Forgive the blurriness. I shot these from the car as we were pulling out a couple of weeks ago.
I grew up in Florida and my grandfather was president of the local Rod & Gun Club. I'm not a hunter but spent plenty of time camping. This is the first time I've ever seen a wild turkey in full display. The picture on the left includes the three hens the gobbler was escorting.
Stephen Foster (not to be confused with the Florida park with the same name) is a nice park. It's in a particularly dark spot
in the country. We picked a shady spot but later regretted it. While we knew the road into the park shut down at 10 PM, we didn't know you're essentially confined to your campsite, too.
One of the loops is more open with pine trees, which we took to mean it would be hotter in the day time. What I didn't realize is that, at night, you also have a full view of the sky. You can't get that in the shady loop.
Part of being an NWR is that they enforce quite hours pretty strictly. The fact you can't wander, and are essentially locked in, discourages the party crowd. You don't have to shut down completely but it leads to a more peaceful evening.
The mosquitoes were plentiful. it's a swamp, after all. A campground host told me they had very few up until a couple of weeks ago. When it hit 80, they all hatched. We were a month late.
They have a nice playground for little kids. While there's not enough to do to keep older ones occupied, it's definitely worth a travel stop for a couple of nights.