We had our baby moon here this past weekend (this is the second time I’ve camped at Cypress Glen and neither time was I disappointed). Campsite 49 has plenty of shade and backs up to a mini swamp which is beautiful for pictures. We had electric and eater on site and it’s pup friendly of course. Hot showers and clean bathrooms. A few feet from our site is a boardwalk which leads to 2 hikes one more inland and the other that follows around silver lake. Each one was beautiful. We will absolutely be back
It’s a really great place to go fishing and maybe swimming during anytime of the year. But as far as camping goes, I’d recommend only during the cool months of the year. Otherwise you’ll be bakin’ in a hotbox all day (unless you have A/C). Other than that I loved staying here the couple times I did with my family.
I like all of the Withlacoochie State Forest area, but I really loved staying at Mutual Mine. It has a beautiful couple of lakes, crystal clear water. I regretted not bring a pole to fish! I definitely need to get back over there for another night or two
I find myself torn between four and five stars on this campground. It turned out being everything we expected and more. As an camper with northern roots, I have found it hard to camp in Florida. This campground helped me relieve those worries.
I will start by saying that this campground is south of St. Pete and north of Ana Maria Island. We drove down from Orlando and it took us under two hours. We hit some traffic on 275 and the Parkway, but it is expected. There are two tolls (1.00 and .75) before you hit the park. One thing we learned and a good pointer is that if you intend on going into the park (which you probably will), you should go in and register BEFORE you go to the beach, even if before check in time. By paying for your site, they provide you a beach pass for two vehicles, which saves $5 each on parking.
The check in process was very simple. We arrived about an hour early and got everything set up. We were told to stop back between 12:30 and 1 (Advise that check in is at 1pm, so getting in early is not a guaranteed or expected result). The parking lot is a bit awkward, as the camper/trailer line blocks views and actual spots for cars..but it is trivial.
We had rented site 28 (mostly because it was one of the only ones available and best of the litter). There are three loops, and we were in the 1-86 loop. There are no pets and no RV's allowed, which was perfect for us. Most of the outer side of the loop has some sort of water. Water does not mean access. It seemed that the higher numbers (40+) had less access to water and more of a mangrove area. Depths of sites also varied widely. We must have done the camping gods some good, because we hit the site karma. Our site was nice and deep, with a weird little island (former tree/stump) in the middle. This actually made us divide the tent area up into two sides, which worked out well. The site has plenty of options for both clothes lines and hammocks. We opted to put the "kitchen" towards the back of the site with the water view, and fire bin (rented for $3 from the campground office). We had neighbors on both sides and across (this places always sells out) and it was still fairly secluded. They did a great job at keeping a lot of natural growth to maintain privacy and a true tropical feel. There was plenty of shade, but also plenty of sunshine when you wanted it. This site also gets direct sunlight after about 9am (based on mid october), so plan accordingly. It gets toasty :) We have an inflatable raft that we took out in the water. We were greeted by dolphins, sting rays and manatees.
The bath house is pretty central and literally across the road from our site. We had expected a much further walk based on the map, but it was just a 1 minute walk. They were ample, but nothing to write home about. They clean them daily, so they are not bad. The showers leave a lot to be desired with water pressure and privacy. They share a common area with stalls and cheap liners that offer little privacy. Again, it is camping so this isn't a complaint, but a warning. Also, bring your own toilet paper.
There is a playground with good swings and also a sturdy playground that offered plenty of opportunity for my four year old to blow off some steam. The ground is all recycled rubber, which I love as a parent.
The campground store is nice and good for essentials if you don't want to take the 15/20 minute drive to publix or 7 minute drive to 7-11. Firewood is a bit overpriced at $9 per bundle and the fire buckets are cheap at $3 per night. They also have basic food and camping supplies. Note that there is no alcohol allowed in the park, including the campground. All I can say is that you should use common sense. This is a family friendly place. They also rent bikes and kayaks.
The site was just a 10 minute drive to north beach, which is our favorite. There is plenty to do in the area. Overall, I love this place and look forward to coming back many times in the future. Note that they do start booking 6 months out and open up 10% of the sites for the weekend each friday at 7am if you want to try and get lucky.
Very cool little place for primitive camping. All the sites are cut out so that you have some privacy from the neighboring sites. There are a couple of sites that you can't reserve, first come first serve, pay in cash at the iron ranger. Site 1 is that way and you could paddle into it. 14 and 16 can be reserved and also@ paddled into. Most sites have water and there is a bathroom/showers with really hot water.
The first night we had power surges all night we were told that our spot had an old box that needed to replace. We had to move to A difference by the next day. The springs were gorgeous but make sure if you go you ask for a spot with a newer power supply so you don’t run into the same issue. The park help that lived on site was very rude to my husband and I was told by the store staff that he’s just not a people person. We have a brand new unit and unfortunately lost one electronic device due to power surges. Definitely investing in a surge protector for our unit. Don’t believe we will visit this campground again.
The campground here is very nice! The bathrooms are well kept and clean. The park itself is very nice, with some hikes and kayak rentals! You can kayak in the river, which is really neat to do. The campground is also not far from some big cities, such as Tampa and st pete, which is convenient.
We take our RV once a year to Fort De Soto. We have a dog so we stay in the dog section right on the water. It is beautiful, shaded and we have access to the water on our kayaks from our back yard. Love this place. Too hot in Summer so head north but awesome in the winter.
This park/campground is beautiful. The grounds are kept immaculate. The camp sites are large and most provide shade and privacy. What I love about this park is the pristine beaches. There is a fort which is very impressive. If you like to bike, this park has plenty of area to ride.
Anclote Key Review There is only 1 way to get to Anclote Key and that is by boat. Whether you take the few hours and kayak the 3 miles over from Tarpon or motor in from one of the many docks in the area that is the only way you can get here.
“Ferry services do not drop visitors off for overnight camping. You must have your own transportation to stay overnight. Dogs are allowed only on North Anclote Bar.”
This seldom used camping area is wonderful after the sun sets and day visitors leave the island.
There four islands that combined make up the state park- There is a nice primitive camping area on the island not far from the lighthouse. Once you arrive take time to explore each area- Anclote Key, North Anclote Bar, South Anclote Bar and Three Rooker Island. There are over 11,000 acres full of migrating and native shorebirds and other creatures that have made their way to the island. Last count of bird species I believe was over 40! The 1887 lighthouse stands as a historical reminder on the southern end of the island. Occasionally tours can be made available by contacting the onsite ranger.
Spend your day swimming and sunbathing at the beach or kayaking around the island. If you arrived by motor boat try a bit of flats fishing but stay in designated areas and remember most area around the island in NO WAKE. Fire up the grill but make sure you leave no charcoal or burned wood pieces on the beach! EVERYTHING- and they mean everything you bring on the island must be taken off with you! There are no bathroom facilities and all human waste must be buried well and paper take in trash..
Enjoy a night of primitive camping under the stars without a sound except insects and lapping waves on the beach. There are no provisions offered on the island, so be prepared to bring your own water and supplies. Make sure all food is secured (we anchored our boat with provisions on board a bit off shore and swam in to no risk raccoons getting into gear as it was a calm night with clear weather). Usually it is quite windy so plan ahead.
A Florida Saltwater Fishing license is required to fish.
Reservations MUST be made in advance and the island does close during bad weather not allowing visitors to stay overnight.
Fort De Soto Park is amazing. It offers something for everyone whether you are there camping or simply for the day. The beaches are amazing with TONS and TONS of parking. Great cycling, paddling, walking, exploring, fishing, kiting, or anything you want to do. It can get busy in season but the area is designed to accommodate the crowds except for the one lane road to and from so plan your visit according to your threshold for traffic and crowds.
I'm a Florida local from Sarasota and have visited many times but never to camp. We came with a small travel trailer and were lucky enough to get a site right on the water as many are which by itself is rare. Great weekend and honestly one of the nicest parks I have ever been to.
Its great that possibly the most valuable real estate in all of Florida's Gulf Coast was reserved for a county park in lieu of private condos and resorts. The park has a no alcohol policy which honestly is fine. Being such an urban destination I could imagine things getting way out of hand there to the detriment of more chill folks without the ban. Even though I like a cocktail as much as the next guy, i'll take the pleasant environment over the beer any day.
Thanks Pinellas Parks for such a great place for locals and guests to visit.
I was a regular at Caladesi for 6 yrs,we liked it there cause we could visit and have get togethers in the evening ,eat, play games, sit by a nice fire . The last two years there were hell, starting with no clotheslines, put your wet towel and suits from the pool on your camper! Clothesline just encouraged people not to use HIS washer and dryers . ( so he said) Then no fires (what? It's a campground!) last year was just the worst, no flags to be flown in his ground. No walking around to visit with a open container, he drives around all hrs of the night like a prison guard watching was putting notes on good peoples doors evicting them cause he thinks they are too comfortable! He is a nut who will yell in the middle of the night and throw rocks at your camper if he doesn't want you there . This year more than half of the snow birds got out and moved to other places and I can tell you that they are all much happier, all the new places that we all found were very reasonable , he raised the rent and said another substantial raise was coming so what he quotes you can change by the time you get there . He will tell you that he does not care about any one so do as he says at that moment or hit the road,
The only good thing about this place is location. There are more great locations that are much better and cheaper. Chris, the crazy manager makes people uncomfortable and stalks them if he doesn’t like them. He was caught banging and throwing rocks at someone’s RV at 3am because he wanted her to leave. He has turned people’s water off if he thinks they use too much. He has trapped many pets on site and disposed of them if he doesn’t know who’s it is. He is a spiteful person who throws a fit if he doesn’t get his way. The park is old and most of it is falling apart. He rents out moldy, leaking and way out of code RVs. He chased out most of the full time RV owners because he wants people he can charge more for. I went through there the other day and it’s just as crappy as ever. It looks like he is allowing new full time people in there after he raised the rent. Don’t use water, clean your unit or car. Don’t use power tools to work on anything or he will yell and tell you it’s against the rules. They do and will change the rules day by day as he sees fit. It’s just better to go elsewhere to avoid the conflict. Chris does drugs, and has regular sellers in the park. Has an extensive police records and is know well by the police. His wife even told people that he assaulted her before. He supposed to be disabled (he has a disabled tag in his car) but it’s obvious he has no disability other than anger and he thinks he is the “King of Tarpon Springs) along with other thoughts of grandeur. We have had out RV and our property damaged by him or people he hired and he doesn’t care at all. He said it’s my problem. I can go on and on but you get the point. Stay away!
I typically avoid tent camping here in the summer months– early summer the trails are heavy with mosquitoes and summer rains bring a large amount of flooding. Though in the fall winter and spring this park is AMAZING. We were very lucky on this trip to have snagged spot at the high part of the riverside loop. Sites 20 and 21 typically stay dry enough for tents. Sites along the river side of loops are prone to flooding some holding as much as 4-6 inches of water.
This trip was a short overnight to get rid of some pent up cabin fever. We loaded up a tent and the bikes, praying for dry weather. The mosquitoes were not bad, almost none, the the river was near flood stage and inches from overflowing its bank near the campground.
The 2.5 mile loop from main entrance is perfect for biking, be careful near the pool area that is VERY crowded in the summer as many locals visit and it will reach capacity early in the day. You can rent bikes and canoes at the concession area near the stand if you did not bring your own. The grounds are beautifully kept, campground hosts are helpful, bathrooms clean and playground areas are plentiful. There are very nice pavilions and one air conditioned building available for rent for special events. If you are visiting in the summer call to make sure the site you booked is dry.
We did see where one person got his travel trailer stuck on the mud trying to get into his site. There are very few tent campers in the summer so be prepared if you are tent camping to hear neighbors a/c running all night.
I get products to test from time to time- today I am testing the INNO INH540 Bike Rack On first impression upon receiving– this is a heavy duty rack! Shipping weight is nearly 50lbs. and came fully assembled. This bike rack will fit both 1.25 and 2 inch receivers. We first tried to mount on my Jeep Liberty but we need to get a receiver extension as our spare tire prevented installation. So we mounted on our Dodge 1500 truck. I had to have my husband help me slip it into the receiver(was a bit awkward for me to do on my own).
I was very pleased to find the unit came with a hitch lock that was keyed the same as the cable lock for the bikes. Rack came with 2 keys so we each have a key on our ring and can access without looking for it.
The bars are adjustable and the rotating upper and lower cradles are well designed. The support bars also fold down when not in use. Another nice feature is locking pivot at base that will allow you to tilt the rack out of the way of tailgate to enable access without removing the entire rack.
The rack will hold 4 bikes up to 35 lbs each or a total of 140 lbs. We have mountain bikes with less space on crossbars of frame so was a bit tight to get loaded. Loading was much easier once we did it a couple times and got used to where we needed to place the cradles. Street bikes load with no issues,(we borrowed the neighbors bikes to test and to show off our new INNO bike rack– they were jealous)!
Order yours today from https://www.innoracks.com/ You will not be disappointed!
This is one of the best places to just chill in the water and swim through some caves. The river has a good mix of wild life and natural springs. You can see manatee easily here. The campground is quite and plenty to do there too. They have a play ground horse shoes, corn hole, and basketball at the front. There’s plenty of electric and primitive camping for your pleasure. The spaces accommodate a few tents and hammocks on each site. The bathrooms are clean and need a code so not everyone can use them. There is a local bar in walking distance down the street if you want to stay up and talk with the locals there is a 10pm quite time. That is the only downside because we were up hanging out late and were told to quite down by the owners or we’d be thrown out after we were drinking on the river all day. It was only 10:15 and barley anyone at the campground.
Fort De Soto is a beautiful campground. Many sites are right on the water. The sites are very well maintained and mostly separated from others by trees. The bathhouses are good. I absolutely love the general store, it has everything that you may need. I have camped here over 5 times and will certainly continue going.