This month’s CurbCrusher trip is a repeat. In September of 2007 we stopped here for a couple of days on our way to Chattanooga and visited family in the area. We thought the park had potential, so we’ve been waiting to go spend a long weekend at the Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park. We did not want to visit during the summer as there is no swimming in the park, so we figured a March visit would provide the right kind of weather.
We made a long weekend out of it, headed up on Thursday afternoon, and coming home on Sunday. It is about a three hour drive in the motorhome from Orlando to White Springs, which is located just north of the intersection of I-10 and I-75. We spent Friday wandering around to some other parks in the area. Big Shoals State Park is only about five to eight miles away and has a number of hiking trails. There are two shoals, Big and Little. The Big Shoals are the only class III rapids in Florida when the Suwannee river is at the right height. To get to Big Shoals from the parking lot is about two miles, and the trail to get to Little Shoals from the end of Road 6 is probably three-quarters to a mile in length. It was easy hiking and an pleasant walk in the woods. Our pictures from Big Shoals are here.
After wandering through Big Shoals, we visited the Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park. This is the site of the biggest Civil War Battle to take place in Florida. There is a small (and I mean small) museum, and you can walk around the battlefield. The big event here is a re-enactment that takes place in February each year.
Campsites — There are 45 campsites at this park all with water and electricity (30 amp). Probably a good third of these campsites are pull-thrus, and they are big pull-thru sites. Plenty of room to hook up the car. The rest of the sites are good sized. The two times the we’ve been here the campgrounds have been very clean. There are two bathhouses that appear fairly new, and they also are kept clean and tidy.
Stuff to Do — As noted above there is a bunch to do in the area. The park itself can also keep you busy. There is the Stephen Foster museum and carillon, along with a craft area. The carillon chimes on the quarter hour from 8AM until 6PM, and plays a concert of Stephen Foster songs three times a day also. The craft area houses people doing a variety of crafts, the variety dependent on who is occupying the houses at the time. While we were there, a wood carver, blacksmith, quilter and “aroma therapist” were in residence. The last time we were here, there was no one present in the craft houses. From what the ranger told us, they are usually occupied all winter. There are also some great trails that you can walk or bike that meander along the Suwannee.
Overall — It was a great weekend, of course any weekend spent in the RV and not doing yard work is great. This is a nice relaxing park, lots of campers seem to be walking or biking around the park continuously. There is no TV here, we got one PBS channel with the digital converter active, and three weak channels using the analog signals, so after June you’ll only get PBS at this park. I really like the part of Florida this park is located in and enjoy visiting.
You can find our pictures here.