the dyrt
Malaney H.
Tampa, FL
Joined April 2018
A must!

Buffalo national river is the first national river established in the US and let me tell you it's gorgeous!! There are many places to camp but we stayed at Buffalo Point. There are a few different loops to stay on, we stayed in A. Each site has parking, for car or RV all differing in length, and you walk behind the parking to an area with benches, picinic table, lantern hanger, and fire pit. The river is behind the sites and you can swim in it. I recommend swim shoes because its all rocks to get to it and entering in and out of the water. Behind A loop on the opposite side from the ramp before the curve in the river is a rope swing. Its across the river so you must be a strong swimmer to beat the current. The bathrooms are well kept and there is trash bins available. Pets are allowed too. The loop that we stayed in was first come first serve and there was a self pay station near the bathroom. If you are up early enough, you may see bald eagles flying around the river like we did!

Lake view/ bring your boat

I want to start by saying how nice the staff was. There was a nice lady at the check in desk that helped us find a site before the busy labor day weekend. We had a wonderful conversation about our travels and since she had to help cars driving by she greeted everyone cheerfully even while helping us.

This park offers all amenities. The facilities were well kept and the campsites were very nice. There is RV and tent camping available. This area is good for day use as well as there is a swimming and picnic area. What I found so neat, is that there is the ability to park boats right on the lake near your campsite. you literally walk down a hill to your boat once you load it in. It is right on the Ouchita lake, so there is plenty of room for all water sports.

Lake Catherine

Lake Catherine is a beautiful park in Arkansas. I only stopped by for a hike as I was passing through, but this place looked like so much fun for day water adventures. There is a large swimming area on the lake where you can also boat, kayak, canoe and do any other water sport. The facilities were nice and there is a cute store and area to view animals. The campground was large with a lot of tent and RV campsites. The hike I went on took me by the lake and to a small falls where you could swim. The views were very nice.

First to Review
Beautiful Lake View

This park is run by the US army corps engineering. It is located around Degray Lake and is one of many there. I would definitely recommend this park for boaters. There is electric and water. The water is a bit of a pain to use because you have to twist the top to open but it doesnt stay on. It made it hard to wash dishes or your hands. There is a picnic table, fire ring, grill and table top next to the grill. The facilities were nice, there are toilets and showers.

Secluded

This campground was especially cool for us because we were the only camperz the night we stayed. We have a tiny trailer so we stayed in the RV section which have water and electric. It is 30amp and up so if you need 20 (which we did), make sure you have a converter. You can "rent" one for 10$ if not and get refunded once you leave.

This area has a large bathroom with showers. There are picnic tables and a fire ring. There is also a primitive tent area but I didnt go back there since it was a short stop for us.

This campground has a large cave which you can tour during the day for a small fee. The gift shop is nice and the people were helpful.

Beautiful Park in the Mountains

This campground is beautiful in the middle of the mountains. It is unique as well, in that there is a cavern entrance right on site. You are able to do a quick 45 minute knowledge tour or you can do a muddy tour, which is longer and takes you further into the cavern.

There are RV and tent sites available as well as large group sites. The bathhouse a nice size and very well kept. There is also a laundry facility on site, which is nice for those the want to go in the mud rooms on the long tour. There are two different stores, one is for the camping reservations, and the other is for the caverns. They are doing renovations, so the cavern store is in a little trailer right now (August 2018).

The people were very nice and helpful. We stayed during the rainy season, so the lady in charge that day, made sure to drive around and warn us that in an emergency situation, we would either go in the cave for shelter, or the bathhouse, which is made of brick. It was nice to know she cared so much to drive to each site and warn us. Luckily, we only got a small shower the next morning, so we had no weather issues.

Lastly, and very important to us, was the on site dog park. My dog was very happy to run and chase her ball off of a leash. Its large and well maintained with a small dog ramp inside.

Side note, there are about 12 cats that roam the facility. The are very friendly and will not hesitate to jump in your car or trailer so keep an eye out for them!!

Beautiful, Large Park

What isn't there to do at Myakka River SP. First of all, this place is huge. I think it took me about 10 minutes to drive from one end to the other, but it is full of wonderful things to do along the way. There are two entrances to the park because it is so large, but one entrance is not always open, so its important to check that online before heading over. The main entrance has a nice Welcome Center right at the front with a small store shop. There are three different loops to camp in, one is specific to tent camping and is not open year round called Big Flats Campground. Its further back in the park and surrounded by beautiful trees. The other two are tent/RV, one being very shady called Old Prairie and the other having drive through sites called Palmetto Ridge which does not have many trees for shade. There are also cabins and these are remodeled versions of the original cabins that were built back when the park first opened in the 30s.

The activities on site vary. because the park is so large, its great for long morning jogs and bike rides. The view is beautiful only the Myakka river and your bound to run into wildlife (i saw deer, gators, hogs and so many different birds)! There are also 39 miles worth of hiking trails, which all vary in distance. Some even have primitive campsites for those that enjoy backpacking. Along one of the hiking trails, is an observation desk with a canopy walkway. The tower soars 76 feet high so you have a great view of the park! There is also a pretty bird watching area for those that enjoying this activity. Even if you don't the view is amazing and a great place to sit and watch for wildlife.

The last part of the park I want to touch on is the Pink Gator restaurant/gift shop. I think it is one of the largest shops I have ever been in. The food at the cafe was wonderful! I had the chicken salad (way too good!). And they have a small Edys IceCream Parlor. This part of the park also allows access to the river, where you can canoe/kayak or what ever water sport you are into. The one thing that stood out to me is the Airboat ride. This boat hold about 30 people and takes you out on the the lake for a tour. I don't think I have ever seen an air boat that large.

The facilities were all very well taken care of as well and I cannot think of one complaint! I definitely recommend visiting this park.

Large Sites

The thing I liked most about this campground is that it has large sites. They are for RVs/Tents so if you have both and a pop up, everything will fit! The down fall is that the sites are around a lake/river, so many of them are on a slope. I went when it was a rainier weekend and the water went through my site to the lake/river behind.The sites have a rocky/dirt driveway so the rain made for a messy trip, but that is camping I suppose! If it hadn't been rainy, then the slopes of each site would be the only down fall. The bathroom is located in the middle along with the trash drops which are located at the "top" of the slope. Since I had a site towards the entrance, it was quite a hike. However, I don't have a large RV, so this may not be an issue for most staying here. The facilities were kept well and the employees were very nice and welcoming.

One thing that makes this campground different from others, is the motor bike area. I haven't seen many of these near campsites so a lot of the people staying here do so to enjoy that area. There is also a bike trail, and three hiking trails. Since it is on a lake, there is the opportunity to do water activities, and a boat ramp is available but near the Silver Lake area.

The Withlacoochee State Forest has many places to stay, within this section are three parks, the two for RV's (which Cypress Glen is one) pets are allowed, however the ten only area (Crooked River) does not allow pets. I took my dog and she had a great time on the hikes and playing in the lake.

History

This campground as a lot to offer. First off, it is on the well known Florida river, the Suwanee River, so there are many water sports that can be done here. There is an accessible boat ramp, but unfortunately it is low at this part of the river (May 2018), so its best for canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding. I was able to take me dog down there for a quick swim which she loved! Pets are allowed as long as they are on a leash and do not enter the cabin areas. The tent/RV areas are very large and also pretty private which is nice. The facilities were very clean and large and the staff is wonderful!

What makes this site different than a lot of places I have been is that there is a craft village. They are usually open daily for different activities. The gift shop is very large with a lot of crafts that have been made in the village. Make sure to ask about Edgar the Alligator. He is hidden around the park and if you find him, you get a free ice cream. This is such a fun idea for kids (or if your like me, adults too!). There is also a very old bell tower and muesem on site which offers a lot of history about Stephen Foster and his influence on folk songs.

First to Review
Canoeing and Peacocks

This campsite is right outside of Little Manatee River State Park. I even missed the entrance and went to Little Manatee because I missed the turn. However, even though this camp is tiny, there is a lot to do. There is an area for tents, hammocks, campers and cabins are also available. One area of tents sites is a group site, which has a platform, tables with a pavilion, and a large campfire area, so if you have a group you want go with, this is great place to do so!

One of the highlights of this site is the canoeing. You can come in for day canoeing and the employees will pick you and the canoe up at a stop and bring you back to the site. You can also bring your own canoe while you stay and they will do the same thing for you at the pick up site down the river. One activity that I did not have a chance to do is the Moonlight Canoeing. This looked like so much fun because you go out canoeing at midnight and have snacks, drinks, s'mores, and listen to music around a campfire.

One last thing is the owners. They are super friendly and take care of the campers and the campsite. They also have peacocks that run around, so its fun to see them. I would definitely recommend this site to anyone looking for a place to camp in the Tampa area.

Good for a quick overnight stop or day river trip

I rated this park a four, only because it's not really meant for a long stay for tent campers or for a lot of activities. There is a beautiful lake that you can canoe/kayak/boat on, and a great trail that runs along side of it, but it is super close to I75. I am a heavy sleeper, and actually appreciate "white noise" but for others tent camping, it may be inconvenient. I would recommend this as for a one night stop for travelers or for RV's only. There isn't a visitors center and check-in is by honor code. Dogs are allowed so this is always nice for me! There is also dirt biking trails, which is something you don't always see and nice to have. Other that water activities there wasn't much to do on site. Locally and near by is the Dade City Battlefield, which was really interesting and historic information about Florida. There is also an ancient oak tree in the middle of the park which was beautiful! I'd recommend visiting if you stay at this park.

Wild Horses!

I would say that most people who go camping like the outdoors and love the wildlife. Well I would say my favorite part was the wild horses that roamed the wetlands. I happened to go when there was a new born calf and oh my goodness was he cute! You can literally walk along the wetland trail and stand right next to a horse! They don"t approach you (and I wouldn't recommend doing so either) but it definitely got my blood pumping being next to such a majestic creature. Wild bison also roam the prairie, but I did not see any while I was there. The visitor center would have an update of what animals were viewed most recently and they had a variety of activities to do inside (for kids to!). I especially like the tower that looked over the wetlands.

The campsites were a good size however unlike a lot of places, you could not park your car directly in your site. There were 4-5 sites in a group and parking was in a "lot" of 7-8 spaces in front of the sites. This was a little inconvenient for unpacking and repacking purposes. Also, if you have a car tent (or sleep in your car), you would not have been able to use it because of this.

There were also good trails that went through the campground for hiking and biking (and like I mentioned above, a beautiful trail along the prairie. Dogs were not allowed on this trail). A nearby lake allowed for fishing and kayaking, canoeing and boating.

First to Review
Water Activities!

This small little park is full of water activities. There is a Spring right on site that is great for snorkeling and swimming. You can rent kayaks and canoes, or bring your own boat for a day trip. I saw Air Boats and Fishing Boats. There were also a lot of people paddle boarding. One exciting part of my stay was the manatees! They were everywhere!

There are two different areas for camping. One site is for campers/RV's and the other is tents. The tent site only has porta-pottys, while a really nice bathroom (you needed a code to get inside) with showers is located within the camper section. It is not a far distance between the camper and tent area so its a quick walk if you're not a fan of the portas!

There is also free wifi around the park, a building with a TV and indoor activities, as well as an outdoor basketball hoop, volleyball net, horseshoes and corn hole. Needless to say, this small park, was full of things to do (especially if you bring your kids). The camp store had anything you needed (similar to a gas station store as far as products) and they ladies inside were very friendly! If you wanted to rent kayaks and canoes you could (recommend doing so very early in the day, especially on weekend) and the workers unloaded and took the boats to the water for you. There were also "canoe lockers" if you brought your own boat and didn't want to take it to and from your site every day.

There is a lot to do!

This park is full of great adventures. If you like to hike, there are a bunch of different trails to walk and they run alongside the river. You may even have the opportunity to catch site of some alligators as this river is very populated with them. There is also a cute shop and cafe so if your not feeling up to cooking, you can head there. At the shop you have the opportunity to swim in the pool, rent kayaks, canoes, and bikes. I also love that they are pet friendly. I take my dog everywhere (and sometimes my cat) and they enjoyed the trails just as much as I did!