Visiting Florida's state parks and beyond in our Roadtrek. This is how we saw it all. Hopefully, the posts will give you some useful information. Questions and comments are welcome.

Friday, October 5, 2018

A Weekend at Florida's Silver Lake Campground Withlacoochee State Forest


Spent a long weekend at this part of the Withlacoochee State Forest just outside of Brooksville. In this complex are three campgrounds: Silver Lake, Cypress Glen and Crooked River.

I chose Silver Lake campground. It is the smaller of the two CGs with electricity. Crooked Lake campground is tenting only. Water only.  It also is a trailhead for the 5.2 mile River Trail.

I think I had the best site.  #10. Appropriately numbered. It is pretty level, sand/gravel, partial shade with 20/30 amp and water. The bath house was nearby and, while a little dated was clean and functional.  The site has a lot of side privacy on one side and, as you can see, none on the other.  But, still the best site, I think.  Most of the sites had little shade and little side privacy although they were far enough apart.

My fire pit when I arrived.  Ready to light. Ample supply of wood, too.  What a service. Got me spoiled. Thank you host/ranger.

The loop road is a little rough, limestone with a few potholes, but no overhangs.  Encourages one to drive slow as it should be. 

The campground boat ramp. Not much boat activity. This couple spent their evenings by water's edge each evening. Quiet lake at this end.

The lake was at a higher level due to recent rain. The low water trail normally passes just this side of the tree per the sign.

There's the trail. Under water.

A calm, reflective Silver Lake.


The day park adjacent to the campground. There are several pavilions, rest rooms, a field for activities, grills and picnic tables.

And there is a boat ramp. This is for the day visitors.  Not too well maintained. Some pretty deep potholes.


A couple of the small pavilions at the boat ramp. I'll bet many a fish was cleaned here.

Just past the pavilions the low water trail becomes impassable. A couple of weeks ago it was well under water.


Hiking along the trail. This follows the edge of the lake to Cypress Glen campground. 

The Cypress trees reveal the water height of recent weeks. Still wet and dark.

The end of the trail. Wash out. Won't get to Cypress Glen campground and the boardwalk this way.  I'll have to take the road.


An apple snail shell.  It's owner flooded out of its home.

The Cypress Glen campground loop road.  The sites are mostly on the outside of the loop with corral fence defining the sites. Half are partial shade, half full.

In the center of the loop is a large activity field and the bathhouse.


The campground boat ramp. Mother, daughter and man's best friend enjoy the cool lake water. In the distant background is the I-75 bridge.


The boardwalk. This is the reason I was headed to Cypress Glen.  Almost missed it as it was nestled between two heavily foliaged campsites.

As it turns out the low level trail becomes the boardwalk. Real swampy here. Even without the recent rain storms.


The boardwalk eventually comes to an end and there I was at a washout section again. But, to my left a trail existed that was really dry.  This is a connector trail to pick up the River trail at Crooked River campground.

A little ways up the trail is Turtle Hill. Saw no turtles, but did see these:

A little color after all that wet brown ground and trees and brackish water.

 As the trail continued it got dryer.  It eventually came out at the entrance road to Cypress Glen campground.  The road continued on to Crooked River campground as does the connector trail.

As you turn off SR50 llgoing to Silver Lake Recreation Complex you are at a Withlacoochee State Trail access point. There's a parking area, restrooms, trail map and info, and refreshments here as you ride by or start or complete your trip.  All paved, for bicycles and pedestrians.

Though mostly flat there are challenges like this bridge crossing SR 50. Just the sight of the elevation changes tires me. I don't think my bke has a gear low enough for me.  I'll stick to the woods.

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