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.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

A Week at Crooked River State Park Georgia and More


A new park for us and we were not disappointed. The park is large and is just outside of St Marys, GA. The park has 62 rv/tent campsites in two loops, a bath house in each loop (up to date and clean), 11 cottages, group camping area (tenting), a huge day visitor park, marina/boat ramp, 3 kayak trails, 7 hiking trails, plenty of hardtop roadway for biking, and more. Cell coverage is good and there are several over the air tv stations available. Fernandina Beach, St. Marys, and Cumberland Island are nearby places to day trip. Another good day trip is Jekyll Island (1 hour drive north on I-95). 
The park is very clean and well maintained by state staff, camp hosts and volunteers.
Our site is #41 and in our mind the best in the park. It is a pull-through with full hook-ups. The electric service is 50/30/20. This site is huge. As you see it swallows our Class B. It is level, gravel, mostly shaded and perks well after a rain. We arrived in the rain, but the rest of the week was sunny and mild. A break from our Florida home.
This is our "backyard". Again huge.
At the far back is a trail and then the river. 
This site is on a small spur off the loop with the higher numbers. The loop road in front dead ends at a large field that is adjacent to a row of cabins. Hence, no car traffic passing by.
While most sites don't have foliage between, the lay-out of the campground is good and there is ample space between sites for some privacy. Didn't see any sites I would consider small.
The trail along the river. There are 7 hiking trails
ranging from half mile to 1.5 miles. They are all easy to
medium trails with no elevation changes.
 Jump the fence and you can get close to the river edge. 
But, be careful as you see there is a severe drop off. 

Sunset behind our site.

The field near our site has two screened pavilions and a playground and is for the campground and cabin visitors. It is adjacent to Cabins 1-5.
On the edge of the field is a wildlife viewing blind.
View from the bench inside the blind. Note the sign on the fence regarding the river's edge drop off. 

The field also has bird houses....

....and several bat houses throughout the park. Keeps the mosquitos down.
There are 11 cottages total in two groups. Cabins 1-5 have a river view. Cabins 6-11 have a view of the marsh.

The cabins have a screened porch, fire pit, and picnic table. Fully equipped and cable tv (many channels).

The day park has two large group shelters, 4 open shelters, 75 picnic tables, 2 playgrounds, workout equipment, and an 18-hole mini golf course.  And plenty of shade. Adjacent to this area is a marina with boat ramp and bait shop. There are 3 kayak trails along the river.
Along the cabin road is a pond with a birding house. 
A birding platform is along the River Trail near cabins 6-11.

While we were there we took a couple of day trips nearby.

The submarine museum at Cumberland Island National Seashore. Why is it here? Because of nearby Kings Bay Submarine Base.
Lang's Marina. One can catch the ferry to 
Fernandina Beach here. Another good day trip.
Market on the Square. Nice little gift shop
and an ice cream and candy store.
The gift shop.
The ice cream and candy store. Yummm.

 A little nook outside to sit and eat that ice cream.
Corner of Osborne St. and St. Marys St.
The Osborne Building. Once the Bank of Camden County.
Neat mural. Of the bank president, I guess.
Riverside Cafe. Good place to eat. If you're not in a hurry.
And who would be while wandering around this little town.

 Centre St. Fernandina Beach. The main drag into town.

S. Front St and Centre St. The main intersection at the marina.
Guarding the corner.

Gas lamps adorn the corner.

Oasis Marinas. Gift shop in front. Restaurant and marina in back.
The marina. Many luxury yachts and foreign flags stop here.
And some locals. Note the large cranes in the background. Besides a tourist town this is a huge port with a large rail yard outside of town.

Local architecture. Plenty of old buildings from 
this old railroad port town.
Centre St. shops. Everything you need here. Or, want.

Colorful art on Centre St.

Favorite place to eat in this town. The Salty Pelican.

View from the open upper deck. Best place to be seated. Sit at the window bar or table. Good food, views, service, prices and music.  
If you're lucky a train or boat may pass. 
Train? Front St, turns into a railroad 
track at this point. It leads to the port.
But the boats stay in the water.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Relaxing at Lake Kissimmee State Park

One of our go to campgrounds when we just want to get away from the house and do nothing for a few days. The campground is a little west of Lake Wales, just down the road from our house and its best feature: QUIET

There is a lot to do here, though. There are 13 miles of easy to moderate hiking trails, plenty of hardtop for bicycling, a marina and boat launch, an observation tower, and a nice picnic and playground area. And, deer. Plenty of deer to see. 

It rained just before we got to our site, #35, but as we checked in it stopped long enough to get backed in and set up. Then the deluge returned. This site is one we frequent as it is level, mostly shaded no matter what the season and it perks well. The standing water was gone in about 30 minutes. The sites here are all back in, level, limestone mix, and shaded to partly shaded. All have 30/20 amps electric, and water.


The are two paved loops and no overhangs so they
are easy maneuvering for larger vehicles. There are a few
sites that can handle 43' Class As plus vehicle.
Glamping at Lake Kissimmee SP

Two tents have been added to the park. One in each loop. If 
you have to say you went tenting this is the way to do it.

 In riding around the area we noticed the channel
down a bit. It's been a dry summer this year. Didn't see any wildlife this trip. Unusual. Usually we see a lot of deer and tortoises.
 So being a lazy week we did a lot of cooking and eating,
gazing at the trees overhead,
And studying dead tree and branch formations.
But, one event kept my interest while sitting near the campfire pit.
I noticed these sticks stuck to the bottom of the bench.


 Looking underneath they were stuck in a hole drilled in the wood.

Constructed by 2 Black Wasps. Apparently the glue that bonds all these sticks is formed from the wet embers in the fire pit as the wasps would bring a stick and go to the pit and return and pack whatever it picked up into the hole and go get another stick and put it in the hole. This process lasted the whole day. At dusk it stopped. The next day there was no activity. The following morning I went to the bench and all was gone. 
Not a trace in the hole, not a stick on the ground. After all that work. 
I guess the female Black Wasp didn't like it.

For us, it was time to pack up, go home and plan for the next adventure.