Sunday, January 21, 2018

Grayton Beach State Park - Florida (October 2017)

We had heard rumors for several years that the original loop of the Grayton Beach State Park was going to be updated. This was the more rustic loop in the campground and featured some sites right on the water. Some campers speculated that the loop would be cleared of trees and scrubs so that sewers and 50 amp electrical service could be easily added to those campsites.

Grayton Beach State Park

We saw the construction sign when we turned into the park. We focused on the words “sewer project” and wondered if the original loop was about to become a parking lot in appearance.

Construction work at Grayton Beach State Park

The ranger who checked us in had good news and bad news about the construction. The good news was that the contractors were not supposed to remove any trees while adding sewer connections and 50 amp electrical service to the campsites in the original loop. The bad news was that the park was going to stop taking reservations for the that loop after Labor Day 2018 and the loop would be closed for a year. 

Not all of the campsites in the original loop are going to be upgraded. Several campsites in this loop will be passed over because trees are in the way of the upgrades and that is OK with us to protect the look of this campground. 

When we made our reservations, our first choice was to be in the original loop. We were fortunate to camp in one of the sites along the lake last time and hoped to stay in the same site this year. It ended up being that all the sites in that loop large enough to hold Rosie, our 25 foot Airstream trailer, were booked. There were a couple of sites available in the newer loop and that meant our visit this year would be different than in previous ones.

Rosie in the Newer Camping Loop
Our site

There are some advantages to camping in the newer loop that we overlooked in the past. First, the newer loop has full connections including sewer. Second, the road around the newer loop is paved. That made a huge reduction in the amount of dust collected in Suzy’s coat. (Suzy is our Yorkie.)

Grayton Beach State Park is just outside the Watercolor community. There are some great trails and bike paths in this area, so this is a park you bring your bikes to.

One the bike path to Watercolor

Steve and Suzy in a park near Grayton Beach State Park

A boathouse in Seaside

Becky and Suzy on the foot bridge

There was an Environmental Day in the park while we were camping there. Several organizations had displays in the park. The one that caught our attention was a nature talk about the intercoastal waterway. The speaker mostly talked about the alligators living in and near the park. We always saw the “alligator” signs around the park, but never an alligator. We left that talk convinced that gators were in the park and that we may see one while on one of our visits.

The alligator sign

Here are some specifics about this park:
  • There are two loops in this park. This was our first time camping in the newer loop. 
  • Our site was gravel and level. 
  • Our site had 20, 30 and 50 amp electrical service. 
  • Our site had water and sewer connections. 
  • AT&T placed a strong 4G voice and data signal over our site. 
  • TV has been a hit-or-miss deal in this park. This visit has to be classified as a miss because we could only receive the ABC affiliate this time. 
  • The bathhouse in the  newer loop is, as you guessed, newer and up-to-date. We will see if the bathhouse in the older loop is renovated during the construction project next year. 
  • This is a pet-friendly Park. 
It will be harder than normal to get reservations in Grayton Beach State Park for the next year or two. The good news is that the park will have more great sites in both loops when the renovation is completed. 

The beach

The beach

The "famous" trees at Grayton Beach State Park

View from on the the trails inside Grayton Beach State Park

The Gulf near sunset time

Close to shore

Sunset over Rosie

A fly-by

Cool day at the beach

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