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Old 04-21-2013, 08:59 PM   #41
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Florida State Parks we visit...



First, let me say that when it comes to Florida's State Parks, my wife and I are so fortunate to have the best of both worlds...we own both a TT and a cruising sailboat...so we get to see them ALL!! Okay... here is where we like to go...we used to berth out vessel on the Anclote River in Tarpon Springs, so we are very familiar with Anclote Key, although we remember it before it was turned into a State Preserve...good for folks, but kind of a drag for those of us who cruise with our pooches and now are forbidden from bringing them onto the key...still, we understand the ecologists reasoning...we have so many fond memories of anchoring off Dutchman Key and taking the dinghy in the back way to Anclote and its gulfside beach...fishing the grass flats for trout, diving for scallops and trapping stone crabs...ahhhhh...then there's cruising south to Egmont Key at the mouth of Tampa Bay...a wonderful beach and an island full of history...we now keep our boat berthed at Gulfport Municipal Marina, a stone's throw away from Fort DeSoto SP and a great jumping off place for a visit to Egmont...the GP Marina is the base for several tourist day tripping boats that will gladly transport you across Boca Ciega Bay and out North Channel into the gulf for a short hours journey to the key, where they'll let you off to swim, snorkle, picnic, and explore-- PLUS, as a bonus, since these boats are converted fishing vessels and are heavy displacement hulls, their large wakes are guaranteed to attract playful dolphins that LOVE to swim and jump in and out of them!...a great time for the entire family (by the way, Gulfport is a funky little town with lots of interesting shops and great restaurants and bayside bars--walk around and spend some money...further south, Cayo Costa SP at the mouth of Boca Grande pass--again, accessible only by boat (local tour operators will ferry you out)...a fantastic beach, miles of trails...the real west coast of Florida before it was raped by developers (sigh)... via TT we have enjoyed Favor Dykes SP...a hidden gem and a quiet retreat bordering the intra coastal waterway...Anastasia SP, just up the road--more popular since it offers access to the Atlantic and the historic tourist trap that is St. Augustine...we have explored Silver River SP--a first rate camp site and kayakers dream...Paynes Prairie Reserve -- wow! BISON and WILD HORSES and GATORS!-- and close to the interesting little town of Micanopy, home of Micanopy Gold Hot Sauce--worth the trip just to purchase some of this stuff...John Pennecamp SP--not much shade and the sites are cramped, but if you like to scuba, as we do, the reefs have something to offer for everyone, even though they are being loved to death and are suffering from bleaching due to climate change (sigh)...Long Key SP, reopened after being closed for renovations last season--a wonderful beachside camping experience, although, since the highway is so close by there is constant road noise in the background...still, a beautiful park...Bahia Honda, if you can get a reservation, is much the same...later this week, we'll be heading up to Manatee Springs SP--our first visit, so the excitement is building!! Hope to see some of you out there...Our vessel is a 37' Endeavour named "Obsession"--our TT a Surveyor Sport 240 named "Sea Bean" with our info always hangin from a sign post at the entrance to our campsite...if you see us, wave or come on in and have a cold one and share some stories of the road (or the sea!)
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:13 AM   #42
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We will keep a look out for you!

Our very first camping trip ever as our (blended) family was to Anclote Key. The kids were little, aged 3 to 6. We loaded all our gear and kids onto our two kayaks and kayked out there. We camped for two nights, and it was a blast. The kids had no qualms about primitive camping, and we loved having the place to ourselves.

Since then, we've kayaked out to Anclote Key several times just for a day trip.

We've also kayaked to Egmont Key, but will not do that again. The boat channel is just way to rough to be safe. It is a beautiful island, though, and the gulf side is like a Caribbean paradise. So, next time we go will be on the ferry or a friend's boat.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:27 AM   #43
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Darlene - Love the pics! Hillsborough River SP is on our list for next year. We're looking forward to Memorial weekend when we'll be at Silver River SP. We haven't been out in April due to the yard sale with our kids. I've never been to Disney (go figure), so the sale just paid for our tickets. Now to find the time to experience that...
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:30 PM   #44
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Darlene - Love the pics! Hillsborough River SP is on our list for next year. We're looking forward to Memorial weekend when we'll be at Silver River SP. We haven't been out in April due to the yard sale with our kids. I've never been to Disney (go figure), so the sale just paid for our tickets. Now to find the time to experience that...
We are thinking of doing a Fall trip to Fort Wilderness...Disney. We should get a group together for a weekend trip.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:01 PM   #45
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Hi, Darlene!...we'll keep a look out for you guys as well...can't imagine kayaking across the ship channel into Tampa Bay....YIKES!!!...strong currents and those freighters are huge and move FAST!!...not to mention the bull sharks that cruise up and down the shipping channel...uummm...you were aware of those sharks, right?....; 0
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:45 AM   #46
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Posted lots of pictures from Florida Caverns State Park to my album here: Forest River Forums - dkb74's Album: 2013 Camping in our 2014 Rockwood Mini-Lite 2306

What a great place! VERY shaded, huge trees (our satellite wouldn't work). Plenty of space on sites, and well spaced out so we were comfortably distant from our neighbors. Only down side was lots of poison ivy, although we were able to avoid it. And stinging nettle, which we found out the hard way (my daughter fell into it).

I loved the cave and hiking, hubby loved the swimming hole.
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:14 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by dkb74 View Post
Posted lots of pictures from Florida Caverns State Park to my album here: Forest River Forums - dkb74's Album: 2013 Camping in our 2014 Rockwood Mini-Lite 2306

What a great place! VERY shaded, huge trees (our satellite wouldn't work). Plenty of space on sites, and well spaced out so we were comfortably distant from our neighbors. Only down side was lots of poison ivy, although we were able to avoid it. And stinging nettle, which we found out the hard way (my daughter fell into it).

I loved the cave and hiking, hubby loved the swimming hole.
Thanks for the update!
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:20 AM   #48
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We took a quick roadtrip to O'Leno SP & Ichetunckee SP just south of Lake City, FL.

O'Leno has camping, great park & small...has two campgrounds, larger sites of the two is called Magnolia...all have plenty of shade & privacy.

Iche was an awesome swimming destination, we dipped in the north entrance spring & next to it was the Blue Hole spring...great water temp & color at 72 degrees!
Didn't get to do the tubing but MANY others were lined up at the south entrance to set off down the river.

Overall, two great parks that we will come back to with our camper before summer is over for the kids
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:24 AM   #49
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I've been wanting to try Ichetucknee because I've heard great things about it... but hard to make it that far north when Rainbow River (which has tubing and great swimming, as well) is so much closer to us! We'll get there someday, I'm sure.
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:27 AM   #50
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North Entrance of Iche swimming spring

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Suspension bridge at O'Leno over the Sante Fe River
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