So where should I start with the campground review or the weekend of firsts…
THE WHERE: Santos State Park Florida, 3080 SE 80th Street, Ocala, floridastateparks.org
WHEN: June 7-9, 2019
THE WHO: Nick, Jodie, Mike and I and Eris the lowrider camping hound.
THE LOWDOWN: We went up there because Nick was doing camp with Royal Family Kids (a camp program for children in the foster system). Mike and I and the two dogs drove up on Friday morning, checked into the camp, chilled out for a little bit and then went to the welcome home dinner at the church. After that we went to Infinity Ale Works, a local brewery in Ocala. Had some yummy beverages and headed back to camp, set up Nick and hit the sack.
We woke up to rain. After we had a yummy breakfast cooked on our blackstone grill we headed to General RV to go to the campstore since it was still raining. It stopped raining and we headed back to the campground. Nick was still recovering so he went in and took a nap and Mike and I hung out under the awning. It was a nice relaxing weekend.
Let’s talk about this park and why anyone should visit. Shall I say mountain bike trails, oh they are just not any mountain bike trails they are very epic, cyclists come from all over the state as well as the country. These trails are well maintained by OMBA and well marked. They range from beginner to expert with everything in between. They were the reason we camped here the first time a few years back.
There are also equestrian and wagon trails.
There is a paved cycling, jogging, walking trail as well.
But by far my favorite part are the hiking trails. The Florida National Scenic Trail (FNST) runs straight through the campground. The FNST is one of only 11 national scenic trails, which like the AT, PCT and CDT are congressionally designated trails, which is 1300 miles long traveling throughout Florida’s diverse ecological communities.
The reason to come here is for everything but water outside, there is over 30 miles of mountain bike trails, from beginners to experts, so bring your bikes and/or lace up your hiking boots and enjoy the real Florida.
The campground is nice and has only 24 sites with the a lot of open space that during the Fat Tire Festival. We suggest sites 16 or 18. They are deep and private. The rangers/hosts are super friendly. The only complaint I have is the bathroom, it is hot, with no windows and no ac. Ever try to put on spandex when it’s hot? Not pretty….
Speaking of hot, let’s discuss the weather, more particularly the weather in Florida in June. Don’t come, in one word, it’s miserable. However, this is where we live so we are used to it sort of. Last year when we were here it was sweltering but dry, which meant the heat and bugs were on. I used bug gonk that burned my skin. So this year we came prepared for the heat and a lot of deet for the bugs. However, it rained so it wasn’t as hot, and with the awning it was perfect, and it was hard to believe no bugs. We lit a citronella candle and it was great. After checking the weather forecast we decided not to bring our bikes, which was a good option. It rained most of Sunday. Stopped long enough to pack up.
Even with the weather it was still a great weekend. Any weekend camping is better than any day at work, I say.
On to the FIRSTS for the weekend. Let’s start with the truck. I wrote in a previous blog our buying experience of our new tow vehicle from Carvana. I highly recommend Carvana, anyway this was the first time we used the new truck to tow the camper besides the trip did the loop.
Which brings us to the next first, going with the camper to a campground with hookups, that wasn’t our backyard.
Which brings us to the final first, the dump station. It wasn’t as bad as I thought, however it’s easy for me to say, I was just flushing the toilet.
So that’s all until next time. See ya on our next adventure.