you had to press a button to turn the water on, that only gave you about a minute of time, so you had to keep repressing the button to take your shower. It was just like the bathroom sinks you have to press to wash your hands.We were traveling with my two youngest kids, 21 & 23, my oldest son, who is in the Air Force, his wife and two kids was meeting us 4 days after we arrived, but they said they would NOT let them stay with us, there was a strict 6 person maximum and one vehicle per site policy. We had originally planned on staying 11 days, 5 at 50% off snd 6 at full price. When we told them we would only be staying for 4 days, because our son could not camp with us, they told us that we could pay $73.00 a night for a tent site, but they could actually stay in our camper with us. We counted 10 people at the campsite across from us, they also had two large vehicles, and a large boat. The showers were clean, but there were signs posted that said the water temperature and pressure were pre-set, you had to press a button to turn the water on, that only gave you about a minute of time, so you had to keep repressing the button to take your shower. It was just like the bathroom sinks you have to press to wash your hands. The boat ramp on site was nice, we launched our kayaks from it. The swim area was roped off , with no beach, only a narrow strip of concrete. You climbed into the water using a small latter.The sunset view was beautiful from the swim area or if you had a waterside site.
The Florida Trail starts at the Oasis Visitor's Center off of US 41 and goes up through the state and finishes off in the panhandle. I haven't completed the entire trail but I have been out to the 7 mile camp several times. This trail is the real deal. Once you're on the trail you're on your own through some pretty tough terrain. Lots of water, mud, and sometimes debris in the way of the trail. There are no utilities and cell service is unreliable in certain parts along the trail.
Hiking out on the trail isn't an easy task and you should do your research before heading out there. You'll need to filter your own water and practice leave not trace principals.
It's a challenge but well worth it! Lots of wildlife to see and undisturbed nature to enjoy. I'm looking forward to one day completing the entire thing!
Note: Since this is in South Florida, the winter months are the best time to camp. Any other time of the year is pretty hot and full of mosquitos.
This is a small campground with mostly lot models and a small motel, but don’t let that keep you away, the people are wonderful!! We spent 3 weeks there and loved it! Nice pavilion down at water, nice little beach, dock, restrooms, showers and laundry
First, I’m reviewing our second trip to John Pennekamp mainly because it was after Hurricane Irma. They lost a lot in the storm, so many trees, the iguanas are gone and the restaurant is still closed do to high water ruining there kitchen. Most of the park amenities are available.
the sites are very close together and it was a bit difficult to get a 40’ fifth wheel in. Fortunately the site across from us was empty so we could utilize that space. To pull forward to get in straight. We found the sites lacking vegetation in between. But, again this was after Irma and they have replanted but it will take years.
Would we go back? Absolutely!
Collier-Seminole State Park, Naples Florida https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Collier-Seminole
It’s quite possible not many folks know about this State Park. The campground proper may not seem that large, but Collier-Seminole State Park is 7,271 acres huge! Almost all of it is part of the great mangrove swamp, one of the largest mangrove swamps in the world.
Even still, there are 105 camp sites tucked away on dry ground. All have electric and water, a fire pit and picnic table.
When entering the campsite area, the first loop to the right is a designated tent camping only loop. 19 sites in all. The sites are reasonably sized and permit two tents. There are palms and hardwoods providing canopy for shade above and undergrowth to give some privacy but you can still see and hear your neighbors.
The RV/Camper loop looks more like an inverted triangle with several loops within.
Three Restroom/showerhouse’s are strategically located so it is not a far walk to reach one from anywhere in the camping area. One of which has laundry facilities. There is also a RV dump station available. Firewood is sold in two locations in the RV loop.
**Read park rules and regs online…especially if you plan on bringing a pet or had thoughts of using a hammock.
Within the campground itself there is only one trail, but just outside is another 6.5 mile that winds through cypress swamps and offers a primitive campsite. However, you must register with the Ranger Station. Boating is the big draw and more specifically fishing. A fee of $5 gets you in the State Park for the day, and most Day users utilize the boat ramp. Canoe rentals are available as well as bicycles. Paddlers must submit a float plan with the Ranger. Mountain bikers have a 3.5 mile trail through a hammock and pine forest, again, you must register st the Ranger Station before use.
Don’t lose sight that you are in a very wild area. Bears, panthers, bobcat, gators, the invasive python, along with several poisonous snakes call this home. Also bring bug repellent! When there is a “skeeter-meter” on the Ranger Station wall, you had better be prepared.
Like most parks, a rich and varied history surrounds Collier-Seminole State Park. All of which is quite fascinating. Three distinctly different Seminole Wars took place here. The dredging and construction of US 41 which cuts across the Everglades that connects east with west began here. In fact, the only Bay City Walking Dredge in existence is found in this park.
The Collier-Seminole State Park is close to so many great SWFL things to see and do.
During what they refer to as “season,” Dec-Mar. you’ll be hard pressed to find a vacancy, as snowbirds migrate here in droves. But from May through October, you’ll find several vacancies.
Collier-Seminole State Park should be on your short list of places to camp!
There’s not much shade and there can be plenty of mosquitos depending on the time of year but it’s a fair trade for sleeping on the edge of the wild. We tent camped right on the water and woke up to dolphins swimming by every morning. We saw crocodiles, alligators, every bird and more. I absolutley love being out where I don’t hear road noise. I would definitely only go in the winter. We will go back!
Campground: Monument Lake Campground, FL
Monument Lake Campground is located within the Big Cypress National Preserve, Ochopee, FL.https://www.nps.gov/bicy/planyourvisit/monument-lake-campground.htm) This is a small campground area located near the halfway mark across US 41 (the Original Alligator Alley) between Naples and Miami…on the north side of the roadway at mile marker 60. There are several campgrounds along this stretch of US 41, but it appears most are designed for the self-contained RV'er to roost during the winter…much like migratory birds. In fact, there are 10 campgrounds within the Big Cypress National Preserve, some are first come-first served and others it is best to secure reservations on Recreation.gov.
Amenities: True enough, if you read any articles or reviews on Monument Lake Campground…amenities are scarce. So do not anticipate glamping in style…if you don't bring "it" all with you…you won't have it (No stores for 20+ miles in either direction). Restrooms are located mid-way on the west side of the Lake, and pit latrines are located mid-way on the east side of the Lake. There is running water at this campground…but we bring our own…or filter what is available (well water tables can be "iffy" in SWFL). No electrical, water or sewer hook-ups.
The Lake is not for swimming…period! This is gator country and while you may not see one in the lake, they are present. Gators travel pretty far to find reliable water and sustainable food source. Keep small pets and chldren away from the water's edge and within reach. I've seen folks fish from canoes and small row boats.
Campsites are grassy (but realize this is Florida and everything is sandy), complete with picnic table and fire pit. Take great care with campfires, as winter months are dry and susceptible to raging fires. No shelters, so I recommend a tarp or pop-up shelter for sun shade.
Camping here in January is a bit of a crapshoot. Weather can be warm and sunny or cold and sunny from day to day. Mosquitos, sand gnats, chiggers and small flies can be found in abundance or nonexistent. I recommend Sawyer spray and lotion, Sunsect and/or Thermacell to combat insects around the campsite.
There are "animal proof" steel storage containers. Most signs point to raccoons or palmetto rats (think large Gerbil…cute but destructive), but bear and panther roam these parts with regularity. I also recommend picking up a container of fire ant granules to bring along to apply to any active sand mounds (kills the colony quickly)…fire ant bites smart, well…burn and on most leave a nasty blister.
As stated earlier, definitely use Recreation.gov to reserve your site well in advance for Dec-April camping. We were shocked there were so many vacancies following a holiday weekend, but that's not the norm. Sites are $28 for RV (26 sites), and $24 for tent sites (10). As a tent camper, I prefer sites along the north side of the lake (15-18)…more shade trees to string hammocks, further from the sound of US 41 traffic and long lake views, but you'll pay the $28. Keep in mind that some campgrounds close randomly for various reasons (renovations, seasonal rains, no hosts). Check the website for alerts.
Things to do and see: Not much to do at the campground, quite frankly. There is a service road at the NE corner of the campground that angles off NE and will intersect with The Florida Trail. But nearby, there are plenty of interesting places to visit and explore. Most notable is Shark Valley Visitor Center…20 minutes east and offers bicycling, walking or tram along a 15 mile loop in the Everglades. If you want to see hundreds of gators up close and personal…this is the place. It is a National Park, so there is a fee. (https://www.nps.gov/ever/planyourvisit/svdirections.htm) Directly across from Shark Valley is the Miccosukee Cultural Center http://www.miccosukee.com/indian-village/ where you can learn about the indigenous tribe of this area. Also to the east about ten minutes is the Big Cypress Gallery Center of Clyde Butcher http://clydebutcher.com/big-cypress/swamp-walks/, and at six minutes is the Oasis Visitor Center (more of a nature center) which not only will educate you about the area, it is the official Southern Terminus of The Florida Trail (http://www.floridatrail.org/) so you can start or end your 1300 mile journey here. H.P.Williams Roadside Park is west ten miles and Big Cypress Swamp Welcome Center and Everglade City a bit further.
There is a rich history in these swamps and waterways. Several great marked canoe trails to explore nearby the campground (Mitchell Landing, Turner River Canoe Trail, and Halfway Creek Canoe Trail). Note that several chickee huts have been damaged by Hurricane Irma, so check with park staff on the best on-trail camping spots. Several airboat ride vendor locations along US 41.
So while the campground itself may not have a lot to offer, there is much to see and do nearby…and its way better than staying in the big city.
Product Review: Tredagain Claystone Oxford boots
First glance at the Tredagain Claystone Oxford boot https://tredagain.com,quality construction, sturdy to the touch, thick but supple leather, and comfortable cradling fit.
The leather upper gives a combination of an aged, distressed appearance. Tredagain describes it as a full-grain waxed upper. I find the classic moccasin toe of the Claystone model attractive and stylish. Tredagain branded the Claystone an Oxford, but I would describe it more as a "chukka" boot.
As a TheDyrt Review Ranger, periodically, I'll have opportunity to review outdoor products at discounted or no cost. I was given the opportunity to review the Tredagain Claystone Oxford both with a discount code and I found them on sale over the holidays. Bonus!
The "tricot" style liner mimics a suede-like appearance visually and to the touch. The shoe laces give the appearance of leather the same coloring of the boot leather. No clue if this was a forethought by the manufacturer, but a nice touch. I did find that it was necessary to double knot said shoe laces or they came untied due to their slickness.
Boot upper stitiching appears uniform and stylish in accents. The bonding of the APX rubber sole to the leather upper is well done, leaving no trace of glue marks on or puckers in the leather.
As you read about Tredagainhttps://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/tredagain-leaves-a-better-footprint-with-shoe-line-made-with-upcycled-tires-300256631.html)you learn every outsole contains 50% upcycled rubber compound called APX. All upcycled soles are produced here in the US of A! Diverting roughly 3,000 tires yearly from landfills and converting them into clean rubber compounds. How's that for sustainability. Their company mantra: "Leave A Better Footprint." Gotta love that! Tredagain is based in Austin, TX.
The sole appears rugged and durable, yet is quite flexible. Nothing is noted on the Tredagain website about the Claystone Oxford possessing a shank of any type for added support or protection and I was able to feel rocks, branches and such pressing up into the bottom of my foot while hiking. I also noticed the tight tread picked up and retained tiny pebbles, shell, etc from trails…so I would not describe the sole as self-cleaning. Casual wear created no such problem.
Remarkably, much though went into the removable anatomical footbed. It is well-cushioned, comfortable and thicker than what most companies provide.
Wearability: I found the Tredagain Claystone Oxford model true to size, just as the company representative advised when I inquired. I wear a 9.5 in almost all my shoes/boots…and the Claystone Oxford's in 9.5 fit nicely. If comfort is king…the Tredagain Claystone Oxford's reign!
Although, I'll keep that in an urban or casual hiking setting. I would not recommend them for backpacking or treking on rock strewn trails as they lack the torsional or vertical support my feet need in footwear. I do see myself wearing the Claystone Oxford's often for everyday use. It should be noted that Tredagain does not advertise the Claystone Oxford as a hiking or backpacking boot.
Be forewarned: The shoes possess a very strong leather treatment odor initially. Think new baseball mitt smell. Personally, I like the smell, but other household members and vehicle passengers may find it overpowering.
Parting shots: I like the boots..a lot, and I look forward to their longevity. But what sets this company apart from (and ahead of) many other companies is their customer service. What attracts and keeps me loyal to product brands, is both dependable, durable goods and excellent customer service. When I called Tredagain with a question, a real live young lady answered the phone. She entertained and answered my questions, gave me her name and advised to call and ask for her personally, if there was ever a problem. To me…that's huge!
Tredagain Claystone Oxford boots receive 5 stars from me!
This campsite is a great central base camp for those visiting Biscayne NP/ Everglades NP and Miami. Clean and safe, with spots for both rv’s and tents. Bathrooms/showers/laundry facilities on site are well maintained.
Wish the website was clearer on length of stay - 30 days for RVs and 7 days for tent campers. After 7 days, you have to leave and can’t return for 30 days 😟. They do provide a list of other local campgrounds you can move to, though.
Near a major street, so it can get noisy - and on weekends you can hear the music from a local bar.
TL;DR Great for RVs, sucks for tents
Stayed for 2 nights in the tent loop in early January and encountered several problems with the campground.
- Every night at 7pm the tent sites were swarmed with a fly hatch (may flies, I’m guessing). We couldn’t breathe without inhaling them. All campers were forced inside their tents at that time and for the rest of the night. Fires didn’t help. We mentioned the situation to a Ranger who was picking up the trash outside of our campsite and suggested that they refer new comers to a different section of the loop because sites 8-10 were the worst. Ranger said it was not her job and that she would not pass the information on to the camp host. Their RVs were parked RIGHT NEXT TO EACH OTHER and we saw them drinking together at sunset, since their sites didn’t have the fly hatch, but no: She would not pass this along and spare the next campers. The positive is that the mosquitos weren’t bad. Just cleaning the dead bugs from your ears and nose gets nasty fast.
- Old reviews on the campground mention that there are showers. In fact, there are showers in the restrooms. However, no one is allowed to use them except apparently the camp host and ranger. We had been snorkeling the day before and wanted to rinse off the saltwater. When we asked the camp host where the closest place to buy a shower was, she said she had no idea and suggested we go ask some other campgrounds and see if anyone would let us. This seems like something a camp host should know. But for reference, the answer is: there aren’t any showers for sale. The best we could find was 10 miles west down the road at the Skunk Ape Museum there’s a campground that will sell you a $25 tent site and as many people as you have with you can shower and then just not use the site. For a family, that’s a decent deal. For the 2 of us, we just went on without them. We did see people washing their hair and taking birdbaths in the dish sink if you need.
- As we were packing up, a ranger dropped by and we spoke briefly and pointed out a fire ant mound near our site that we had been fastidiously avoiding. She immediately came back and threw some kind of stuff on it that causes them to run away and create a nest elsewhere. She clarified that it was NOT an insecticide and all it did was make them mad. No surprise, they ran over onto us and started biting us. She could’ve just waited until we were done packing up, but again, no one who works there seems to think that tent campers are part of their job. I’m pretty pissed about the fire ant stings though. It’s one thing to not know about showers, it’s another to sick fire ants on people while knowingly saying “this’ll make them mad!”
So basically the review is this: if you want to boondock in an RV, this is a beautiful place to do it. It’s got a little pond with a couple of gators and beautiful views of marl grass prairie. You can get away from the fly hatch, take a shower, block out the night traffic noise, and hopefully avoid the fire ants. For tent camping, this place was the worst we’ve stayed in for a while. While a lot of things can’t be controlled, the host nor ranger were ever helpful (and sometimes actively making the experience worse!), though they were very chummy with RV campers. Bathrooms were clean though, which was fantastic.