David G.
Madeira Beach, FL
Joined June 2019
Retired and enjoying every aspect of that. Camping in an endless summer, never having to winterize using Annapolis MD and Madeira Beach FL as our bases.
Very interesting historic park, near Naples

We first came to Koreshan ( core-resh-in) as a place to get near Naples to visit relatives. The campground is mainly two circles, one inside the other. Sites are small but manageable and have relatively good screening between sights. There’s kayaking on the river and a little bit of hiking. The main attraction is the historic Koreshan commune. It’s a short hike along the river. There’s lots of wildlife snakes, gopher tortoises, etc to see and some very cool giant bamboo from the original gardens. If it’s windy stop and listen to the bamboo! The historic buildings and information is very interesting, very odd beliefs and well kept.
There are frequent gatherings at the historic site such as vintage camper trailers when we were there.
Bathhouse is in serious need of renovating, but is kept clean. It’s located in the center of everything and sometimes quite a walk depending on your site. The campground stays pretty busy all year.

Off the beaten path

Nice campground close to the spring. Good hiking trails. Biking is iffy because of the loose sand, but doable. Just be ready for that fast stop in loose sand.
I believe they built a new bathhouse recently.
Be sure to have all your supplies as the closest town is a bit of a drive. Cell service was marginal.
The snack bar at the spring, when we were there, was an awesome bbq.
There’s a nice boardwalk along the spring run. We were there when there were no manatees so swimming was nice, but cool. Always 72°

So much to do

This is an awesome campground with lots of things to do.  There are 2 loops.  One is mostly RVs and one is tents.  The sites are pretty big and most are well separated.  Bathhouse is fine.  The actual spring is quite a drive from the campground.   But definitely worth the visit.  It’s the site of a previous private venture that included a zoo.  So you can still wander around the area on paths and see the old cages and other features.  The garden is actually very nice.   We also opted to rent kayaks and paddle up to the springs one day.  The Rainbow river current is pretty strong.   So the trip back was much faster.   It’s also pretty cool to snorkel in the river.  State law requires that you display a diver buoy while snorkeling.  Again watch that current.   

During the summer they have float trips down the river and a tram back to the campground.  We rode bike down the tram road off season which was nice.  Lots of wildlife.  We heard coyotes and there are a fair amount of wild boar.

Long way from nowhere

Expect a long travel to this remote site.   It’s a couple miles of reasonably decent dirt roads to get there, after several miles of remote highways. The only designated dark sky site in Florida.   It does not disappoint for night sky viewing.   If you’re camping here, please be courteous and keep your outdoor lights to a minimum.  The night sky’s are just breathtaking.   Check www.spotthestation.nasa.gov to see if you’ll get a glimpse of the space station while your there.   Hiking/biking trails are plentiful.   Be aware that there’s a LOT of loose sand.   So even on a mountain bike you’ll have to walk now and then.   Great birding.  Crested cara cara are frequent as are flocks of turkey strolling through the campsites.   Be sure to head out the road you came in back to the first turn and take the trail to the left (as you’re leaving).   There’s a gator hole just 1/4 mile down the trail.  Nature trail is a nice hammock view.  No pets on that particular trail.   

There are 2 camp loops only the first camp loop has a bath house, which is very nice.   The equestrian camp has porta potties.  Many of those folks drive over to the bathhouse.  Even the bathhouse has outdoor red lights.

Never gets old

This is one of the best parks anywhere. It’s not a National Park surrounding a national treasure but it might as well be. The park has three loops. All have waterfront sites and inner loop sites. One is set up for tents, folding campers and small teardrop style trailers. One is conducive to big rigs but it’s a tight fit and one handles all, but allows pets. There’s lots of wildlife, particularly raccoons. A short drive or bike ride from the campground lands you at the old fort, or a ferry to Egmont Key for the day, or a beach with a view of Tampa Bay and the Skyway bridge, or the amazing north beach which has been listed several times as the best beach in America. It’s a truly gorgeous park. Kayaking, SUP, dog parks, dog beach as well as coyote, rattlesnakes, amazing shore birding, white pelicans, eagles, ospreys, roseates, manatees, dolphins… hard to get reservations but well worth it.
Our return to this park year after year resulted in us building a home in the area for our endless summer adventures.

Biking paradise

Ended up at this campground since we couldn’t find anything else open at the time. Sure glad we went. The campground is one loop in a field. With camping along the edge in the woods and also in the field with some trees. Lots of open tent camping also. The bathrooms are huge and modern and super nice.
The attraction here is the biking. It’s an international destination for mountain biking! While there are no mountains in Florida, there are many man made ramps and jumps and turns. It’s remarkable to see. There is also a wonderful cross Florida trail that is paved, is super smooth and it meanders through old plantations, woods, and horse farms. It’s gorgeous. It was a great place to visit.

Small campground big sights

This campground is pretty small by Florida standards amd is popular so reservations well ahead of time are usually required.  The sites are well spaced and separated.   The big attraction is off course the spring run and the manatees.   The spring is full of manatees most of the winter.   So it is a great place to come to see and photograph these elephant relatives.  

You can swim and kayak in the spring when the manatees are not present which is most of the summer.   Check the website for the status.  There’s a little store and restaurant.  The store sells a local strawberry rhubarb jam that is amazing.  There are picnic grounds and you can also walk along the river down to the Suwannee river.  We already have reservations to return.

Small Park not far from civilization

Oscar Scherer is full of wildlife, not far from lots of big cities.   The campground itself is small but nice.  Lost of sites back up to a small river but those sites right on the river are not kid or pet friendly so be careful when you make reservations.   There are a lot of trails throughout the park. Many are scrub oak communities and consequently there’s a fair population of scrub jays.   We also saw otters, bobcat, raccoon and gopher tortoise.   The park is also adjacent to the Legacy bike trail.  A linear trail that runs from Sarasota to Venice, FL.  So there’s some long bike rides opportunities.   Bathhouses are ok maybe a 7/10.

Nice hiking, family friendly

Nice state park. Tons of campsites. One loop has full hookups. Careful of choosing a site if you have a big rig. The loop has tight turns and some seriously non level sites. Trails are nice and well marked. The pond loop has some amazingly old growth mountain laurels and patches of ghost flowers. The Turkey Point lighthouse hike is popular go early or late to avoid waiting for a parking spot on nice weekends. Swimming and boating on the river are popular activities too.