First off the correct address to the Camp Grounds is 18185 SW 94th Street, Dunnellon, Florida, 34432. If you go to the address on the Florida state park website, it will take you to the Rainbow Springs. The campgrounds is 7 miles away from there. So if you use a GPS it is at the above address off of SW 180th Ave Rd. or 29.08683 -82.41754 The campgrounds is neat, clean and well laid out. If you are looking for privacy then the outer rings provide that. Most sites do not offer much shade, but if you travel during the winter months, then it is not an issue. Most sites are level accept sites 11, 12, 13. All sites are deep and will work for most big rigs. The sites are nice and wide even if you have a double slide out. It is full hookup and good water pressure. The majority of this park is located at the "Headsprings" Entrance 7 miles away. You will need to drive there. No hiking trails in the campgrounds. The roads in the campground are wide and paved. The sites are pea gravel and well packed. It rained one night, and no mud issues.
We stayed here for a week. We have walked/drove all the camping circles and here are our Pros and Cons. Pros: Nice Beach, small store with minimal supplies, and camping loops are paved. Each site is secluded with heavy Shade, three dump sites, ample parking at the beach, and laundry at each restroom. There is windsurf, kayak, and canoe rentals available. Cons: Sites are dirt and below road level (expect mud when it rains), bathrooms old but clean and need upgrading. One bathroom services 2 loops, and could be long walk, forty campsites for each bathroom and only three stalls in each bathroom. Many sites are very narrow and there are low tree limbs in many campsites. No trash bins in the loops, no full hookup sites. The play area for children is quite a distance from campsites. Small picnic area, near the beach. You might need electrical cord extension on some sites. Site NOT level.
We arrived here on a Friday at approximately 11:45 and our site was not available yet. Unbeknown to us, check out is 1:00 and check in is not until 3:00. The previous campers did not leave until 1:00 on the nose. Now this would not be so bad if there was something to do. We sat in the rockers on the porch of the office and waited. Our site was 22 which is located on the equestrian camping area. The site is grassy and large but very little shade. In the summer time this could be an issue. There are sites with full shade but would not hold a large RV on the equestrian area. The biggest issue with the sites on the equestrian circle (sites 21-36) is the composite toilet only. There is one (1) unisex toilet only - no running water (no sink to wash your hands) and no shower. They claim it does not smell but I beg to differ. The family circle (sites 1-20) does have a bath house which appears to be recently built. We did not go into it to inspect. The family circle has more shaded camp sites but sites that would hold a big rig do not have shade. The nearest dumpster for trash (located at the dump station) from our site (22) was a good 3/4 mile walk. They offer no playgrounds for children. As noted by others who left reviews, the park is not near any stores. So make sure you have everything you need to camp. This parks boast about its hiking trails. There are miles and miles and miles of them. Most of the trails are in the open with only a couple locations that offer shade in the hammocks. The trails I walked are in soft sugar sand which makes walking difficult and strenuous at times. Since it is a prairie, the breeze did offer some comfort from the sun. I honestly would not recommend hiking these trails to any of my friends. They do offer a weekend motorized buggy ride at the park, and this is one reason for the soft sugar sand on the trails. As a Florida resident with only a 2 hour drive, I doubt we will return to this park. We love Florida State Parks, but this one has been a real disappointment.
We stayed at site #11. We arrived on Sunday and stayed 3 nights. When we arrived Sunday early afternoon, the beach on the lake was packed along with the marina. At the marina there are boat/jet ski rentals. There is also a lodge in the park. The campground is somewhat secure. Each time you enter the campground you must enter a code for the gate to open day/night. Only paying campers are allowed in the camping area. All sites will accept large rigs. There are many pull-through sites. The office does not assign you a site, once you pay, you go find one on your own although you can make reservations online. There are several sites with lake views. The sites are very clean and most are shaded. I cut one point for not having septic hookup at each site, but there is a dump station with 2 dump sites. I enjoy hiking and the two trails here are very short and boring. Thus, I took another point for lack of hiking trails. There are a few military vehicles on display, but it is obvious they are lacking in maintenance. The museum is small but interesting. I would recommend this campground for campers traveling on I-75 and boaters. It is 10 miles from I-75.
What a beautiful and clean state park. We paid a little extra for the full hookup that was located in a full shaded area. In fact, all the camp sites are full shade. There is a nice beach on the lake for summer-time swimming. There is a cold stream for the trout fisherman and a nice size lake for the bass/catfish/bluegill if you prefer. The lodge has a GREAT restaurant with mountain trout served at every meal. If you like hiking, then you must camp here. The trails are well maintained and marked well. The town of Helen is adorable with some nice eating establishments. I highly recommend this park for all forms of camping.
Wekiwa Springs State Park (pronounced Wekiva), is a nice park. We camped in a 35 foot RV trailer at site #21. Our serious issue with this park is the LOUD road noise from the busy road next to the camping area. Yes, the camp sites are within view of a very busy road. Homes and large powerlines are also part of the scenery. The noise from the road is easy heard in our trailer. If you do decide to camp here, attempt to get a camp site from #31-59. It is a little farther away, but the traffic can still be heard. Now that being said, the hiking trails here are rated a 10. There are many miles of hiking, mountain biking or horse back riding. The trails are narrow mostly with overhead cover from the trees. The trails are well maintained and well marked. There is Sand lake if you would like to fish. The campsites for the most part are deep. Our site was a bit narrow and wish Reserve America had listed the width of each site. Our Trailer has 2 slide-outs did fit, but it was tight. The sites are close together with little foliage between the sites. Bathrooms are very clean and well maintained. There is a very nice swimming area that is a natural spring with a water temperature of 72 degrees year round. You can rent canoes and kayaks from the concession stand. NOTE: 1 June 2010 this park starts a large construction project. Reservations will not be taken for camping. It will be on a first come, first serve basis. The construction in the camping area will probably be loud. The reason for the construction is this campground will be providing septic hookup at each site. The construction is expected to last 18 months.
Ortona South is a nice get-away park. It was very clean and well kept. We were lucky enough to get a site on the river and overlooking the locks. I have the park an 8 because it does not have site hookups for gray/black water on the sites. Each site was paved. A picnic table and camp-fire ring is provided. There is nothing at the park for children, and no hiking trails. Basically it is a place to park your RV for the night and visit with your neighbors. The sites are not separated with trees. You are in plain view of your neighbor so make sure you pull your blinds. If you are just looking for a place to park your trailer for the night, it is a 9. If you are looking for other recreations, then it is a 2. La Belle is the nearest city approx 8 miles away. La Belle is a country town with one grocery store. You are approximately 2 hours from the beaches on the Gulf of Mexico.
My wife and I prefer to camp in the State Parks, and this is our second trip to Silver River State Park. It is an incredible park if you are looking for a place to get away and maybe do some hiking. Fishing is NOT allowed on the Silver River in the park but you can rent a canoe or drag your own watercraft 1/2 mile through the woods down a trail. I love the hiking trails, they are clean and well kept. There are some great mountain biking trails whenever your feet get tired. Wild life is in abundance. The first morning here my wife was walking our dog and came upon 2 coyotes sitting. One ran off, but the other one was curious and decided to watch our Golden Retriever as they retreated closer to the trailer. I spoke with the ranger, and he says the park is full of coyotes, but they have never had a problem with them. Now the camp sites are INCREDIBLE!!! They are HUGE! Again we had a pull through, and the sites are large enough to park 2 RVs. The base is pea gravel and very firm. While we were camping, a cold front moved in that week and temps drooped to low to mid 20' at night. I disconnected by fresh water supply from the trailer and used the internal tanks at night during the coldest periods. The hose did freeze as some campers found out the next morning. We had site 56 and we were approximately 200 yards from a country road that edged the park. Vehicle noise could be heard, but was not loud enough to penetrate our trailer. Firewood can be purchased from the rangers. During our stay, due to low humidity we could only have a fire after 6pm. They have a playground for small children, and about 1 mile from the park was a nice looking water park (not operated by the state park). The bathrooms and showers very clean but not heated, and rather chilly during the winter months. All roads in the park are paved and in GREAT condition. The park also has beautiful cabins for rent at $110 a night. We took a tour, and they are rustic look with rap-around porches, although modern inside. A real deal, but pets are not allowed in the cabin areas. I would of given the park a 10 if they had direct hookup for black/grey water. There are two dump stations near the campsites.