The skies opened up on Tuesday night. It rained hard until midday Wednesday. I need an RV. I hate wet tents. This is what it looked like as we were leaving Anastasia:
I had to carry my umbrella at our first stop, Faver-Dykes State Park. Here are some photos:
Noted for its pristine condition, this tranquil park borders Pellicer Creek as it winds along Florida's east coast highways down to the Matanzas River. Pellicer Creek is a popular site for birding with more than one hundred bird species seen during spring and fall migrations. Songbirds, including the colorful wood warblers, along with eagles and falcons, return to nest at the park each year. Wading birds, such as egrets, wood storks, white ibis, and herons, feed in the tidal marshes and creeks.
This peaceful park is also home to deer, turkeys, hawks, bobcats, and river otters. Fishing, picnicking, and nature walks are popular activities. Pellicer Creek is a designated state canoe trail and visitors can rent canoes at the park. A full-facility campground is available for overnight stays. Located 15 miles south of St. Augustine near the intersection of I-95 and U.S. 1.
Our next stop was Gamble Rogers State Park, more or less a parking lot next to the beach, but very popular with the RV crowd. The skies are starting to clear:
Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway, this windswept park is named for Florida folk singer Gamble Rogers. The beach is the most popular feature at this park, where visitors enjoy swimming, sunbathing, beachcombing or fishing. The daily low tide is an ideal time to observe shore birds feeding in tidal pools; summer months bring sea turtles that lay their eggs in the golden-brown coquina sand.
On the Intracoastal Waterway side of the park, picnic pavilions provide a shady place to enjoy a meal. A nature trail winds through a shady coastal forest of scrub oaks and saw palmetto. Boaters and canoeists can launch from a boat ramp on the Intracoastal Waterway. The park's full-facility campground is situated on the dune above the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. A short walk along a boardwalk takes you to the beach. Located in Flagler Beach off Highway A1A.
We stopped next at Tomoka State Park near Daytona Beach:
Native Americans once dwelled here, living off fish-filled lagoons. Today, these waters are popular for canoeing, boating, and fishing. The park protects a variety of wildlife habitats and endangered species, such as the West Indian manatee. Tomoka is a bird-watcher's paradise, with over 160 species sighted, especially during the spring and fall migrations.
Visitors can stroll a one-half mile nature trail through a hardwood hammock that was once an indigo field for an 18th century British landowner. A boat ramp gives boaters and canoeists access to the river. The Park Store offers snacks, camping supplies, and canoe rentals. For overnight stays, the park has full-facility campsites and youth camping. Located three miles north of Ormond Beach on North Beach Street.
I would love to spend a week here exploring the area in my canoe.
Luckily we found a campsite at Lake Louisa State Park for Wednesday through Friday nights. It is located in the center of the state only 20 miles from Disney World. Glenn left for Ocala to visit friends for Thanksgiving, so I was left to fend for myself. The first photo below was taken Wednesday afternoon as we arrived at the the campground. The rest were taken on Thursday. You can see how the weather cleared up:
Lake Louisa offers some of the most beautiful vistas in Central Florida and is becoming a showcase for upland habitat restoration and recreational facilities. It's 4500 acres protects six lakes, two streams, and 105 acres of lake shoreline.
Voted one of America's Top 100 Family Campgrounds by ReserveAmerica, Lake Louisa's full-facility campground is nestled between Dixie and Hammond lakes, both of which offer fishing piers. Anglers can also fish from boats at four of the park's six lakes. There are 23 miles of trails for hikers and bikers.
Below are some very enthusiastic campers giving me thumbs up on Thanksgiving. Later on, my neighbors brought me over a complete Thanksgiving dinner. Campers are cool.
I sometimes like to chew on a twig while writing my blog. Imagine my surprise when the one I picked up turned out to be alive. And kind of chewy!
If you look closely you can see the baby stick bug on the mom's back.
Don't forget to bring a bathing suit to enjoy the warm lake waters. Just ignore the signs posted:
Saturday morning will find us heading to Blue Springs State Park for two nights and possible manatee sightings.
Regards, Park Ranger