Hooray, I finally got a chance to take a few days off, so away we go to my new favorite destination, the Suwanee River area. We hit the road at 11 am ( from Lakeland) and took Rte 98 all the way and arrived without any trouble by 2 pm.
From the highway, signage to the campground was fully visible making our navigation so easy that it’s hard to miss your turn leading to this simple yet beautiful, serene park. The office’s front porch was very welcoming, and the office itself was immaculate. We met and were taken care of by Shaye, who was very friendly and nice. Shaye escorted us to our campsite which was a pull-thru right on the water.
The long driveway was blacktop, and the pad was concrete. The site was clean and level, with what looked like a brand new electric service panel. The wi-fi was the best we’ve had in any park, and cell service as well. Our site was number forty -five, which I highly recommend to anyone planning a stay here.
We met some of our neighbors, including a fun couple from Nebraska, who spend their winters at the park. They informed us that the park was recently bought by new people and that it was undergoing a major transformation for the better. They also gave us good advise on places to eat and other activities nearby.
The next day we took a short ride to Manatee Spring State Park to enjoy a boat ride on the Suwanee River that we arranged thru Anderson Water Sports.
We relished three scenic hours cruising the river just us, the dogs and Tim the captain and narrator. Thanks to Tim’s sharp eyes, we saw several alligators and blue heron. We also learned a lot from Tim about the local area. When we got back to Manatee Springs State Park, we savored a delicious BBQ Chicken lunch as part of our tour price.
Upon arriving back to the RV, our manatee friends were already there in our canal. We started a campfire and were able to enjoy sitting outside and experience the natural beauty around us.
Friday morning was overcast as expected, we headed to Fanning Springs State Park which is right over the bridge about 0.4 miles from the campground. We saw it from the boat the day before and now had the opportunity to experience it by land.
As we walked around the spring, you cannot help but notice groups of fish reeling in the blue-green water; some were hiding in the vegetation a little bit farther. A good percentage of the swimming area is shallow water, excellent for people who can’t swim like me.
We walked down the trail thru the huge cypress trees and wound up at a gazebo at the water’s edge. From our vantage point, we could see people fishing and boating on the river.
In the approximately one-half hour, we were there, we heard and saw at least six times tarpons jumping out of the water and landing back in with a big splash.
It was getting close to one o’clock so we headed back to the RV Park to have lunch and feed the puppies. After lunch, we decided to check Shired Island Beach and campground. This was a little more than a short distance away, about 45 minutes from Suwanee River Bend but worth the trip. The road was long and tree-lined, but after a short while, you find yourself surrounded by miles of marsh grass as far as the eye can see.
There were few campsites with electric, water and a dump station right across the bathroom. RV hooked ups were right by the beach, and it is on the Gulf of Mexico. The white sand beach was gorgeous, sitting there watching the waves, birds, and smelling fresh air will unplug you from stress. The place was not crowded and very tranquil.
We headed back to our campsite before sunset to start prepping for our trip home for the next day, have a little dinner and enjoy one last campfire. Before we hit the road on Saturday, we stopped by the office, we met Shaye again and this time with her son, and we bought a gift certificate for a coworker since we were so impressed with this campground/RV park. We love this place and would definitely stay here again.