Salt Springs Recreation Area is located in the heart of Salt Springs, Florida. The recreation area is open year-round. In addition to camping, hiking, swimming & various recreational water activities, the main attraction is the ancient subterranean springs which flow year-round at a constant temperature of 72 degrees, and pump approximately 53 million gallons of crystal clear water per day.
Campground: Salt Springs Recreation Area – Ocala National Forest in Central FL
Contact Information: 13851 Hwy 19N Ft. McCoy FL 32134 (352)685-2048
Dates: 1/1/16 to 1/1/16
Rate: $31.00 Per Night, $217.00 Per Week
Cell Signal: Sprint – intermittant between 1 bar 3G and Roam; Verizon 2-3 bars (both unboosted)
Top Attraction: Natural Spring
Things to Do:
- Natural Spring Swimming/Snorkeling
- Hiking Trail
- Bicycle Riding (casual, not singletrack)
- Basketball Courts
- Boat Ramp
- Full Hookup E/W/S or Primitive
- Fire Ring
- Paved Pad
For more information on the Campground Amentities visit Recreation.gov
We choose Salt Springs Recreation Area based on reviews as well as the fact that it was the only Spring in a 300 mile radius that wasn’t completely booked!
We arrived at the Campground on Thursday and it was pretty empty, but Friday it filled up quickly and the park was booked solid. The park has both Full Hook-up spots and primitive camping. The park also has a private boat ramp in the primitive camping area.
Early Friday morning we got up and visited the spring. The spring is within the park and easy walking or biking distance from the campsites. It also has 2 parking lots if you choose to drive over. Since the spring is 72 degrees it was a shock to get in, like most natural springs, but you adjust quickly. It was quite refreshing on a hot summer day! The water was crystal clear and we saw many bass, croppie and mullet. We even found a HUGE blue crab!
After our fun at the spring with our friends, Jeff & Dana, we decided to head back to the RV and have lunch. It was a beautiful sunny day and within minutes of arriving back at our site the skies turned black and a nasty storm rolled in. There was lightning and hail and it scared the living crap out of us! As we hunkered down waiting for it to pass, lightning hit the power pole in front of our RV and the transformer exploded into a giant fireball!
The lightning strike caused the power to go out for the entire campground and a lot of people suffered the loss of some of their electronics. Lucky for us, we have a Progressive Industries EMS. It cut the power to our coach safely sparing us from any electronic losses. If you don’t have one, we HIGHLY recommend it. You never know when you are going to encounter a bad power post or a wicked storm! The one thing that I absolutely love about camping is the people. After the storm, all the neighbors were out checking on each other making sure everyone was OK. You just don’t get that in a neighborhood anymore.
Besides the storm, the park was great. There was a hiking trail, nice paved roads for biking and the natural spring. There were open areas with picnic tables and places to just hang out and enjoy nature. If you are in the area, I would recommend Salt Springs. It was nice to have the spring onsite and not have to travel to it.
After our enjoyable stay at Salt Springs, we departed on Sunday to head home…of course, another adventure! We needed to get gas and the only gas station between Salt Springs and Daytona was a teeny tiny station that was super busy! We got stuck, we had to unhook the VW and creatively maneuver ourselves around to get back out on the road! The wind on Sunday was a chore to drive in, 15mph with gusts up to 25. It took us 6 hours to travel 200 miles. Not the easiest day of driving, but it can always be worse!
It wasn’t our best trip, but it was a good experience. We learned a lot, we towed our bus for the first time, we weathered a horrible hail storm and we laughed about it….a lot. Salt Springs was quiet and relaxing and just what we needed….even the dog was in chill mode!
Here are a few more photos from our trip! Hope you enjoy sharing our travels with us!
We also uploaded a tour of the campground spots from our bicycle ride. It’s not the best, but it gives you an idea of what the spots look like if you are planning on booking there.
Gotta love those backwoods FL towns……
Make sure that you BYOB because if you need to run to the store you will encounter doubled prices and pitbulls with AIDS!
Salt Springs Recreation Area is home to FL Black Bears. Check out this article on Recreation.gov on Bear Safety Tips!
Photo credit Recreation.gov