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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Wekiwa Springs State Park

Welcome to Wekiwa Springs State Park! This park is located north of Orlando, Florida. We saw numerous animals which is surprising with the park located by housing subdivisions.

This is view looking from the spring back towards the parking lot and bathhouse. There is an awesome grass hill to get a suntan and to watch the people in the springs. Also, at the top of the hill are picnic areas with grills and a playground.

This is another view of the spring from a bridge that crosses the output of the spring. This was in the evening after most people have left the park.

This is a close-up of the actual spring. This spring has 42 million gallons a day flow out of this opening! Wow!!!

The springs flow into a river. The park has canoe and kayak rentals available to explore the river.

Here is a couple of typical campsites in the park. The park has 2 camping loops, all sites have water and electric hook-ups.

Another campsite. Some of the sites do not have shade. Additionally, the campsite is close to a main road and if you are tent camping you may hear the cars. There is a nice dump station located on the way out of the park.

Each camping loop has a bathhouse located in the center of the loop. The bathhouses were in good condition and kept clean.

There are numerous hiking trails located through out the park.

The family enjoyed the hike. The night before the kids were hiking this trail and came upon 6-8 deer on this trail. We saw some the next night, see the pictures farther down.

My beautiful wife enjoying the hike. She never leaves without her cellphone or water!!!

The park has a trail called "wet to dry" it has a section that is a boardwalk that goes through out the woods.

My brave son leading the way!!!! Keep us safe!!!! :)

The whole group on the bridge crossing the spring... The baby loves hiking...

The wife and I.....

The road from the spring to the campground.... The spring is about a mile from the campground. You can drive, bike, or walk to the spring. However, if you drive, make sure you get there before 10:30 on the weekends to get a parking spot. If you bike, be prepared for a good hill climb on the way back...

The group is ready to get back to the camper and SMORES!!!

The park warns campers that bears are very active in the park!!! Maybe, you will be lucky and see one......

WE WERE!!!! While biking around the campground, a car stop and told us about a bear on the other loop in a tree... Cool... It was 1-2 years old..

Another view of the bear, I was told that it was running down the campground road when people saw it and it climbed the tree!!! It started eating berries that were up high in the tree...

Check out the claws!!!! I would not want to tangle with a bear....

Watch carefully as you are hiking and you should be able to see a gopher tortoise... They burrow deep into the ground...

There are some colorful spiders..... and they are BIG!!!!

Deer!!! Did someone say deer....

There were 4 bucks that walked across the road while we were biking to feed..

Check out the antlers on these bucks...

How many deer can you see??

These deer did not care if I even walked closer to them..... I guess they knew they were safe in the park....

Wife did not want to walk through the brush....

Neat flower.....

Pretty cardinal in a tree by our campsite...

Look close and you will see an armadillo in the undergrowth...

The family enjoying the 72 degree water from the spring....

Deciding who was going to dive down into the spring.... It is about 20' feet down and the flow is so fast it pushes you quickly down stream...

There is nice places you setup a blanket around the spring to enjoy your day... There are 2 ladders to get in and out of the spring...

Dinosaur Poo?? or just a big old log??? Your guess is as good as mine....

Wife said "water is toooooo cold for me......"

Grandbaby said it feels good to me and Daddy.....

I want to look at the fish and spring tooo!!!!!

Group watching others dive into the spring....

Hope you enjoyed my pictures and review of the campground...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Hillsborough River State Park Part 2

This is part 2 of our Hillsborough River State Park visit. This post will only be about the campground area and will show some of the nicer sites. At least in my opinion...... My wife is worried by sharing these sites, we won't be able to get any..... I think the more we share with everyone the better it is for everyone....... Please let me know what you think in my shout box at the end.

If you missed part 1 click on the link on the right side of this page.

Enjoy the tour......

This sign is at the main entrance of the park on US-301. Hillsborough River SP is located just north of Tampa, Florida.

This is the canoe launch for the campers to use. It has a small road/path leading to the launch site. However, you will need to park your vehicle back at your site due to the limited space at the launch location.

There is a community fire pit located right on the river. During our stay the ranger put on a presentation for the children. Please check with the office when checking in to see if there are any talks scheduled.. It is a great way to learn about nature...

This is a nice place to enjoy the river or fish. If you look at the right side, just beyond the concrete wall. This is the location of the campground canoe launch.

Here is one of the 3 bathhouses located in the campground.

Bathhouse #2

Bathhouse #3 This one is the newest of the 3 and has washing machines for your laundry. The bathhouses were kept clean and good shape.

There are parking spaces located by the bathhouses for extra car parking. You are limited to 2 cars per site. However, the park allows additional vehicles, but they have to be parked at these locations. Hint: If you are having friends visit during the day and you don't have more than the 8 maximum people, tell your friends to tell the ranger station that they are staying the night with you at the campsite. This will save them from the paying admission charge.

The park offers a free tram ride around the whole park on Friday evenings. They drive through the campground and all you have to do is wave them down as they pass your site. It is a nice way to see the park and it's FREE!!!!

Here is our camper on site #43. It is a really nice and secluded with lots of trees.

Another view of our spot.

I found this sign on a dead tree in the park. It helps you understand why they don't want you to gather wood from inside the park.

There is a recreation hall in the campground. It is located by the river and community campfire ring. It is not very nice, however, if you are tent camping, it would be a good place to get out of the summer thunderstorms....

The following are pictures of campsites located throughout the park.

Site #27

Site #28

Site #28 It had a small bridge along the back of the site. The bridge is a part of a trail that runs along the river.

Site #29

Site #34

Site #35

Site #36

Site #38

Site #39

Site #42

Site #43

Site #50

Site #56

Site #60

Site #64

Site #65

Site #69

Site #71 Some of the sites are paved. These are located close to the bathhouse for people who need paved sites. I love the dirt sites.... It is the kid in me....

Site #73

Site #83

Site #100

Site #101

Site #102

Site #107

I hope that it was not too boring with all of the site pictures... Part 3 will be shots of the river and the trails in the park.

Till then..... Have a Great Time Camping!!!!!!