Lots of dispersed camping spots throughout, some right out in the open, and others are private. Campsites are scattered with nicely cleared areas within bush palms. Also available is a bathroom and an outdoor cold shower. (There is a book exchange in the bathroom) Simple horse stables with drinking water spigot.
I've camped here a few different times and loved it every time. There are some older couples that come there every year. During hunting season, there are portable toilets, but no water. Picnic tables at various spots and plenty of shady areas.
The place is a nice hole in the wall on the side of the road, just past the north entrance of the Springs. They offer canoes, kayaks, rafts and tubes for rent and shuttle you to and from to take all of the work out of it. We paid a reasonable $85 for six of us in two canoes. The service was great, with two different people taking us and picking us back up. The shuttle was an old school van, similar to the Home Alone airport shuttle.
The canoes were good, but one did take in a little bit of water. Not enough to cause concern.
The sites are pretty primitive without hookups and they do offer some with electric/water closer to the front. The small cabins are basic, but do offer heat or AC, so are a step up from real camping. The only concern I would have would be toilet use if the park was busy. I would personally plan a visit back during the off season.
I am excited to have added my first campground to the Dyrt Community, and look forward to many more.
I will admit that booking this campground gave me anxiety. It was several hours from home, and a reservation guaranteed a site, not a specific site. Having a family of five and two in laws in tow, it is usually more reassuring to pick out your site. I had found this site simply from Kym (manager) responding to a post in a local Facebook camping group. I thought she seemed nice, and the campground seemed rustic and welcoming. I decided to book us in for two nights over the Veteran's weekend (Sunday/Monday).
The booking process was very simple and old school. I emailed what we wanted, and they replied that they had availability and sent a link for the $20 secure site fee (we had electric/water, so this is required). It can be paid via Venmo or Paypal. They are old school and work via cash, so do not plan on using a card. Hit the ATM before you get close. We arrived a little later than we wanted (around 6:30). It was pretty dark. We followed the sign in the office to the host camp, right behind the rec hall. It was simple. The check in process took all of five minutes and we were sent to our site, which was 17 and right next to the rec hall and bonfire pit. We also ordered up two piles of firewood to start. They charge $5 (cash) and deliver right to your site.
We couldn't see the site well since it was dark, but it was clearly huge. We had no issue setting up our 12 man and 4 man tents with plenty of space to spare. When we woke up in the morning, we realized that we could have easily slept 50 people or more at our site. The site was private (cars provide a nice wall from the single opening) and wooded. They provided two tables (not crappy ones) and a big fire ring. The site had several trees that were good for hammocks or clothes lines. The water and electric were in a pretty logical spot and could easily reach anywhere in the site with a long enough hose or cord.
The campground itself is really no frills. They have a rec hall with OLD arcade games (this is a good thing), pool, foosball and air hockey. They have a jukebox with some country and rock choices to get your bones moving. The bathrooms are single person, one for each sex. They are kept immaculate. I ran into the grounds woman, and noted to her that I had never seen a place kept so clean. She told me that she is a retired nurse, so it makes sense. They also have two single showers. This is camping, not the Ritz. It is exactly what is needed.
We did not run into any wildlife issues. We did have a lot of bees, but they were not too bad. Ants were abundant, but again, this is Florida. The hosts were very nice and humble, and provided local recommendations for tubing and canoeing. The roads are well maintained and the place shows an overall sense of love. They are located just a minute down the road from the North entrance of the State Park. We look forward to coming back here in the future.
Clean, organized, and very reserved. I stayed on the furthest tent site. It is accessible with you car. They have their own beautiful spring, and the camping site is right at the river. It even has a rope to swing from the river bank into the water. We could hear the large fishes jumping out of the water and managed to see a few.
They offer a service of Dropping you off up the river with a canoe, so that you don't have to paddle too hard to go back to camp. If you can, stop along the little entrances and find amazing little springs along the way.
The owners are always in the main cabin, and always happy to help you out. I haven't been there in more than a year, but cannot wait to go again!
Bayard Conservation Area is located in Green Cove Springs Florida and is maintained by the St. Johns River Water Management District. It is a track of land that has many hiking trails that traverse through shaded pine forests, hammocks, marsh, and river areas.
We have day hiked here many times, but this trip we were going to do some primitive camping at one of the campsites. There are several areas to park and then hike in. The campsites are a few miles from the parking area. They include a fire ring and a picnic table. The campsites have several different settings, but we chose the river view. On our way to our campsite we were able to spot many animals including: deer, otter, turkey, and wild pigs.
The area is kept clean and is quiet with the exception of a bit of noise pollution from the surrounding area. However, this does not distract from the experience. We enjoyed our overnight backcountry trip and highly recommend Bayard.
As a Dyrt Ranger I receive products from time-to-time and this time I am testing out the Pureland 30L Guard Backpack sold by Outdoor Element.
There are so many things to love about this backpack. The extensive cording and hooks on the outside made attaching extra items a breeze. I was able to store my trekking poles and Jetboil on the back with no problem. The hip pockets were an added plus and fit my cellphone inside of it easily. The room inside of the backpack was able to hold everything I needed for an overnight trip– including my bulky sleeping bag. The only two things that took away from the backpack was the inside zipper and the water pouch. The zipper on the inside of the bag came off the track with only a light pull while the bag was empty. It did not have the integrity that the zippers on the outside had. My 3.0L reservoir would not fit all the way in the provided pouch and hung out the top a bit. After the whole trip, I sincerely love this pack and will be using it for all of my hiking and primitive camping needs!!
This is my husband and my second stay here. The town of Mayo is a small quite town so it is advisable to have your provisions, as it is approximately 45 minutes to most shopping. The upper level sites are spacious and clean with the lower level more rustic. We love the restaurant, the spring, the entertainment, and the unique…..to say the least, weekend games/activities. EVERYTHING is dog friendly. That is a big plus for us as our westie dog Mojo goes everywhere with us.
We come here to "get away from it all" and chillax.
We didn't stay here but enjoyed it as a day use facility. The spring is MAGNIFICENT! We swam, floated, dove, and played in the sand. The Swimming area around the spring was nice and sandy and graded, not just rocky and/or deep some of the other near by springs. There were pavilions and picnic tables spread out around the swimming area, there was some shade, and a little beach area to throw a blanket on and tan.
As the newest acquisition of FL State Parks, there were some things that need to be brought up to par. Getting down to the spring was a bit haphazard as the terraced steps had been washed out, leaving you to have to step over exposed retainer boards. The bathhouse had been cleaned and touched up, but were still pretty dilapidated. We drove through to check out the camp ground, it is pretty small but well shaded. There currently isn't a Dump station on site.
The State Park web site: Indicates that they are Planning for Amenity upgrades.https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/ruth-b-kirby-gilchrist-blue-springs-state-park
We've stayed @ O'Leno 3 times over the past year and love it! The campsites are spacious, well shaded, and with in easy walking distance to the Bathhouse/Restrooms. The facilities are kept clean and neat. There are plenty of trails and a swimming hole on the Santa Fe River.
We also like that O'leno is 15 -20 minutes from some of Florida's beautiful Natural Springs.
This was our first site we hooked up to in our new RV which we are now living full time in. Very nice, quiet, safe location. Friendly staff. We did not stay but just over night as we had to travel 1400 miles within a week. But we will no doubt make sure it is on our list the next time through. Spacious sites!
Passport America stop $23 for 3 adults
The campground was laid out very nice and was very large. They are very pet friendly and have an area to even board your horse. Everything was really wonderful and the café had decent food. My only complaint is that it looks like it is sort of run down and some things need fixing. There are several bat houses throughout the park. Most weekends there is live entertainment. We will most definitely go again.
We happen to be close to this area visiting family and thought let's go check out this swamp. We were so glad we did but we didn't have enough time to see it all so we will be back! Great camp ground very nice facilities. Very very nice people working and running it. Cool nature trail that's all elevated out over the swamp. Saw a couple of alligators.
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 close to freeway access, had pull-thru camping sites, and nice shade. We stayed here a week while visiting family and liked this campground. The people were friendly and had a mixture of long term and short term sites. I will stay there again.
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
If you want to get away from it all, this is the place! A few notes:
- Cash ONLY.
- There are free range chickens everywhere. While we and the toddler thought this was cool, our dog was losing it a little.
- The water is Tannic (dyed dark from foliage). It felt amazing because there are cool springs feeding it from below, but completely discolored our bathing suits, so be aware.
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.