Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Grayton Beach State Park - Fall 2016

Some parks are "special" and they deserve being added to our list of favorites that we want to visit every year. Grayton Beach State Park qualifies as one of our A-List parks and we try to camp there in Rosie's, our 25 foot Airstream trailer, at least once every year.

Grayton Beach State Park

It is interesting to us because not everyone shares this love for Grayton Beach State Park. We frequently share our favorite campgrounds with fellow campers during the year and have discovered that most people have heard of Grayton Beach and they either love or hate it.

Hate it? We think it is beautiful. The loop we try to camp in is very rustic and a cloud of dust seems to follow every car as it passes by, but it reminds us both of the Florida we grew up in before the condo builders discovered the beach.

Rosie in the Bay camping loop

Looking out over the water

The beach in the distance

Looking at the Western Lake

The trees before The Trees

There are two camping loops at this park. The first has a paved road around it, several concrete pads for your rigs and water, electric and sewer connections. The second has a dirt road, dirt camping pads and water and electric service. The draw for this loop is that it is closer to the Bay and some sites have nice water views.

The famous trees outside Grayton Beach State Park

Suzy and Steve behind Rosie

The Western Lake

Becky works on her watercolor paintings inside Rosie

We haven't seen an alligator yet, only this sign

Dust was an issue this time. We were in the park after a long spell without rain and the roads and sites were dusty. Make that very dusty. We quickly discovered that we needed to hold Suzy, our Yorkie dog, as we walked along the dirt roads of the campground until we reached one of the paved roads.
Otherwise, she started looking like a coal miner.

Since the Bay loop does not have sewer connections, you need to bring your sewage tote. There is a dump station in the Bay loop, but it is in an awkward location. You can easily block the Bay loop road while using it and if you dump while leaving the park, you will end up having to take an encore lap around the loop. I don't qualify as an expert on locating dump stations, but I think that location was picked by a rookie in the park-design business.

Hiking trail at the park


A storm on the way

We probably need to make an apology at this point to the parks we recently visited and complained about their water pressure. Yes, I was once again starting to document the low water pressure at this park when I started thinking about the odds of every park we stayed at having pressure issues. So, I started a "science project" where I disconnected various gadgets (Y-connector, pressure regulator, water filter, etc.) from the connection. It appears that the Y-connector also included a pressure regulator that bumped the pressure down to around 22 pounds at this park. Once that was removed from the setup, we had a healthy 40 pounds of pressure.

Temperatures dipped into the "uncomfortable" range during the nights. Our trusty electric heater kept us warm and we didn't have to fire up Rosie's furnace.

Here are some specifics about this park:
  • There are two camping loops in the park. The camping fees are different between the loops because of the differences in connections and paved roads.
  • Our site had 20 and 30 amp electrical service. I am not sure if any other sites provided 50 amp service.
  • Our site had water and electrical connections, but no sewer connection.
  • Our site was gravel and dirt and reasonably level. (Several sites in the other loop had concrete pads.)
  • AT&T placed a strong 4G signal over our site for both voice and data.
  • We were able to watch ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS and CW TV stations using Rosie's antenna. We also saw ME-TV, Grit, MY and Bounce digital stations.
  • We started noticing that the bathhouses in the Bay loop need some attention. They are outdated and we noticed some mold issues. The bathhouse in the paved loop is updated and in good condition.
  • This was a pet-friendly park.
This is a park that you want to bring your bikes to because there are some great paths to explore. They were building a new bike path across the bay, but it seemed to be on the wrong side of the road. We will see how that turned out on our next visit to Grayton Beach State Park.

Becky and Suzy

The beach

Rosie loaded up and ready to pull out in the morning