A visit to Florida’s Lake Griffen State Park

42746827_10215894168501554_3336353260075220992_n

As some may know we purchased our new, 2018 Roadtrek Class B this past December but due to some medical issues we were unable to schedule our first trip to check out all of the systems until now. I am happy to report that we did finally get away for a couple of days to test out all systems in our “Sunset Princess” and our shakedown cruise went off even better than expected. All systems operated efficiently with the exception of the on-demand hot water heater which I need to research but with the temps in the 90’s here in Florida the cold water tap was actually warm enough for our needs this time!

42742611_10215894171101619_1087498196227194880_n

Our Class B is a completely self contained 19′ vehicle for camping, sightseeing or escaping the paths of looming hurricanes. It has a generator on board, full bathroom, sofa that makes into a queen-sized bed, microwave, two burner stove, furnace, refrigerator and a 24″ color TV with surround sound. We purchased it because with two bad knees Niki can no longer negotiate a car seat in a standard Detroit automobile. This has swivel seats making life a whole lot better.

42741126_10215894169421577_8232971261504913408_n

We set-up at Lake Griffin State Park located between Ocala and Orlando. Not really a destination Park but serene and quiet especially in the middle of the week. The Park has full hook-ups which is our preferred way to travel and makes a Simplicity SRT our perfect choice.

42777367_10215894184181946_7004741473912487936_n

The lake itself is about a mile from the campground with a canal that connects the two. The campground rents canoes and kayaks and there is also a Ranger guided tour of the waterway probably available on weekends.

42780541_10215894180541855_9050604666680770560_n

The restrooms, shower section and laundry area were spotless, brightly lit and well maintained.

42745709_10215894173541680_4411839364783407104_n

This Park has 40 campsites including seven pull-throughs of varying lengths. All sites have electricity and water and seven have sewer hook-ups with ten having 50 Amp service. We chose site 9 but would recommend sites 10 and 11 as being longer and more spacious and also having full hook-ups.

42663257_10215894172141645_4073679809132101632_n

42686570_10215894171941640_1829175207852507136_n

There’s a beautiful boat ramp, dock and picnic area where canoes and kayaks may be rented. It’s located at the head of a 1,000′ canal that leads to the Dead River which empties into Lake Griffen. There are massive old oaks dripping Spanish moss throughout the Park including a mammoth old oak near the entrance and said to be the second largest in the State.

42866974_10215894181901889_4223593241712263168_n

I have attached some photos taken in the Park. Their are several Nature Trails and the children’s play area includes a swing for wheelchairs that I had not seen before. They do a lot with and for children including camps in the Summertime. We found the staff to be most courteous, conscientious and smiling. It’s apparent they love their jobs.

42769406_10215894188022042_8248678446532657152_n

42687654_10215894184981966_2103664136788377600_n

42672694_10215894187702034_7878676063478349824_n

One of our favorite things is to visit the locals favorite restaurants when we visit a new area. Our first was a visit to the “Original Stavros Pizza Restaurant” nearby in Leesburg at the suggestion of the Ranger on duty. It is a beautiful restaurant inside. Though some of their dishes may be excellent the Italiian subs we ordered were not. They were wet with dressing to the point of puddling and the taste was not up to par.

Another evening we tried the La Palma Mexican Grill and the outcome wasn’t much better. Niki and I both had the Chimichanga dinners. The refried beans had a burned taste and the chicken chimi’s were tasteless. The rice was pretty good. All in all we should have patronized the American Legion Post only a short distance from the campground.

Lake Griffen State Park is located at 3089 Hwy 441-27 in Fruitlnd Park, Florida.
Website: https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/lake-griffin-state-park

42664124_10215894182461903_7435768852547371008_n

Advertisements

Sunken Gardens – the must-see roadside attraction that may well live forever!

aaasunkengardens
Located in the heart of St. Petersburg, Florida is a leafy oasis and one of the longest running roadside attractions in the Country. In 1903 a plumber named George Turner, Sr. bought this four acre parcel that included an ancient sinkhole and a lake. He drained the lake to use the nutrient rich soil beneath to pursue his love of gardening and ornamental horticulture.
spontaneouscombustion
By 1924 his amazing gardens were attracting visitors at 25 cents a head and has continued to this day and visited by tourists from around the World.
sunkengardensschoolvisit
Now owned by the City of St. Pete it’s a local destination for school children and tourists to visit as well as the perfect setting for many weddings. It brings a bit of the tropical forest with plants, birds and other animals to this sub-tropical paradise.
sunkengardensplant3
I was fortunate to visit The Gardens with our local Photography Club where I assure you there is no shortage of photo opportunities.
sunkengardensbutterfly2
It’s a place you might like to add to your “must-See” list when you visit the Tampa, St. Pete, Clearwater Beach area. It’s located at 1825 4th Street North in St. Petersburg, Florida. More photos on our Suncoast Visitor’s Guide at https://www.facebook.com/TampaBaySnowbirdGuide/. -Jack Armstrong

New RV Park at Wind Creek located in Atmore, Alabama – Check these ameneties!

17-06-rvpark-3
We like to pass along info about new campgrounds when we hear about them and this one sounds interesting for sure. Find their website at https://windcreekatmore.com/resort/rv-park. We may well try them ourselves this Summer!

ATTENTION RV CAMPERS!

We are excited to announce that the new RV Park at Wind Creek is now open!

HOURS
Every Day • 8am – 5pm
Check-In: 12pm – 5pm
Check-Out: 11am
RATES
Daily: $38
Weekly: $211
Monthly:$850

RV PARK AMENITIES

  • 75ft pull-through RV stations
  • Full hookups including 30-amp & 50-amp power, water and sewer
  • Picnic tables are available at Clubhouse
  • Grills are available at Clubhouse
  • Trash cans are available at Clubhouse
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • 24-hour Security
  • On-Site Dump Station
  • Extra parking available in the casino parking lot

INQUIRE ABOUT AVAILABILITY

Call (866) 946-3360 to book by phone.
CLUBHOUSE AMENITIES

  • Full bath facilities including Restrooms and Showers
  • Laundry Facilities
  • Vending Machines
  • Fenced Outdoor Playground

RESORT AMENITIES
Shuttle service provided to and from our Casino Resort with access to the following:

  • Gaming Floor (including non-smoking & High Limits gaming areas)
  • Bowling Alley
  • Movie Theater
  • Arcade
  • 6 different casual and fine dining options
  • Pool/Hot Tub
  • Spa
  • Fitness Center
  • Culinary StudioRV Park

*$5 FREE Play valid towards full paid rate reservations ONLY. FREE Play must be redeemed each day at PLAYER SERVICES.

 

 

Revisiting Our Favorite RV Campgrounds.

eaglesroost
Eagle’s Roost is located just off Georgia Exit 5 on I-75 in Lake Park, GA. Five miles N of the FL Line. Nearby we found good restaurants, a Camping World and a weekend flea market just next door. All this among mighty, old oaks dripping with Spanish moss.

Catch our video at https://www.facebook.com/OurSnowbirdRVTrails
and “follow” us on FB for more camping fun ahead!

Planning that next RV trip

335new2016routemap
Our website averages at least one or two emails a week asking us for help plotting an RV route. Usually it’s either someone with a brand new RV or often an RVer just asking for suggestions as they plan a trip into parts unknown to them.

You may have heard or seen us mention before that the only thing we like better than an RV trip is talking about RVing. The problem is that to plan a trip correctly or at least the way that has proven tried and true for us there are a number of questions that need answering up front to do it right.

That being said we have updated our “Planning Page” (http://www.snowbirdrvtrails.com/research.htm) on our website and outlined the steps we take in planning each new voyage into uncharted territory. We always chart it beforehand!

A big part of the fun of a trip for us is the planning. On our page you’ll find all kinds of information and resources that we use to keep our RVing about the fun of the trip and not the worry that can accompany tackling the unknown.

Have a look. If it helps you with your trip planning we’re happy. Many people like to fly by the seat of their pants which is fun for them but that’s just not us.

After you try our suggestions for planning and if you have any questions we’ll be happy to try and answer them. We do answer all emails. You’ll find our email address also on the Planning Page.

Safe travels and always enjoy the journey,

Jack and Niki
snowbirdrvtrails.com

Niceties & Necessities – or How to make RV life easier, safer and more fun in a 19′ Roadtrek Simplicity SRT RV!

happytrailsfromus

When Niki and I downsized from a 32′ Fifth Wheel with three slide-outs to a 19′ van we knew there would have to be some adjustments made. What to pack, what not to take? What was a necessity for both safety and everyday life on the road and what would be nice to have if we could fit it in?

We did a lot of research to determine what we needed to add to an already pretty well outfitted camper. The Roadtrek is a totally self-contained vehicle and built to enable owners to go “off-the-grid” and set up camp whenever and wherever the road takes them.

Our Roadtrek has its own generator providing both 12 and 110V current for the fridge roof-top AC, TV/DVD/Surround-Sound and electrical outlets, propane for the range and tank-less hot water heater.  Gray, black and fresh water tanks and both a slinky and electrical macerator evacuator for discharge. It also contains a regular toilet and both an inside and outside shower.

Not much is missing but after eight years on the road we have learned that a few things added makes RV life safer, easier and a whole lot more fun.

We have added a page to our website listing the “Niceties and Necessities” we have researched, purchased and added items made to fit the Ram ProMaster and Roadtrek Simplicity. If you have a Roadtrek or possibly see one in your future perhaps our research may be of help to you.

Click the link, have a look and if you have any questions send us a note. – Jack and Niki

Two park host site positions open – Moody, Texas

mother_neff_sp_g4f5781-opti
Received: 4/8/18
Two park host site positions open – Moody, Texas

Hi Jack,

I am the lead Ranger at Mother Neff State Park in Moody, Tx. I  would like to post a position on your web pages.

I do have two park host site positions open.

Below is a description of duties with my contact  information for any questions potential hosts may have.

Park Hosts duties include: – Customer service by greeting customers and providing information – Cleaning of campsites, facilities, and restrooms – Site checks, meter checks, litter patrol, operating a UTV – Assist in standard maintenance operations. Depending upon selected applicant’s experience, duties might also include: – Assisting in office operations – Interpretive activities and events. – If interested contact Diego Aragon at 254-313-8933 Criminal Background Check required.

Hosts will be provided with a large concrete driveway and Granite campsite tent pad with Full Hook-Up (Water/Sewer/Electric) site in exchange for a minimum scheduled work hours per week of 30 (couple) / 24 (single). You must be a minimum of 18 years old to apply go to   https://tpwd.samaritan.com

Website:
https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/mother-neff

Map it:
1680 Texas 236 Hwy.
Moody, Tx. 76557

4 Season Campgrounds in the Northeast

We had a reader just send in a new addition for our list of campgrounds that are open all year in the Northeast. Our list includes campgrounds in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York State, Rhode Island and Vermont.

View the listings at http://www.snowbirdrvtrails.com/offseason.htm

556x419boaedwalk
The newest listing is in Pilesgrove, New Jersey.

If you know of any “Open All Year” campgrounds in the Northeast that we
may have missed please send us a note.
-Thanks, Jack

visitblue

Send us an email to
snowbirdrvtrails@gmail.com
with your question or a comment
We will respond

Work Campers – South Carolina is Calling You!

littlepeedee2
SnowbirdRVTrails.com just received from the Park Manager 3/13/18:

Little Pee Dee State Park is looking for Campground Hosts.
The host program helps run the campground and many day use operations. We are looking for people who want to make a difference and create lasting memories. We are a nice, small and quiet campground right off of highway 95 and a little over an hour from Myrtle Beach. If you are interested, please email James M. Revis at jrevis@scprt.com for more information.
Website: https://southcarolinaparks.com/little-pee-dee
littlepeedee