Monday, May 20, 2013

Blackwater River State Park - Florida

I saw a video about the Blackwater River State Park about a year ago and it convinced me that we needed to camp there in Rosie, our 25 foot Airstream trailer.
This is another campground that you have to trust your GPS to get you there. AT&T's cellphone service was spotty along the way, making the maps on our iPhones less valuable than the road signs.
The road to Blackwater River State Park
As you arrive, you see the sign proclaiming that this is an award winning park. In fact, it has two national awards in its back pocket!
Two awards!
It was obvious that this park was operating with a reduced staff probably due to lingering economic issues. The first clue was on our arrival. The Welcome Hut at the entrance of the park was closed. There was a sign that told registered campers to setup on their sites then come back between 5:30 and 6:30 in the evening to register.
Rosie at Blackwater River State Park
That wasn't to say that the staffer wasn't at the park. He was busy cleaning up the sites vacated by the guests.
In fact, let's talk about the two national awards this park has won. I'm not sure who awarded these and what they are for, but it was easy to see that the staffer (Daniel) and the campground hosts took great pride in this park and worked to keep it clean.
You should know that Blackwater River State Park is a small park. There are only 30 campsites and one bathhouse. It is located between the two loops. The bathhouse appeared to be recently renovated and was kept clean by the volunteers. (With only one bathhouse in the camping area, you had to feel sorry for the tent campers during the 45-60 minute cleanings.)
Riding the current on the river
So, what is the big draw to this park? It has to be the river with its white sandy bottom and its slow current through the park.
We noticed soon after our arrival that most of the campsites featured canoes, kayaks or tubes for riding on the river. Those campers would leave in the morning to spend the day floating down the river. Not having a canoe, kayak or a tube, we were missing out on the primary feature of the park.
I mentioned earlier that this is a small park. We found that we were not motivated to ride our bicycles because it takes only a few minutes to go around the two loops. While this is a nice park, it is small.
Path through the wetlands
If you forgot your canoe, what is there to do here? There are areas of wetlands and these are interesting to observe.
Warning sign about gators
While we didn't see any alligators, we couldn't miss the warning sign. Having grown up in Florida, we listened for the sounds of gators and didn't hear any.
Part of the wetlands
A conoe on the river
The lesson we learned was to bring something to float on the river when camping at this park. We quickly ran out of options at this campground and decided to move on to a new adventure. And that is one of the good things about Rosie, we can be ready to move on in about an hour.
Here are some specifics about this park:
  • All 30 sites have full hook-ups, including sewage connections.
  • Electrical service includes 50 and 30 amp service.
  • This is a "pet friendly" park.
  • There is only one bath house in the camping area. It appears to have been recently renovated. It was well maintained and clean.
  • AT&T's 4G and 3G service was in and out. While it was in more than it was out, you could check email and look at a few Web sites as long as you are patient and don't mind waiting for the right moment.
  • There is no wi-fi in the park. In fact, I don't think you can find a public wi-fi spot within 10 miles of the park.
  • We were able to watch several TV stations from the Pensacola market. (ABC, NBC, ME-TV, CW and THIS were strong enough to watch.)
  • It is a long way to a store. Make sure you pack plenty of food and supplies before camping here.
  • Don't forget to bring a canoe or kayak to this park.
  • The site we camped in was level. I imagine that the other sites are also level.
  • The park features curb-side pick-up of trash. You need to have your trash out by 8:30 every morning. The squirrels check out your trash bag by 9 a.m. Pick-up is around 11:30 a.m.
While we were ready to move on after a couple of days, it is easy to see why campers who love water sports love this little park.

No comments:

Post a Comment