Friday, August 6, 2021

Kelly Park Campground-Rock Springs, Apopka, Florida

We camped at Kelly Park Campground, Rock Springs in Apopka, Florida for 3 nights in our 1997 renovated Georgie Boy Maverick Class C Motorhome early August of 2021.

This is not the first time we've visited this campground, and it certainly won't be the last.  Kelly Park is less than 2 hours from our home and we just love visiting this beautiful place.  While there are only 26 sites, they are spacious and set in a nice natural setting.  Within this park you will find the beautiful Rock Springs headspring and run.  The crystal clear water is a chilly 68 degrees year round. 

It's a quick walk or bike ride to the spring for tubing and water play.  Within that parking lot there is a very nice playground as well.  The park has a lot of great trails for hiking or biking.  There are two additional marked trails right across the street which can be easily accessed from the main entrance or the after hours gate.

Reservations can only be made 45 days in advance and weekends do book up quickly.  Kelly Park is a part of the Orange County Parks system.  Orange County Park Reservations

This trip we didn't bring an extra vehicle, we like to bike and walk as much as possible.  

What we did:

Tubing the spring run.  

It only takes about 30 minutes from the time you hop in your tube at the headspring until take out at the 2nd landing.  You can tube half the run and stop at the 1st landing which is a wide open swimming area with beach and grass to relax on.  At the 2nd landing it's just a short paved walk back into the main park area where you can do it all again. 

Snorkeling the Spring run.

Leave the tubes at the campsite and snorkel down the run admiring the beautiful rocks, sandy bottom, turtles and fish as well as the plant life.  


Bike or hike the yellow trail within the park which takes you all around the park, through the woods and behind the springhead, or pop across the street to the blue and red trails.

We rode our bikes down to Kings Landing (just about 3/4 a mile down the road) for a day of Kayaking.


We rented a kayak at Kings Landing (reserve a specific day and time online).  There are a couple of options you can book.  Bring your own vessel (kayaks or canoes only) for a small fee, or rent one of their vessels for a short day (4 hours) or a longer 8.5 mile trip downstream with a shuttle that brings you back.  We opted for the 4 hour rental as we preferred to spend our time in the clear Rock Springs Run portion of the river.

We had quite a bit of rain on this trip, but it didn't hinder our fun, we had plenty of sunshine to enjoy! :)

What we saw:  Racoon, deer, gator, turtles, fish, several types of birds and some big foot prints (on a trail hike) of bobcat.

If you'd like to take a look at the sites before booking, we did a quick photo tour of the campground sites only.  Campground Photo Tour

Monday, May 4, 2020

Ichetucknee Springs Campground, Fort White, Florida

We camped at Ichetucknee Springs Campground in Fort White, Florida for 4 nights early May, 2020 in our 1997 renovated Georgie Boy Maverick Class C Motorhome.

We are Mike and Kathy Charest - The AdvenCharests!

Like most of the world, we had not camped all year until this point.  We had several reservations earlier in the year that had been cancelled due to the "thing" that's affecting the whole world right now.

At any rate, Mike was talking to a friend of his from work who told him he was retiring and buying a campground...which campground Mike asked... Ichetucknee Springs Campground!  Well, we have actually camped there once before a couple of years ago, and tubed the beautiful spring fed Ichetucknee river, and we decided it was time to go back.  At this time, the spring (State Park) was closed, but he was opened for camping, and for gracious sakes... we were going! :)

We really weren't sure what we would do there, since the entire town and all the campgrounds pretty much live off the "Springs" and "Tubing", but we decided it would be so nice to go and see what Karl and Cristy had gotten into and what changes they were already making to the place. :)
We're certainly glad we went, because we had plenty to do and had such a wonderful, fun time!

Hiking the trails, and chillin' by the campfire.

Peacefully kayaking the Santa Fe River 
and meeting Peppa the Pig! 

This campground is set on 20 acres of beautiful lush forest, the campsites are very large and spacious with lots of trees between sites.  The sites are a mixture of electric and water, just water, and primitive.

We camped on site #4 and it was huge! (It also has a rope swing on it!)

The check-in office is a pretty 2 story wooden style house.  It hosts a gameroom, complete with two pool tables, air hockey, pinball and video games, as well as a beautiful stone fireplace.  Inside the office there is a small camp store which the new owners are working on stocking up.  

The front of the office is so beautiful, with flowering trees, a butterfly garden and a trickling koi pond, it really makes you feel welcome. 

There are rentals for tubes and kayaks.  Although we weren't able to tube, as the state park was closed, we rented a kayak and had a great time enjoying the Santa Fe River from the boat ramp at 27 bridge.

There is a large "community" firepit and outdoor movie screen beside the check-in office.  When the weather is right, everyone is invited, they even passed out popcorn! :)

Karl and Cristy, the new owners of the campground, have so many great plans for the future, and many of them are already being put in place.  

They made and put up a beautiful new sign at the main road entrance, and are working to create a great campground entrance area.

In addition, they want to add treehouses and cabins, as well as a brand new bath/shower house for campers (there currently is one, but they want to make it more accessible and larger), in addition, they are working to create more walking trails through the forests behind the campsites that will all lead to the game room/office/store, rather than have campers walking along the roads.  

The campground is very natural and beautiful with a huge variety of plants and trees and so many birds! 

We so enjoyed the peace and quiet, waking up each morning to bird songs, and walking along the wooded paths. 

In addition to kayaking and driving around the beautiful countryside, we visited with the few campers that were there at that time (safe distancing of course!), played pool, rode our bikes, took lots of walks and enjoyed Jurassic Park I and II beside the group firepit! :)

We can't wait to go back and enjoy the springs soon and visit with Karl and Cristy.... oh yes, and Peppa the Pig and all the friendly campground pups! 

We hope you'll go visit Karl and Cristy and let them know we sent you!  

Look for them on Facebook, and check out their Website.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

We camped at Fall Creek Falls State Park in Spencer, TN for 5 nights in early August, 2017 in our 1997 Georgie Boy Maverick Class C Motorhome.  We were there just after locals schools had started and the week was quiet and peaceful, things began to pick up by Friday.
Waiting for the nightly "Firefly" show... dreamy...

Overlook to view Cane Creek Falls - there is a difficult trail to get to the base
called the "Cable Trail", really fun, but a lot of work up and down!
This was our 3rd time visiting the park (over a 12 year period), and we can't wait to go back again!  5 nights really wasn't long enough, we agreed we could easily do 2 weeks at this park, exploring it and enjoying the surrounding area.

What a day...what a view...exploring outside the park
The park is really big, we brought our scooter and our bikes to get around.  It's really handy to have something to get from place to place, as things are pretty spread out.  In addition, you may want to explore places outside the park.

In a nutshell: Waterfalls, fireflies, hiking, incredible views!, bike riding, sweet forest scents, family fun, adventure, swimming holes, peaceful beauty all around, birds, flowers.

Great swimming hole!

Fall Creek Falls

Lovely roads!

Amazing views!


Things to be aware of:  
Daunting edges!  Know your own abilities,
 and please be careful!

This park is very natural and beautiful, this is actually one of the things we love about it, there aren't a lot of "safety" railings, etc... however, if you aren't careful it can be dangerous.  There are high rocky edges that will most likely be fatal should you fall.  Be sure to know your limits, check carefully before stepping close to edges, and don't allow your children to "run ahead" of you when you approach overlooks.  It's easy to walk off the trail and many overlook spots end at a sheer drop off. Be cautious, be wise and enjoy the raw beauty.

Sometimes water that isn't rushing makes for great photos.

We are several feet from this edge, but it can easily be accessed
and is a sheer drop to the rocky bottom.  Please be cautious!

That is one of the overlooks along the loop trail...amazing views!
We did see a copperhead, however we were creek walking along the edge in a very rocky area.  Don't be too concerned about their "look alike" the watersnake, but inform yourself of what each looks like and check before you step.  NOTE: Copperheads are "shy" for vipers, so at least that's a good thing. ;)

Negatives:  There was quite a bit of garbage in areas that I truly thought should have been clean.  :(  It made me sad, someone said the "locals" don't clean up after themselves, but I kinda thought the park staff should be doing that as well. :/

Wear a good spray!  I came home with plenty of chigger bites!  Ouch (still itching)...though I did put on spray..sigh.

We saw so many deer each day, both in the campground and throughout the park.  Please watch for them and obey the speed limit within the park! 

Fall Creek Falls is controlled by a Dam, and the water was not gushing when we visited this year.  However, the first time we visited was in June (many years ago) and all the Falls were really flowing hard.  I heard that spring is the best time for a full flow, however, it would be very cold for swimming!  Choices choices... :)

Do a search to find other Falls and State Parks within an hour from this one (there are a few),  also look into "swimming holes of Tennessee" if you like the more secretive "local" thing.  Take a day or two to explore them.

If you like authentic Mexican food, go to El Tapatio Sparta! Yes, really, in Tennessee!!!  I grew up on the border and I know real Mexican food when I taste it.  Check out it out and maybe grab a movie at the Drive In afterward! :)

Go for a country drive outside the park to see some beautiful countryside, or just stay within the 20,000 acres of beautiful Fall Creek Falls and have a blast!  I heard they have the BEST ice cream ever!  So you should probably give it a try. 

We love this park and always look forward to going back again! :)