Author Topic: Camping in NE Florida  (Read 3069 times)

Shwaz

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Camping in NE Florida
« on: October 29, 2008, 11:31:15 AM »
It is officially camping time! The weather is perfect for sitting around the fire and good sleeping in the tent.

Since I started doing this annually in the fall (6 years running) my group has camped at Hugenot Park and Ginnie Springs.

Hugenot was nice being so close but the ranger was extremely strict on the bringing in and consumption of certain beverages. Something that still boggles my mind being your staying overnight and not driving anywhere.

Ginnie has been the most frequented with relaxed rules and phenomenal sites available. The temp's are a little too cool for floating down the river and that leaves little in the way of daytime activities.


This year I'd really like to try Osceola National Forest. The sites look nice, there’s plenty of activities like horseback riding canoeing, hiking, fishing, off roadin’ and most importantly civil war battle reenactments (I’ve got $20 that says the south wins this time)!

Also they have multiple options as far as sites go as well as group camping @ $50 per night (max 24 people)

Has anyone camped there? If you know of some place better please let me know.

Where's your favorite campground?
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Driven1

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Re: Camping in NE Florida
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2008, 11:33:50 AM »
North Carolina & Tennessee have my favorite campgrounds.  I think the rangers (kind of unsung heroes) are concerned about your group getting drunk and starting a forest fire more than anything.

Shwaz

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Re: Camping in NE Florida
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2008, 11:45:42 AM »
Quote
I think the rangers (kind of unsung heroes) are concerned about your group getting drunk and starting a forest fire more than anything.

1.) We were camped on the beach and sand is not flammable
2.) Ginnie Springs is loaded with drunks all year and have no problems with fire outbreaks.
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jacksonvilleconfidential

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Re: Camping in NE Florida
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2008, 12:03:36 PM »
Definitely the Smokey Mountains. Was there for weeks with the family every summer for about 18 years.

Its always a good, tacky time to trek over to Cherokee and mingle with the Tourists (and Indians).
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copperfiend

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Re: Camping in NE Florida
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2008, 12:36:04 PM »
The Smokies are great. The camping is good as long as you are aware of bears and camp accordingly.

Shwaz

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Re: Camping in NE Florida
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2008, 12:43:15 PM »
Unfortunately this is more of a quick weekend trip and heading to the mountains isn't possible.
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jacksonvilleconfidential

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Re: Camping in NE Florida
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2008, 12:48:40 PM »
Yeah, i guess the Smokey's are nowhere near NE Florida. My bad
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Shwaz

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Re: Camping in NE Florida
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2008, 01:13:38 PM »
Quote
Yeah, i guess the Smokey's are nowhere near NE Florida. My bad

no worries

Looks like Osceola NF is a dwindiling option. The ranger station says there are only a few sites with amenities close by and the sites are small.

Mot likely Ginnie Springs again this year.


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Ocklawaha

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Re: Camping in NE Florida
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2008, 02:55:35 PM »
SHWAZ.... Whooo Man! You've really missed the spots on this one - here's a few from the "OLD CRACKER".

Juniper Springs - Ocala National Forest (don't miss the canoe outfitter and trip)
Salt Springs - downright weird... like volcanic
Goldhead Branch State Park - Fantastic camping, cabins, primitive, revine to explore, lakes (just below Middleburg)
O'Leno State Park - Ever see a river vanish? You will here.
Big Shoals/White Springs/Falls Creek/Stephen Foster Parks (white water in Florida) all just out of Lake City
Wanna Swamp? Did you know the Okeefenokee has primitive camping throughout? outfitters or guides can be provided... They have islands as well as elevated platforms - well above the water for tenting.

The Ranger was worried about fire due to burning embers, a single ember will wick onto our local dry or the dead palmetto leafs - or pine straw. Both are HIGHLY COMBUSTABLE and will explode into flame. My own bad experience with palmettos tells me it's not one you'll soon control either! Take it from...been there...done that.


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« Last Edit: October 29, 2008, 02:58:48 PM by Ocklawaha »

second_pancake

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Re: Camping in NE Florida
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2008, 03:00:04 PM »
There are soooo many great places.  Let's see...Juniper Springs is a favorite of ours.  The kayaking/canoeing is quite techinical so it makes for a great trip down the river and the campsites are great too.  Close to home and out by Ichetucknee (sp?) is Oleno State Park.  This place has some of the best campsites I've been too...very close in to nature and the seperation between sites is great too.  Also, they have walking trails to the bathrooms which are centrally located.  Fort Clinch in Fernandina is nice too and you have not only the St. John's river but the beach as well.  There are also reinactments of fort life in the 1800's that take place either the 1st weekend or the last weekend of each month (can't remember),and mountain bike/hiking trails with plenty of whoopdy-doos.

I've camped pretty near every state park in NE Florida and Oleno and Fort Clinch are my favs as far as campsites and activities go.
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Ocklawaha

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Re: Camping in NE Florida
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2008, 03:04:32 PM »
The Alapaha is very cool for canoing but seriously...

BEWARE of the "ALAPAHA SUCK"

Anyone planning to canoe this wild stream better read the guide and heed the warnings, lest you find yourselves 300' underground and heading for hell at whitewater speed!

Of course as one of the original "DEFENDERS OF THE OCKLAWAHA", along the river "Ocklawaha" there are camp grounds at Rodman, and several other locations, the side trip up the Silver River is a NEVER to be forgotten experience. MONKEYS BITE! The river, where it is still natural is amazing, so much so President Useless Grant, visited it.


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Shwaz

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Re: Camping in NE Florida
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2008, 03:09:02 PM »
Quote
Juniper Springs - Ocala National Forest (don't miss the canoe outfitter and trip)

I definitely want to hit this up. Most likely spring or later this fall. Canoeing sounds like fun.

Quote
Salt Springs - downright weird... like volcanic

I went to Salt Springs for the first time in August. We rented a 5th wheel and had a blast. Wehad a re boat for that trip and the 2 lakes were great.

Quote
Goldhead Branch State Park - Fantastic camping, cabins, primitive, revine to explore, lakes (just below Middleburg)

I keep forgetting about Gold Head... I went on a school trip (9th grade) and really like the park / lake.

Quote
Fort Clinch in Fernandina is nice too and you have not only the St. John's river but the beach as well.  There are also reinactments of fort life in the 1800's that take place either the 1st weekend or the last weekend of each month (can't remember),and mountain bike/hiking trails with plenty of whoopdy-doos.

I love the Mt bike trails! It's the perfect weather for a biking trip too. The sites look nice there, we might have to put it to a group vote.
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Jason

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Re: Camping in NE Florida
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2008, 12:40:10 PM »
The above sites mentioned are all great.

Add to that (all within an hour):

- Big Talbot Island State Park
     (Just north of Huguenot)  -  Limited facilities, beach access, biking & hiking trails
- Hannah Park  
     (Atlantic Beach)  -  Many facilities and beach access and fantastic bike and hiking trails
- Guana River State Park
     (South of Ponte Vedra)  -  Limited facilities, beach access, biking & hiking trails, fishing
- Anastasia State Park 
     (St. Augustine)  -  Many facilities, beach access, biking & hiking trails, fishing, rentals
- Faver Dykes State Park
     (US-1 and I95 south of St. Aug)  -  Limited facilities, biking & hiking trails, fishing, rentals
- Princess Place Preserve
     (St. Johns Flagler border just south of Faver Dykes on US1)  -  Many facilities, historic house, biking & hiking
     trails, fishing, rentals


Shwaz

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Re: Camping in NE Florida
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2008, 04:32:13 PM »
Hugenot & Ft. Clinch are booked up for next weekend.

We may give Hannah a try. One person in our group has been and says there is 2 site real nice that you have to reserve, and they're both available.
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blizz01

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Re: Camping in NE Florida
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2008, 06:00:19 PM »
Quote
Fort Clinch in Fernandina is nice too and you have not only the St. John's river but the beach as well.  There are also reenactments of fort life in the 1800's that take place either the 1st weekend or the last weekend of each month (can't remember),and mountain bike/hiking trails with plenty of whoopdy-doos.

Amelia Island is simply great all around - also, I believe that they do candlelight tours of Fort Clinch at night.