This review is based on our Cub Scout Pack experience over 4 days/3 nights during Spring Break 2014. Our group was in the "primitive" section of the park, which is quite a drive back away from the springs. This was good for us because we had between 30-60 adults and kids at any given time. There was plenty of room to spread out, for the kids to run around, and for us to have organized activities. There was enough parking for all in an area not too far away from the campsites. Picnic tables, grills and fire rings were supplied in the area. Additionally (and happily) there were 2 small bathrooms that each had a normal toilet (not the composting kind) and a small hand-washing sink. Bring your own toilet paper and hand soap. There was also a shower stall area that I was not brave enough to use because the water was way to cold for me. As an added convenience, there was a spigot where you could fill up containers for drinking water, washing dishes, etc.
During "family free time," many of the Cub Scout families chose to take their kids to the springs. This was really a lot of fun after a long hike to cool off -- it is a spring and the water is a constant 72 °F (22 °C) year round so don't expect anything different. The fresh water is crystal clear and you can see fish swimming around. Goggles and/or snorkeling equipment are are great to have. While crossing the low, wooden bridge to the other side of the swimming area, we saw baby alligators (on the non-swimming area side), turtles and various birds. We didn't rent canoes, kayaks or anything like that.
Most people know the park for the springs but there are places to hike with both long and short hikes -- I think the longest is something around 13 miles. You can go see some cool sinkholes or check out how the controlled burns effect the landscape. We saw deer, turkeys and other birds, and small mammals, not to mention all the vegetation. Also, visit the Nature Center, which has live animals including snakes and a protected gopher tortoise (it was injured and can't be released into the wild). The volunteers that work there are great and will answer any questions you have. We also met a really interesting employee that does nature talks about plants. Usually there is something going on besides the springs so check into that if interested.
The only negative thing I can say about camping is that the racoons were awful and were not scared of people. Put all your food away in your vehicle or someplace else secure in the evening or if you're going to be away from your campsite. Your tent is not a good idea as racoons are smart and can figure out how to get in, or even worse, do damage to your tent trying to get in. We also had a raccoon open someone's cooler that was the kind that just closed without a twisting mechanism to keep it shut.
Lastly, beware of poison ivy as it gets warmer and wetter. We didn't have any problems but it would not be a fun thing to bring home.
I definitely recommend this park as everyone we went with had a great time from kids to adults!
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