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!!
Blue Springs State Park is known for it’s manatee sightings and this park did not disappoint! The park itself provides many opportunities for outdoor activities. There is a 4.5-mile hiking trail, biking trail, as well as water activities. There are two different parking lots, but both provide opportunities to reach the water and picnicking spots. Kayak and canoe rentals are available in the parking lot with the launch, while the main swimming area has a store and grill.
We spent much of our time kayaking from the park’s canoe launch. Here, we were able to see tons of wildlife from all sorts of fish, alligators, and yes, a manatee! There is swimming in the park as soon as it opens, but you can only access the spring head and get into the clearer water before 11:00am and after 5pm. It is well worth it to go early as the park fills up fast and does get a bit noisy - we prefer the quiet nature sounds. The manatee was there in the morning. There is also a public boat launch just outside of the park.
We stayed in site 1 which was shaded and well spread out from the site next to use with plenty of vegetation in between. The camp host is very quick to respond and was very keen on his duty. The restrooms were newer looking and clean. However, there are only two stalls in the women’s restroom, so I did have to wait to get a shower in when I went. The only drawback I found from the campsite/campground area was the noise. There are train tracks near the state park, so hearing trains throughout the night(especially at 3am) was not what I’m looking for when I get out into nature. So bring ear plugs!
Overall, the grounds were well kept, the staff takes their job seriously(in a good way), and there are many activities to do. The outdoor activities and many opportunities to see wildlife really impressed us with this park. We will definitely be back!
As a Ranger for the Dyrt, I get to test products at this campground I tested the Morsel Spork and Morsel Spork XL.
This spork is the utensil of my dreams and completes my dinner set up. I love the size of the smaller spork for my bowl, but I also love the XL version for my camping meals in the bag as it is long enough to fit in there perfectly. What I like the most: it can scrape like a spatula(and get all the good last bits in the bowl!), the way it feels in my hand compared to my previous spork, the ridges on the fork which can be used for cutting, it can be placed in boiling water(so it’s safe for my Jetboil), and is dishwasher safe(so I can sanitize and sterilize later).
The only drawback was that the fork end would poke me in the hand at first, but once I got used to how to hold the handle it was completely fine.
Wekiwa was an amazing place to camp and spend our weekend. The park offers hiking, biking, day swimming, a food grill, a canoe/kayak launch and rental, plus tons of wildlife! The campground was quiet and the restrooms fairly clean. However, a weekday is best to visit the spring and river. On the weekend there were tons of people in the park. We had a wonderful 3 days here.
Ah, Blue Ridge…We absolutely love Blue Ridge, Georgia. This time around we hit up Morganton Point and it was ah-mazing! I’m going to give you the low down on this picturesque spot to camp. For a more detailed visual, see the video below. In most Florida State Parks, where we frequent, you are always halted by a ranger at the entrance. Here, you just stroll in, find your spot if you have a reservation and someone will be along to see you or put your stuff down at an open walk-up site and go find the host. A peculiar notion for us, but not unwelcomed. The hospitality was wonderful and the hosts were polite and kind. The campground and recreation area have many access points to Lake Blue Ridge, in the Chattahoochee National Forest. The lake offers many recreation opportunities including swimming, boating, picnicking, fishing, camping, and hiking. Rentals are available from the store front in Morganton or the beachside location. The campground is fully equipped with fire rings, showers, electric and non-electric sites, and picnic tables. You can purchase firewood and ice and they deliver it right to your site. I love when places do this, it makes me feel slightly fancy while camping! I reserved our spot on recreation.gov a month prior to our stay and there were still many options. However, there were no pictures. We were right next to the camp host, which was pretty nice – we didn’t have to go far to ask for wood or ice! Plus, there were trails leading right to the lake. I had read that some sites that are along the lake and get incredible sunset views (these weren't available at the time of our booking), but in my opinion you really have to go to the end of the beach or boat ramp for the best views. Other campsites get the sunrise, and these are along the lake as well. The beach is extremely clean and the rental shop by the lake and rents kayaks and paddleboards. However, it is a little pricey if you plan on doing it. It was $35 for a kayak or paddleboard. For the two of us it wasn’t worth the price. The bathrooms near the front of the campground are very clean and recently built. There is a second bathhouse towards the back of the campground as well, but not as modern and smaller. Many campsites are along the lake and some have access to the lake. We viewed many campers who had their boats tied up right at their site and access to the water. The bathrooms near the front of the campground are very clean and recently built. There is a second bathhouse towards the back of the campground as well, but not as modern and smaller. Many campsites are along the lake and some have access to the lake. We viewed many campers who had their boats tied up right at their site and access to the water. In my own experience: While site 1 was nice, there was a very bright light at night, is next to the host and the site is not level. The campgrounds near the entrance are not as secluded, but they are closer to the newer restrooms – which are nice and kept very clean. As I took my morning walks around the grounds, there were many many sites I wish I had instead. My site wish list: 6, tent sites A-F, 9, 13, 14, 33, 34, and 35
Morganton campground is an ultra quiet campground. Sites are spaced apart and vary in size and beauty. We stayed in site 1 which was next to the host, newer bathroom, and the trail that led to the recreation area. Some sites are wooded while others are on the lake and have private access. The host will deliver wood and ice to your site as well. When you arrive, if you have reservations, you head straight to your site and the host will come to you for check-in. If you are walk-up you simply find an unreserved site, claim it, then go check-in with the host. The atmosphere is super relaxed and the hosts are very pleasant. The wildlife is abundant with various birds and chipmunks as well. There is no alcohol allowed in any area of the campgrounds. I highly recommend this campground and we will be back to enjoy it in the future!
We loved finally getting to go! We’ve had our camping trip booked for months and it was worth it. The campground is in a separate location from the spring head. With our camping pass we were able to get into the springs with it as it covers both. We went early to the spring so there weren’t many people there which was nice. It’s chilly, but the swimming was perfect. Later we launched our kayaks from the campground. The River is full of Tibet’s and boaters, but we saw lots of wildlife while out on the water. Later we went back to the spring head to explore. Many people were swimming and cooking out on the large lawn. Just have to plan your trip around the type of person you are. We loved this state park.
This State Park has it all. There is plenty to do for the kids and the campground is clean and well kept. The sites are well spaced out. Between the beach and the fort there is plenty to do. The kids were asking to go back before we left!
This is one of the BEST state parks we have been to in Florida. As a family of 5 it was an amazing time and the kids want to go back. The fort is informative and the kids had a blast discovering it. The beach is clean and secluded. The River Campground is amazing. If tent camping, I suggest you don’t camp at the tent only sites.
Jennings is a quiet hiking area with hammock camping and regular camping. There are many well marked trails that run through the site as well as a fishing area and grills near the parking lot. The camping is hike in.
We love Anastasia! This campground has a few small hiking trails, parking near the beach, a playground, and a small store with a grill/restaurant attached. The beach is pristine and has easy access. You can walk down around the Cape for some good exercise.
This resort is a fun trip to take with the kids. The sites are packed and close together but the amenities and incredible water slides make up for it.
This is an absolutely gorgeous park. As the gateway to the Appalachian Trail, the hiking and views here are incredible.
We camped here in the fall and the kids had a great time. Our site was right on the lake so the kids had a great time playing in the water for something to to. We could hang our hammocks and the paved roads allowed for the kids to ride their bikes. It was peaceful and we would go again!
This park has it all. A beach store and grill, campsites, small hiking trails, and miles of wonderful beach. The dunes are amazing. This is truly a best kept secret!
Many opportunities to spot wildlife close by. The camp is frequented by college students. Bathrooms are clean. Plenty of hiking to be found. Buffalo, deer, eagles, alligators, owls….Visit Sweetwater.
We have stayed here many times. In cabins or in tent. We like to hike which there is plenty of m. Canoe which they rent. Firewood is available.
Great cheap camping and free spot to hike and drop your kayak
We camp and hike here ALL the time. Canoeing, hiking, picnicking and just plain relaxing are on the top of the list. Cleanest bathrooms and quietest camping. Ample space between.
We camped here for a weekend. There are many bugs and raccoons so beware. The driftwood beach is stunning and worth the entire trip.
We spent a day trip here to kayak in the run and then swim afterwards. The park does rentals in the store very easily and picks you up at the end. The.m mill and grounds are worth visiting.