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Old 02-12-2013, 04:57 PM   #1
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Looking for feedback on some FL state parks

I am looking for some feedback on some FL state parks.

I have stayed at Oleno before and liked it. They have alot of biking areas mountain and road riding. They are close to good canoeing spots.

I have stayed at Manatee Springs and it is a nice park but I can't remember much about the camp ground.

I have never been to Florida Caverns.

I have been to Falling waters and it seems like more a pit stop than anything else.

Any other suggestions in the north central Florida area? We will be going to stay at my folks near Olando for about a week but we were thinking of spending a few days on either side of that week to go camping and have a little vacation time. We will camp at the folks house that week and will probably not have much fun time there.

Wekiva is pretty close to the folks but they are renovating their camp ground. We prefer quiet areas as opposed to party and dog bark city which seems to be the norm in most parks now days. We will be camping during the week so maybe it will be the retired crowd. It will be in late March so we may get disappointed with the spring break rowdys but hopefully they will be at the beach.

Perry
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:06 PM   #2
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Central FL?? Try Tomoka State Park, Anastasia St Pk (st Augustine), there a a couple in Jacksonville also...Topsail St Pk in North FL and if you have military privileges, Mayport, Eglin, Pensacola...Rock Crusher Canyon is on West coast...these are just a few I could think of..
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:21 PM   #3
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Payees Prairie, just south of Gainesville, is really nice. Might see Bison!

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Old 02-12-2013, 05:33 PM   #4
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Try Jetty Park at Port Canaveral, nice beach and on the channel where the cruise ships depart. also Navy sub station and if you are real lucky you might see a sub and Cape Canaveral still does rocket launches. This is a county park, not state and is a more expensive. Another really nice county park, a little farher south than Orlando, is Fort Desoto near St Petersburg. The park is on the bay with some really nice waterfront sites. Great beaches, bicycling and kayaking.
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:40 PM   #5
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We live in northeastern Florida and have been to most of the parks in the northern half of the state. For quiet, we like both St. George and St. Andrew in the eastern Panhandle. They are on what's called "The Forgotten Coast" with beautiful beaches and small towns. We also liked Paynes Prairie for the nice hiking in hopes of seeing the wild horses that inhabit the remote parts of the prairie. Silver Springs (near Ocala) also has some nice trails down to the river where you can canoe or kayak. We saw some coyote while hiking there a few years ago. We recently stayed at Florida Caverns. The cave tour was worthwhile. Another idea would be to boondock in one of the many campgrounds in the Ocala National Forest. However, I suggest you make reservations wherever you go because most of the parks fill up quickly. Enjoy!
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:41 PM   #6
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I am sorta wanting to stay north of Orlando so we will have an easier trip back. We will be going up I-75 for a short distance and then hit I-10 and then up to Dothan to the Huntsville, AL area.

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Old 02-12-2013, 05:47 PM   #7
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Caverns & Falling Water...

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Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
I am looking for some feedback on some FL state parks.

I have never been to Florida Caverns.

I have been to Falling waters and it seems like more a pit stop than anything else.

We stayed at both Florida Caverns & Falling Waters State Parks on the way to the Canopener recently.

I think you're right to say that "Falling Water" is not much more than a pit stop. There's some fun hiking there. The waterfall/sink holes are pretty interesting, too. Hypothetically, if you have to visit the local emergency room when you're there, it's a great place to get stitches. Chipley, FL also has a wolf preserve. We didn't get to go but we heard really great things about it. Visiting Seacrest Wolf Preserve - Conservation, Education, and Preservation of Wolves- Wolf Rescue Sanctuary

The campground itself at Florida Caverns was a little less than spectacular. The Caverns are interesting, though. A pleasant surprise!
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:52 PM   #8
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Perry,
We just did a little tour of some Florida areas after the Canopener Rally which was at Topsail Hill State Park (one of our favorite places) in Santa Rosa. From there we went to Ho-Hum RV Park about 30 miles east of Apalachacola on 98. If you call and make reservations, ask for space on the Water. It is directly on gulf and it is very peaceful (google it). Then on to Rock Crusher RV Park at Crystal River where we made arrangements with River Adventures to swim with manatees. Rock Crusher was very nice and clean, but more like a long term snow bird type place. From there we went to Anastasia State Park - site #120 is the best if you can get it - we were in another site that was ok, but when 120 opened up the next day, we moved to it. I understand that it is one of the ones that you can not make reservations for and that site is 1st come 1st served - lots of other pretty sites though so don't let that stop you if unavailable. Lots to explore from there (lighthouse, St. Augustine, and you absolutely have to eat at O'Steins (shrimp) which is between Anastasia SP and St. Augustine. The fried shrimp are absolutely the best we have had anywhere and worth the trip. FYI it is Cash Only - we almost had to wash dishes! From Anastasia we went to Catherine Hannah Park in Jacksonville where we met up with the Unit 3 Florida AS group. The facility was very nice; and of course the people we met very friendly and welcoming. On the way home, we saw Florida Caverns State park. It was about a halfway stop for us from Jacksonville so why not. We are so glad we did. Very nice park facility with full hookups only 8 miles off interstate. Make sure you allow enough time to tour the caverns!
Hope you have a fun trip.
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:04 PM   #9
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We stayed at Lake Griffin SP near Fruitland Park. It's a bit north of Orlando and not far off the I75. The park is small and quiet, the park staff friendly and the bath house basic but clean. They were having some power issues when we were there but were very flexible on sorting out alternative sites for us. We stayed because we wanted to go into Orlando but not to camp there and it worked for us.
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:10 PM   #10
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We like St Joe State park but it is a zoo in the spring and everything is filled up. St Joe is much prettier than St George Island State Park. I will keep FL Caverns in mind. Fort Desoto looks interesting. I like that they have some no pet areas. Last time we went camping some folks across the street had a bunch of yap yap dogs and they kept them inside but they barked all day long and till an hour or two after dark.

We are not setup for boondocking right now but I am familiar with the Ocala Forrest. I have been to Alexander springs alot. It is a great snorkle spot. I don't know why they don't have hookups in the forrest parks. I am somewhat familiar with Paynes Prairie. It was just a Marsh 30 yrs ago when I went to U of F. I don't know if they camp ground was there or not in the early 80's.

Perry
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:18 PM   #11
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Stephen Foster SP is very nice if not to far north for you
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:41 AM   #12
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My folks place is real close to Orlando in Mount Dora. We have thought about camping at a nearby park instead of staying in the yard. I think the folks want us close by though. Lake Griffin was under construction the last time I looked there. I need to revisit. We can always explore some of these places if we have time. There is a county park across the lake from the folks Called Jetty Park I want to check out when I am down there. I wish I had room for the motorcycle so I can explore more.

Thanks for all the feedback everyone.

Perry
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:41 AM   #13
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Hillsborough River state park near Tampa is nice for biking and canoeing. Coe's Landing near Tallahassee is a county park that is a quiet spot with campsites on a lake.
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:53 AM   #14
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I ment Kelly Park not Jetty Park.

Perry

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My folks place is real close to Orlando in Mount Dora. We have thought about camping at a nearby park instead of staying in the yard. I think the folks want us close by though. Lake Griffin was under construction the last time I looked there. I need to revisit. We can always explore some of these places if we have time. There is a county park across the lake from the folks Called Jetty Park I want to check out when I am down there. I wish I had room for the motorcycle so I can explore more.

Thanks for all the feedback everyone.

Perry
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