E.G. Simmons Conservation Park (May 31-June 2, 2019)

Tom and I went to Lithia Springs County Park to check what this park has to offer, and there is where we first learned about E.G. Simmons Park and Campground. These are two of Hillsborough County’s little known gems. Both parks have tent and RV camping, but being waterfront lovers, we were excited to try first E.G. Simmons Park, and Lithia Springs will be in the future. We discovered a new challenge; both parks do not accept reservations. They were first come first serve only. So we had to figure out how to guarantee our getting a good waterfront site on a weekend where I only had Saturday and Sunday off.

Site #16

Tom’s idea was that he preps and brings home the RV Thursday night from its storage yard, and gets up early and drives there alone, to be there when their office opens at seven in the morning. Tom called the park on Thursday and was told to be there at opening and that there were plenty of sites available to choose. He was also told by the park ranger that there are always sites available except on holidays.

There were many to choose from and deciding which was best all around was very difficult, since almost all sites were on the water. He set up the trailer and campsite then came home to get me and the dogs, when I was finished with work.

As soon as I got out of work, we started our short journey down Rte 37 and across on Rte 674 which is a two-lane road that goes all the way to Rte 41, then right for about a mile and left on 19th ave. NW a short distance and you’re there. The whole trip took about an hour and 10 minutes and no highways, except for a short time on Rte 41. I was extremely happy with Tom’s route.

There was plenty of daylight left, and I could see that there were many vacancies around us. The site Tom chose was long and wide, with an opening to the water and some shade trees; campsite #16. The sites are not paved, so if you go, bring some wood boards and blocks to help level and stabilize your camper. We were maybe one hundred feet from the bathroom/showers, which were very clean the whole time we were there. The two of us were tired, so after dinner, we just relaxed and went to bed.

The next day we got up just before daybreak to walk the dogs and explore our surroundings. We were able to catch the moon just before sunrise and then a gorgeous sunrise. We walked around the west campsites and got some pictures of the pavilions and fishing docks over the water.

Boat Launch

After another of Tom’s great breakfasts, we decided to grab the truck and check out the rest of the park. We headed toward the beach and along the way were several people fishing, and a couple of places to park and enjoy the beautiful water views.

The beach was clean and water was inviting, too bad no dogs were allowed there. The boat launch was busy but orderly; we saw many fishing and some sport style boats using it in our short time watching.

Playground

Next, we explored the Eastern part of the park; there were many more perfect spots on the water for your RV. Past that was the Kayak rental, which seemed like a perfect place to kayak. Along the road and at the turnaround were several openings in the mangrove to fish or just stop and look out over the beautiful water.

Sunset at Panther Point

After all that exploring we were hungry, so we went back to the RV and Tom barbequed us a good lunch. We relaxed around the campsite for a few hours and decided to go back to a spot near the end of the east road to catch the sunset at Panther Point. As you can see in the pictures; the weather and the view were second to none. 

           

Just a word of advice for any activity you plan to do outside just before sunrise, and after sundown, dress appropriately covering all skin that you don’t want to be bitten by NO- SEE- UMS. Google them before you come and be prepared….

The next day we were up early, as usual, enjoyed a last walk and prepared for our short trip home. In a word, I would say this place is amazing, even though I had many bug bites, I would go back without a doubt, but only during “winter” when these biting midges are not around. By the way, we only paid $18.00 per night for this gorgeous campground; thanks to Tom’s senior discount

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