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Old 07-12-2008, 04:51 PM   #1
Jennifer823
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OT - State Park Camping

Hi, I'm a regular here on the Dis, and I know I could get answer to my non-Disney question here!

My family and I are considering doing more camping. (Our forays into camping so far have only been to Ft. Wilderness cabins!) We thought with the prices of everything right now, it would be a less expensive way to get away.

My question.. I hope it's not too dumb! There are lots of great state parks here in Florida, and a lot of them allow camping. The websites say that the parks are open 8 AM to sundown.. or that the gates close at 5 PM.. etc. Would that mean we'd have to be back to camp at 5, if we chose to go explore the town or something? There looks to be an awesome park up near St. Augustine - Anastasia State Park - it's only 10 minutes from the center of town. St. Augustine has lots of "ghost tours" and stuff like that at night. If we camped, would we be able to go "out" at night?

Thanks!!
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Old 07-12-2008, 04:57 PM   #2
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I'm not familiar with that particular state park but in Alabama state parks the hours pertain to when someone can check in or general office hours. Usually there is a gate with a keypad/code that you are given when you check in; that way you can come/go at any hour. Call the campground and ask if you have a question.

Now if you stay at a Corp of Engineers campground (CoE) listed on the recreation.gov website, when they say they lock the gate at 10 p.m. they MEAN it (as in chain up the gate no in, no out).

Bama ED

PS-We have a CoE campground near Tuscaloosa where I take my popup to Alabama football games so I speak from experience...

PPS-I've tried to get into Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida Keys via the web but they fill up within 24 hours almost every freakin' day!
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Old 07-12-2008, 05:00 PM   #3
Jennifer823
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OK, great. I'll have to see what Florida does, hopefully it's more like the state of Alabama and less like the Corp of Eng.!
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Old 07-12-2008, 05:52 PM   #4
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Every Fl. state park we have used so far has a key pad.
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Old 07-12-2008, 06:59 PM   #5
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Check here for Fla. S.P's. http://www.floridastateparks.org/default.cfm They reserve through Reserve America. You can check each campsite out there. Anastasia S.P. is a lot like booking FW. Reserve early or check back often to see if anything is available!
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Old 07-13-2008, 07:31 PM   #6
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Sounds like the Florida state campgrounds have their act together. Here in Massachusetts we put well intentioned but usually slightly confused college interns at the gates and hope for the best!

Actually, most of the people are great, I'm just still bitter about that teenage girl who was going to insist on charging me an additional fee to dump my waste tanks at the end of labor day.

I would highly recommend the state parks in Massachusetts for a wide variety of scenery and some shaded, typically large sites. The campgrounds at the beach are not so shaded or large, but that means more of us get to go.
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Old 07-14-2008, 03:19 PM   #7
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Just a quick update.. I contacted the Florida Division of Recreation and Parks, and they said all FL state parks have keypads for after-hours entry
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