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Osceola National Forest, FLORIDA

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Most Recent Osceola National Forest Camping Reviews
Awesome new campground

This campground is located 5 mins from the gates of Ichetucknee State Park. The owners are very nice and very attentive. The sites are large with both pull thru and back in.

Ranger Review: Pureland 30L Guard Backpack at Bayard Conservation Area

Campground Review: 

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.

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Product Review: 

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!!

Unique

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.

Cool Park, Awesome Staff!

Cool Park, Awesome Staff!

Awesome Swimming Hole

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

Nice Campground; Centrally Located to Many of Florida's Natural Springs.

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.

Was a great way to start our Full time journey.

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

Really beautiful campground

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.

Amazing

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.

Very remote and beautiful. Lots of bugs in summer

They just went way up on their rates. 30$ a night for elect. 20$ a night for just water site. I don’t know if it’s worth that

Great place away from noise

This was a really nice and quiet campground. Super tight if you got a big rig, lots of sand but was very happy with the stay overall. Not far from downtown high springs and tubing.

Unique Treehouse Camping Experience

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!

Good pull thrus for big RV's towing cars. Reasonable rates.

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.

Best Springs Around!

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.

Quiet and isolated

A nice quiet free isolated campground on the western side of Ocean Pond in the cypresses and pines

Remote, isolated, free

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.

Clean, remote wetlands campgroubd

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.

Very primitive nice lake

No water or electric. Vault toilet. In the middle of nowhere. Nice lake

Awesome

We have been at this state park twice so far. It is tight getting into some sites, but it is beautiful! Plenty of room between sites, and beautiful trees! Clean restrooms and showers, but no laundry. Going back for a third time in October!

Interesting Escape

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.
Ranger Review: ICEMULE Cooler at Camp Chowenwaw Park Treehouse Point

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 

Campground Review:

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.

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Product Review:

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.

Favorite Springs in Florida

Favorite springs in Florida and one of my favorite places to camp and spend a few days in Florida or the country in general. Awesomely maintained, plenty of sites. Plenty of bath houses and area to roam and swim. 10-10

Beautiful and Well-kept

This was a great find! Beautiful views of the river and lots of trails to enjoy. The camping facilities were very well-kept. Would definitely recommend checking it out!

Beautiful campground !!!!

Campground is absolutely beautiful !!!!

Great time!

We had an amazing time. The springs were beautiful, you have access to tube down the lake and access other springs as well. Water is refreshing, bathrooms could be cleaner. If you want to relax stay away on the weekends, college kids are everywhere

Shady Place in Fl

We loved our weekend at O’leno. Campgrounds are shaded by beautiful trees with full hookup,picnic table and fire pits. The Santa Fe River trail was a gorgeous hike with a beautiful suspension bridge to walk over. We were there for the weekend and would love to go back and rent kayaks and explore more of this wonderland of rivers and springs. Campground is well maintained and easy access to restrooms from every campsite.

Best RV Park in Jax area

Best RV Park in Jax area

2nd time here as good as the 1st

We love this campground. The sites have nice shade ( important in Florida) the bathrooms are clean and well designed. We love hiking down to the Santa Fe river.

Nice military campground.

People keep to themselves at the campground as most are seasonal. As for the amenities; free washer/dryer, bathhouse access, access to military hospital, marina, golf course, commissary, and exchange. The grounds are well kept and it has easy access to the highway. Overall, really enjoyed the stay.