Ginnie Springs: Don’t Go Without Earplugs

Kalle and I wanted to reinforce the efforts of whoever had the courage to drive over there and tell them to turn it down and we both screamed something refined, in unison like ” YES ASSSHOLLLLLES  ITS TOOO LOUD!!!”

Arriving at the privately owned  campground  at Ginnie Springs is a bit overwhelming. Ginnie Springs Outdoors LLC operates this privately owned nature park, with over 200 acres of pure woodsy Florida located on the Santa Fe River.  It is a very popular north Florida destination for campers, divers, tubers, and folks with all night partying on their mind.  Checking in on a weekend involves lines to the check in area inside a well appointed dive shop, filling out forms and signing away your right to sue the owners for any possible mishap.

Security is high.  Sneaking into Ginnie Springs will probably not be an option unless you are in someone’s trunk.  You can’t even leave Ginnie Springs park without driving past a guard.

The 7 dramatic crystal clear springs located on the property, make the park popular with scuba divers, snorklers and cave divers. All springs feed the Santa Fe River and tubing down the river from one end of the park to the other is popular pastime. Certified Cave divers can explore over 30,000 feet of passageways in the Devil’s Eye and Devil’s Ear cave system.

Fees are a bit steep.  Campers pay a per day per person charge and must also pay a per day per person charge for use of the park.  Our party, 2 adults and one child were charged over 150.00 for a 3 night stay.  In return, you are turned loose in the campground to choose from a huge plethora of campsites, plenty located directly on the river.  It probably doesn’t matter what time you arrive.. there will still be an acceptable campsite at Ginnie  Springs.  While there are a lot of sites on the river there are still more in the woods surrounding.  You will find a suitable site just about on any weekend  There is much property, all wooded all with primitive campsites set up. Continue reading

Broad River Tubing Lake Lure NC

The nights were cool and refreshing compared to our Florida home, but the days were still pretty dern hot. The solution was simple: Lets Tube down the Broad River.  Our search brought us to River Creek Campground.

Broad River FunThe Broad River and its tributaries feed beautiful Lake Lure with over 10 million gallons of water per day. Like many lakes created by damming one end of a river, The water needs to be released on the downstream side. The release is calculated based on the water height in the lake, Releases can be daily in the event of heavy rain or snow melt. In the event of drought, water may be released only every several days. On days when the downstream Broad River is dryer, tubing is impossible. On release days, however, the river boldly flows and water levels increase above the level of the many rocks in its bed creating small rapids and a really good time tubing. Continue reading

Driftwood on the Oregon Coast

Driftwood makes me swoon.  I know its weird maybe, but its me. Plentiful driftwood, like one finds on the beautiful Oregon coast sends me to another dimension.  Beclecto Oregon driftwoodDriftwood, I believe, even inspires  Mother Nature’s artistic spirit. She  takes a raw log, a gnarly root  and  a bundle of branches or  bark,  bathes it  with waves, polishes it with sand, then turns it out on a beach to let it bask in the sun to provide rich contrasts between light and dark. Continue reading

Pinellas County Park Ft Desoto Has Something For Everyone

Planning a vacation in Florida this year? Don’t leave without a visit to Ft Desoto Park at the southern most tip of Pinellas County. Ft Desoto is the flagship of Pinellas County Parks. Its huge, and encompasses many “bests” for outdoor recreation in Florida. The boat ramp, with massive capacity, A campground with a waterfront camping experience that is very hard to leave, one of the best dog beaches in the country, a fishing paradise, with or without a boat, kayak and canoeing that cant be beat, beaches that go for miles, 2 fishing piers, facilities galore for shady picnicking, parties and more, a paved, walking, biking, rollerblading walkway around the entire park, plus a real fort! Pinellas County also works very hard to make every bit of the park accessible for all to enjoy. WOW!
Campsite View Ft Desoto The Campground at Ft Desoto is a camping experience that many long for. The waterfront sites are always in demand and for good reason. If you brought your water toys, kayaks, etc, you can pull them up on shore right at your site, jump on anytime and go out and catch trout for dinner. *best spot for trout? paddle out to the floating bouys to the left of the island, anchor on the edge and cast in to the channel, its a cant miss spot! Sunsets are beautiful and there will be tears on the day you leave! Well built, clean restrooms, showers, laundry are located conveniently near each site. Reservations can be made online 7 months out and there are pictures of EACH site! Visit The official site here

The Beaches at Ft Desoto have once again in 2009 been voted NUMBER ONE in the country!

Ft Desoto Beach As Far as You Can see

Ft Desoto Beach As Far as You Can see

There are massive paved parking areas and you are also allowed to pull off the road at many points for a more private beach experience. Pavilions abound for parties or reunions. Many beach weddings are performed as well, with the facilities to back them up.

The park wide paved trail, is enjoyed by many biking, walking, roller blade users.

Paved Trail at Ft Desoto Park enjoyed by walkers, bikers, and roller blade lovers(photo by Jake LeClaire)

Paved Trail at Ft Desoto Park enjoyed by walkers, bikers, and roller blade lovers(photo by Jake LeClaire)

The trail provides a great way to observe the many water birds that live and feed in the area. Winters are a wonderful birding opportunity because so many species call Ft Desoto their Winter home!

Birdiing at Ft Desoto Park

Birdiing at Ft Desoto Park

Kids find many interests at Ft Desoto

Kids find many interests at Ft Desoto

Can’t wait to hear about your trip to Ft Desoto Park in Pinellas County Florida! How many fish did you catch? What kind of birds did you see? What kinds of people did you meet? Please post your comments!

As always, have an interesting day!