First of all: there were more boats launching from the Womack Creek Campground landing than we have ever seen. Except for the annual Paddle Florida “Dam to the Sea” 7 day paddle also held in March which are kayaks and canoes.
This weekend, the motor boats were owned by a group self-named “Good Ole Boys”, a group of men who trained in law enforcement about the same time. Some, however, trained later or were invited to join them — a very inclusive group, open to enjoying the weather, water, fishing, outdoors and camaraderie.
Womack Creek campground is perfect for a group gathering. With 12 campsites, one can easily have the whole campground for the group, a privilege not available in large state parks where sites are often reserved months before.
We held such a camp out and paddle in 2013 for members of the Florida Canoe and Kayak Connection, with 85 signed up. We had to order 2 additional portable toilets for that event and had Loop Landing and Rock Landing as back-up tent spots (within a 2 mile drive of Womack Creek Campground.) A major front diminished the actual attendees to 50. But we paddled the area rivers until that front hit us on Sunday when all that day’s paddles were cancelled just before the winds came, stressing tent ropes and canopies. March is unpredictable in north Florida.
Paddle Florida, until this year, has been making Womack Creek Camping a welcome stop for paddlers: it offers hot showers and flush toilets.
With three RV spots (tenters can occupy these, too) with electrical hook-ups and 9 tent-only spots, it’s a nice location for family reunions, group camping and recreating, school weekend get-together.
This is the 3rd year of the “Good Ole Boys” gathering. A small group decided to try it out at first, enjoyed the privacy, the hospitality of Mark Suggs, the host, and returned last year with a bigger contingent. This year the group grew. Last year, a group camping at one of the other camp sites saw the activity and fun the Good Ole Boys were having and were invited to join them. They were to join the group this year.
While it seemed the fishing was not as successful as the fun they were having, they reassured me that they were not counting on the catches of the day for dinner. They had lots of food. (They did not put out hook lines which an earlier post mentioned, they cast from their boats.)
There are so few places where a group can reserve 12 campsites and enjoy themselves without having to worry about curfew (there are rules at that campground and there is a camp host) that we’re surprised that more local residents of north Florida have not yet discovered Womack Creek Campground.
The “Good Ole Boys” are having a great weekend of blue skies, cool weather and hardly any wind. And they expect an even bigger group next year.
It’s good to see so many enjoying the recreational gifts of Tate’s Hell.
For reservations, see Reserve America, Tate’s Hell State Forest, Florida. Potable water is not available at any of the Tate’s Hell Campsites. Almost all the campsites use “Pack It In, Pack It Out” policy. (Not all campers follow this code, unfortunately.)