• Manatee Springs State Park, FL

    If you are ever in Florida, you’ve got to check out Manatee Springs. If you enjoy seeing wildlife, this is it! I took photos of deer, squirrels, otters, raccoons, birds and a natural spring that is so crystal clear, it’s amazing!

    The campsites are in wooded area’s and you have a grill and fire pit for use. There’s a camphost next to the bath house which is well kept. It is pitch black at night, so a campfire is great and will attract curious wildlife no doubt. With no city lights in the horizon, the stars are very bright at night. All you will hear is the sounds of nature.

    Steaks on the grill

    That was a warm campfire

    I saw an otter and I followed him a long all along the spring taking snapshot after snapshot! It was if he was showing off because he knew his picture was being taken. He frolicked in the water and kept looking up to see if I was looking at him. He didn’t mind me being there at all, and I’m sure he was very used to folks walking the trail next to the spring snapping pictures and it seemed as if he was enjoying this almost as much as I was.

    All the wildlife seemed to ignore us humans which made picture taking so much fun! As we walked the trails, there was countless wildlife all around us and you will be truly captivated by this harmony that surrounds you.

    Otter peaking out

    Raccoon at our campsite

    We also saw a lot of deer! Our first night we had six deer walking across our campsite even before we had parked our RV and, one night, we were invaded by a whole troop of raccoons! This was just after we had grilled those steaks! This trip was a photographers dream come true. Amateur or professional, you are sure to have a great time capturing moments of wildlife at Manatee Springs State Park.

    Deer by the campsite

    squirrel by campsite

    Even the squirrels seem to show up at a moments notice and would hang around posing for a photo! One squirrel seemed to be playing hide and seek, who knows! You will certainly get your fill of squirrels all around you.

    There was so much to see here, great trails to walk, everything was simply beautiful. Here’s information if you ever want to camp at Manatee Springs State Park. The park is located at the end of S.R. 320, off U.S. 98, six miles west of Chiefland. If you get a chance to camp there, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did, we will definitely be returning next year.

    Manatee Springs State Park
    11650 N.W. 115th St.
    Chiefland, Florida 32626
    (352) 493-6072

    Reservations are made at ReserveAmerica.com

  • Kolomoki State Park, Ga.

    This was our second stay at this park and for a very good reason, it’s stunning to say the least. Beautiful nature setting. You choose your spot and for a great view of the lake, camp next to the lake. A very nice bath house with washer and dryer for you convenience. Here’s a pic of a little creek next to the big lake.

    This unusual park is an important archaeological site as well as a scenic recreational area. Seven earthen mounds within the park were built between 250?950 A.D. by the Swift Creek and Weeden Island Indians. The mounds include Georgias oldest great temple mound, two burial mounds and four ceremonial mounds. The parks museum is partially situated inside an excavated mound, providing an unusual setting for viewing artifacts and a film. Outdoor activities include camping, fishing, hiking, picnicking and boating. Listen to the birds and take a nature walk, this is a great place to stay anytime of the year. We’ve been there in the month of May and December, its great anytime of the year!

    Kolomoki Mounds State Park
    205 Indian Mounds Rd
    Blakely, Georgia 39823
    Phone: 229-724-2150
    Reservations: 800-864-7275

  • John Tanner State Park, Ga.

    This is a great little park that is run by the County now, but is everything you would expect from a clean campground! Large campsites that you can back into or pull through. You get to choose. They have a beautiful beach and a large lake for canoeing. Lots of covered picnic shelters and even a playground for the kids. Not that we take any along! We were there on Nov. 29, 2010 and the fall colors on some tree’s. There bath house is great as well.
    John Tanner State Park covered picnic area and lake
    I highly recommend this park because it’s a great stay-over for a night or a whole weekend. There is no wi-fi, not even through our VirginMobile. Then again, there’s never any connection at any State Park so none was expected.

    John Tanner State Park
    354 Tanner’s Beach Road
    Carrollton, Georgia 30117
    Phone: 770-830-2222
    Reservations: 800-864-7275