• Manatee Hammock CG

    We almost missed Manatee Hammock. Not “missed” as in drove by but “missed” as in our miserable head colds pretty much prevented us from doing anything other than staying in and bitchin’.

    Pool and Rec Hall area!

    Pool and Rec Hall area!

    Manatee Hammock is a Brevard County day-use park and CG just south of Titusville, Fla. It’s big, 152 FHU sites, 36 w/e sites, showerhouses, laundry, pool yada yada and FAST WIFI! It spreads from US 1 to the fishing pier on the Indian River. That big white building you see on the other side of the river, about 10 miles away, is the Vehicle Assembly Building at KSC. This is the perfect spot to watch rocket launches if you can’t get on KSC property.

    Indian River

    Indian River

    The county bus line stops at the park; you can catch a bus to the Winn Dixie a couple of miles away, to the movieplex in Titusville, and actually across the 70-mile length of Brevard County and from West Melbourne to KSC.

    On the side of the CG by the highway you’ll hear whatever comes by, which sounds like mostly bikers. And the trains. Fortunately we like trains; the horns and thunder don’t bother us a whole lot. But FEC runs alongside US 1. So the closer to the river you can get the quieter.

    Picnic Shelter

    Picnic Shelter

    Now, for the other noise. There’s a helicopter training school over at TiCo airport, formerly Shiloh AAF, and those little mosquitos fly over a lot. Fortunately they shut down at dark.

    This isn’t advertised as a big-rig park but it is. You big guys will have to unhook your toads up at the entrance, but throughout the park you shouldn’t have any problem getting settled in a site. I didn’t see any roof-scrapers. Water, electric and sewer work. Unfortunately your satellite TV might not work; try to get just north of a building or along the south side of the park.

    Pier at Indian River!

    Pier at Indian River!

    Of particular note is that this is a PP CG; half-price from April 15 to December 15. What a screaming deal!

    We also especially noted that the CG has a large percentage of younger campers. We’ve been down in south Florida and we’ve been seeing lots of tag-axle Newells and Newmars and codgers while here at Manatee Hammock the predominant camper is a fiver and a lot of people are 35-45, not 65-75.

    Anyway, we could easily return and spend weeks or months here.

    Manatee Hammock Campground
    7275 South U.S. Highway 1
    Titusville, FL 32780

    Phone: 321-264-5083
    Fax: 321-264-6468



  • St. Lucie South COE CG


    St. Lucie South at St. Lucie Lock is a tiny Corps of Engineers campground close but not too close to the Florida Turnpike and I-95 southwest of Stuart, Fla. It’s right on the St. Lucie Canal part of the Okeechobee Waterway.

    The campground features nine paved W/E campsites complete with covered picnic tables and fire rings, eight boat dockage W/E sites and a few tent campsites. Everything’s in great condition and the bathhouse is immaculate.

      Come in by land or water.

    Come in by land or water.


    Here’s the bathhouse.

    There’s not a whole lot to do within the campground other than walk and fish and watch the water slosh. For more intrepid walkers and bicyclists there’s the surrounding community to explore.

    The Lock

    Directions to St. Lucie Lock Recreation Area

    Campground Office is at N27º 06′ 37.21″ W80º 17′ 06.16″. The physical address is 2170 SW Canal Street/Campground, Stuart, FL 34997

    Phone: 772-287-1382

    From I-95, take Exit 101 (Stuart/Indiantown), following SR 76 W for 0.5 miles to Locks Road. Turn N on Locks Road to Canal Street intersection and make a left into the campground.


  • South Bay to St. Lucie South COE

    We were sitting there at South Bay CG trying to figure out where to go next when we scored a four-day stay at St. Lucie South COE CG and then, wonder of wonders, another four-day reservation at Long Point Park at Sebastian Inlet. This is in late January while everyone’s Polar Vortexing and snow and sleet are falling in the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend. So we’re heading east.

    We headed out on US 27 and SR 80 through the cane fields and soon came to Belle Glade. This isn’t a particularly high-income area of the state and it’s packed with migrant field workers; se habla Espanol. That said, Belle Glade contains the largest and most well-stocked Winn Dixie supermarket that I’ve ever been in.

    Continuing northward on US 441 along the lake with miles and miles of cane fields to the east we eventually came to Pahokee; I mentioned that while you might think Pahokee has had better days the fact is that Pahokee has never had better days. It’s a rugged sad-looking place but I suppose the people who live and work there consider it to be far better than where they came from.

    We continued alongside the lake and more cane fields until heading eastward on SR 76 at Port Mayaca, paralleling the St. Lucie Canal. Quickly the complexion of the land changed; the muck farms around the lake gave way to pine and oak uplands, sod farms and ranches.

    Suddenly we encountered a convenience store, a huge self-storage facility, a few houses and a mile or two later we were at the turnoff for St. Lucie Lock; the Florida Turnpick was only one-third mile away, I-95 was only two-thirds mile away and civilization was upon us.

    Although these are two-lane roads past Belle Glade there was no real traffic to speak of. Since there’s not much in the way of shoulders and it would be mighty dark I probably wouldn’t want to do it after dark but the roads are fine in the daytime. Note that January, February and March are times of very dense morning fog in central and south Florida; bazillion-car pileups on the interstates are legendary.