Different camping vs. Florida

Discussion in 'Campground / Trip Planning & Suggestions ?' started by Dammitjim, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. Dammitjim

    Dammitjim New Member

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    I didn't know how else to label the subject, but I wanted to know from Florida campground's perspectives... what nearby (AL, GA, TN, etc.) state campgrounds are radically different than the ones in Florida. I know that our family hasn't been to ALL the campgrounds in Florida, but we have had a good share of beach camping and woodsy FL camping. I'd be interested to know where campgrounds start to be different than in Florida.
    For example, someone told me that when they went camping to GA, they went to a campground where the campsite was at a different level than the road. Here in Florida, since everything is flat, you usually don't have that change in elevation; hence, making the environment more interesting.
    Or, I have seen pictures of some camping out west where there is barely any green vegetation in the middle of the dessert and stuff.
    What would be the closest place to Florida where the scenery of the state campground is different than the ones here?
     
  2. johnsagraves

    johnsagraves New Member

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    We have traveled everywhere in the past 5 years camping. The US is completely different where ever you go. The Rocky's we a handful trying to get up and down the mountains. We were in Salton Sea, Southern California this past summer where temperature were 113. Had the heat on in July in Denver. Came across I 10 heading back to Florida from CA and completely different world. One of my favorite places is Cades Cove in the Smokey's. Give it a try. Florida, we really like Gamble Rogers, can take pets right on the beach. I am retiring this summer and we will travel about as much as we stay home. We stayed at St. Andrews and again another world right here in Florida. Heading this weekend to boondock at the Skyway Bridge in St. Pete. One of the best kept secrets in camping and it is free. December we are hooking up with the Aliner bunch at Oscar Sherer. Fun group to be with. We have camped here if Florida in 29 degree weather. Hillsborough State Park was really cold a couple of years ago when we stayed there. I think we are going to camp somewhere Christmas Eve, just because we have not done that before. Enjoy and have fun. John
     
  3. badgamuss

    badgamuss Member

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    I would have to say maybe central to northern Georgia. We have camped in southern Georgia and, to me, resembled Florida. My favorite is the North Georgia mountain all the way into North Carolina. I enjoy the elevation differences and climate of the mountains over the swamps. [:D] We have camped in different spots in here in Florida and after a while they all seem to blend together. Though some are nicer than others.
     
  4. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    I would guess that the closest place to Florida where the scenery is significantly different than (flat) Florida is the mountainous territory in northern Georgia and eastern Tennessee.
     
  5. Flyfisherman

    Flyfisherman New Member

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    Simply head north out of Florida on I-75 and then right smack dab in the middle of Atlanta fork off onto I-85 and keep on keeping on. Get off I-85 at US-441 and head north. There will be good Ga state parks right off of 441, or keep right on going and cross over into western NC and just a few miles you'll come to Franklin, NC and then hang a left onto US-64 and travel maybe 14/15 miles (you will note your TV will be huffing and puffing because you will be climbing). Hang another left at Wallace Gap and maybe another 4 miles you will come to the Standing Indian NFS C/G. You'll have to go some to match this place. No wussy hook-ups but there are flush toilets and hot showers. And a wide variety of camp sites, to the level TT sites in the middle, to creek side sites, even some along the Nantahala River that runs right through the C/G. My favorite loop is way in the back and the campsites are all along a steep inclined road, which will get you away from the crowd (believe me!). The facilities for this loop are at the bottom and if you get a site at the top you'll lose 2 lbs climbing backup hill ... well, you said you wanted "high"!.. Great place to stay, excellent trout waters, wild & wooly hiking paths, in fact the Appalachian Trail is right up the ridge above the C/G and you climb up there for a stoll, too. Best of all, like most national forest C/G's, it's affordable.

    http://www.forestcamping.com/dow/southern/nantcmp.htm#standing%20indian
     
  6. Travelhoveler

    Travelhoveler New Member

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    We've camped in Florida and its surrounding states. Each state is very diverse, so it's impossible to generalize about them.

    Georgia has everything from coastal parks to parks in the mountain national forests and in between. The state parks are well run, but about as expensive as any public campgrounds I've encountered. I think we paid $35 at Cloudland Canyon a while back, and then had to pay a day use fee on top of that! A similarly equipped campsite here in Tennessee will run about $20 or so, or much less in winter.

    Alabama has a coastal park or two on the Gulf, and many other parks inland. The larger ones can really pack them in, but are located in scenic areas. We especially like Oak Mountain on the outskirts of Birmingham, and Joe Wheeler on the Tennessee River (great winter birding at the nearby National Wildlife Refuge). Nice facilities. The larger parks have night watchpeople at the gates!

    South Carolina runs the whole gamut; coast, Piedmont, mountains. We really prefer staying in the national forest campgrounds near the coast to more popular state parks or Charleston's James Island County Park (a favorite of many here). They're just less crowded and more scenic. We did enjoy Little Hunting Island SP. Want something really different, and fun in a weird and creepy sort of way? Camp at South of the Border!

    My own state of Tennessee is rather diverse as well, though I can't say much about its coastline. We have campgrounds ranging from the lowlands of the Mississippi Delta (which extends north across western Tennessee) to the Canadian shield ecosystem of our higher mountains. Our best-in-the-nation state parks are cheap and generally uncrowded as they don't take reservations. Thirty-three of them have campgrounds. My favorite is Standing Stone SP. We also have two USFS units (Cherokee National Forest and the Land Between the Lakes NRA), the NPS Big South Fork NRA, lots of TVA and USACE lakes, and of course, the marvelous Great Smoky Mountains NP.

    I have to say we have almost always enjoyed camping in Florida, though we've never been to the deep southern part. We are only 6-7 hours from the Panhandle so we go to Gulf Islands National Seashore or the state parks in the Panhandle regularly, and we've been to many others. My favorite two are Little Talbott Island and St. Joseph Peninsula state parks. The only one we didn't like at all was one already mentioned, the Gamble Memorial SP near Daytona. In our experience, it was just a parking lot with the neighbor only 10' away and with nothing separating us. You do have a great system. If you like your parks, you'll like those in neighboring states as well. Some are similar to Florida parks, others are quite different. Going to our mountain parks is like going to the ecosystem of northern Quebec. Now that's a difference!
     
  7. Dammitjim

    Dammitjim New Member

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    So, is the only difference the mountains? Anything else different from FL campgrounds (either beach, hammocks, etc)?
     
  8. Travelhoveler

    Travelhoveler New Member

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    Of course it's more than just mountains. I tried to explain that the ecoystems are widely varied, from coast to Piedmont to mountains to Delta, etc. The plant life in West Tennessee is generally much different than in the East Tennessee mountains, and even across the mountains in North Carolina, plants are often different as there is much less rain on that side. The Piedmont is something entirely different (pines and oaks) than the rich hardwood forests of Middle Tennessee, and altogether different than the yellow pine country further south. Culturally, the areas are all quite different, too.

    State parks are run by different agencies with different management styles. Florida and South Carolina and Georgia seem to be recreation focused; here, many of our parks are about natural resource protection, with camping a secondary focus (though a few are developed and some even have golf courses and pools!).

    It's much more than just geography.

    Go see them all! That's why your camper has wheels.
     
  9. badgamuss

    badgamuss Member

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    The mountains don't have alligators. [:D] But you do have to adjust your food handling and cooking because of bears. They can make a trip very interesting.
     
  10. carolinacampers

    carolinacampers Nights camped: 2008-10, 2009-25, 2010-6.

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    Although we haven't camped in Florida yet, I imagine the state parks there are similar to the state parks in Georgia and South Carolina.
    We enjoy the GA State Parks. Each one has something different to offer. Some have 18 hole golf courses or mini golf. Some have swimming pools or water parks. Many are on lakes or rivers that offer boat rentals, fishing, and sometimes swimming. History may be learned at a few-from battlefields to plantation life. There are several parks that emphasize the natural surroundings and habitats of plant and animal life. Then you have the range of being coastal at basically 0 feet sea level to Black Rock Mountain at an altitude of 3640 feet. Cloudland Canyon State Park in the northwest corner is known as the east coast's "grand canyon".
    We stayed at Indian Springs State Park (south of Atlanta on I-75) and our campsite overlooked the mountainside. Coming from the coastal area, I believe that is about where we really started noting elevation changes.

    South Carolina's State Parks are similar. There is a variety-from 4 parks right on the coastline to several inland and in the northwest mountains. West and north of Columbia is probably where you notice the change in elevation in South Carolina.
     

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