The CurbCrusher clan’s October camping outing was trip south to the Little Manatee River State Park. This park is located just south of Tampa on I-75 near Sun City. Judging from the number of golf carts on the road as we drove from I-75 over to US-301 to go to the park, Sun City is a earlier version of The Villages located up in Lake county.
The park is a quiet park. We arrived after three pm on Friday and checked in with no problem. One of our fellow FPUC group members arrived on Thursday around noon. The ranger’s office was empty with a sign that someone would be in around three pm. He went to his site and found someone on it, so talked to the campground host to no avail. He finally went back to the front and relaxed in his 5th wheel until the ranger showed up around three. He was told that there is no ranger during the week until three pm, and they are there from eight to eight on the weekends.
It is a couple of miles from the ranger station to the campground. The road is paved at both ends, but it is dirt in the middle. After you pass both the day use areas, the road turns into a dirt road. Then as you get to the campground, the road is paved again, as is the loop around the campsites. However, the campsites are not paved, but are easy enough to back into and wide enough for slides and awnings. There is water and electricity at the site, and a dump station on the way out of the campground. There is also a horse camping area located adjacent to the dump station.
I enjoyed the weekend. I read an entire book and did little or nothing other than visiting with our fellow FPUC members. Lady CurbCrusher did not like the park, and complained that there was nothing to do. This is true, there are not really any good hiking trails, and even though there is a river there are no canoe or kayak concessions in the park to take advantage of the river. There is a canoe outfitter located about three miles outside the park that rents canoes for a run into the park, and runs a bus that will pick you up in the park and take you back to the canoe place. So this is a great park to go to with people you know and want to visit with. I personally think the park rates a four out of five as a place to relax. Lady and Little CurbCrusher give the park a two out of five as there was no real playground in the camping loop and there wasn’t a lot else to do.
All in all, as the first trip since Labor Day, we were happy to be out camping again and our pictures are here.