Tag Archives: Florida camping

CS #47 – Oxbow Campsite, Tate’s Hell State Forest

Reserve this site on Reserve America, CS 47, Oxbow, at Tate’s Hell State Forest, Pickett’s Bay section. When you get to your site, find the closest location for cell phone coverage. A 911 address for this site has not yet been cleared with the First Responders in Franklin county, but call the Tate’s Hell office and request a 911 address. This camp site is off Warren Bluff Road close to Carrabelle and the campsite sign is east of Warren Bluff Campsite.

It over a mile drive from the sign to the campsite.

On the Crooked River, one can see the river-front homes on the Crooked River beyond the marsh grasses. For those who prefer the reassurance of civilization nearby, yet camped far enough to enjoy privacy and the wilderness, this is an ideal site.

It is a large, flat, sandy site. There is extra room under the oak tree to pitch a tent.

There is enough beach at the bottom of the sandy slope to put-in or take-out parallel to the shoreline.

The view downriver is shown below, and below that photo two photos of the views upriver.

For those who prefer isolation, similar sandy sites on the Crooked River on either side of this site may be preferred: Site #46 Sunday Rollaway and site #48 Warren Bluff campsites.

CS #1 – Sumatra Campsite, Tate’s Hell State Forest

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Reserve this site at Reserve America, Sumatra Campsite 1, Tate’s Hell State Forest. When you get to the site, check for the best cell phone connection location. If you call 911, give 40169 SE Campsite Road, Liberty County (not Franklin), Tate’s Hell State Forest, GPS 30.03174, -84.82746. First responders will not be able to find you with just a campsite number. Reserve America will not include this information on your confirmation.

To get to this campsite, take CR 67 to Sumatra. At the Family Coastal Restaurant, drive east on e Forestry Road 22 (paved, then sandy) for 5.8 miles,. Turn right on Cut-thru Road and travel for .7 miles to Nero Road (no signage). Turn left on Nero Road, you will pass SF 121A after .9 miles, SF 125 after 1.3 miles and Nero road after 1.7 miles. Nero Road will end at the intersection of Sumatra Campsite road (noted on brown wooden sign with yellow lettering). Turn left on Sumatra Campsite road and drive for 1.1 miles. The road ends at Sumatra Campsite 1 which is on the New River.

The river was very high after a major rainfall. It is normally not this high.

There is a very good landing here, except when the water is very low, there is a sharp and deep drop. The chances are if the river is that low, there is no through navigability downstream to Campsite 17 on the New.

This is a good campsite for those who may want to use it to explore the upper reaches of the New River as far as one can paddle and the lower reaches as far as one can paddle. In high water, the current may be swift and returning from a down river excursion may take some effort.

It is large enough to accommodate at least 3 two person tents and possibly more.

The view downstream is shown below and below that, the view upstream. Note that the deciduous trees are all leafing out. When deciduous trees leaf on this river, the amount of water they take from the river is enormous. If it doesn’t rain, the water level will fall precipitously in the next week. Generally the best time to assure through navigability on the river in these upper reaches (to campsite 17) is no later than mid-March.

CS #4 – Gully Branch, Tate’s Hell State Forest

Reserve this site at Reserve America, CS #4, Gully Branch, Tate’s Hell State Forest, New River Section. When you arrive, check for best location for cell connection. If you call 911, give 2351 Gully Branch Road, Tate’s Hell State Forest, GPS 29.95949, -84.72231, as your address. First responders will not be able to find you if you only give your campsite number. Reserve America does not include this information on your confirmation.

This is a small campsite right off Gully Branch Road, immediately west of the Gully Branch Bridge and day use Recreation Area. A vault toilet is available at the recreation area.

There is a creek behind the campsite which runs into the New River.

CS #10 – New River East, Tate’s Hell State Forest

Reserve this site at Reserve America, CS #10 New River East, Tate’s Hell State Forest, Picketts Bay Section. When you arrive on site, check closest cell phone connection location. If you call 911, give 2060 Double Bridge Road, Tate’s Hell State Forest, GPS 29.93131, -84.73582 as your address. First responders will not be able to find you if you give only a campsite number. Reserve America does not include this information on your confirmation.

This is a grassy site which should allow for 3 two person tents and cars.

While it is on the river, there is no safe access to the river for boats.

But not everyone who camps paddles and the view of the water downriver and (below that) upriver is worth camping here.

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CS #5 – Dew Drop, Tate’s Hell State Forest

Reserve this site at Reserve America, CS #5, Dew Drop, Tate’s Hell State Forest, New River Section. When you arrive at the campsite, find the closest cell signal location. If you call 911, give this address: 2121 River Road, Tate’s Hell State Forest, GPS 29.93646, -84.73512. First responders will not be able to find you by just a campsite number. Reserve America does not include this information on your confirmation.

Situated on the New River, this campsite is much smaller than many of the New River Sites. One cannot safely launch a boat in the New River from this site.

A long entry surrounded by pines and palmettos will take you to the campsite.

The site would be large enough for a family, but may feel rather cramped with a small group.

There is no safe access to the river.

The above photo was taken when the river was low.

But it’s a lovely site with river view.

CS #7, Borrow Pit, Tate’s Hell State Forest

Reserve this site at Reserve America, Borrow Pit #7, Tate’s Hell State Forest, New River Section. When you get to the site, find the best cell coverage location. If you call 911, give them as address 2500 Forest Road 90, GPS 29.91707, -84.73446, Tate’s Hell State Forest. First responders will not be able to find you by campsite number. Reserve America does not include this information on your confirmation.

Borrow Pit campsite #7 has its own borrow pit and is on a rarely traveled road off West River Road, west of the New River. The pond has fish and, like Borrow Pit #6 site, is on a large flat area suitable for running and games for children (and adults). These two sites are perfect for petanque (like bocci but not requiring a prescribed court and more compact to carry). The road around the pond is long enough for biking for children and within eye sight of parents. Access into the pond is easy for kayaks, SUPs or canoes. The pond here is smaller than the larger pond on CS 6.

The damaged fire pit and grill and table are unshaded, except by the pines surrounding this very large site. Iff camping during warmer months, some shade cover is recommended.

It’s near the New River, so paddlers can have a driver drop them off one of the river campsites with a good launching area (separate post to be written later) and paddle down to another New River site where there is safe take-out landings, east or west of the river, to be picked up later. Gully Branch Recreation Area has a day use area suitable for lunch stop-overs (or put-in or take-outs) and vault toilets.

CS 55-57 – Cash Creek Campground, Tate’s Hell State Forest

Reserve sites 55 and 56 at Reserve America, Cash Creek, Tate’s Hell State Forest, Cash Creek section. When you get to your site, locate the area with cell connection. If you call 911, give as address, Cash Creek Recreation Area, 201 Cash Creek Road, Tate’s Hell State Forest, GPS 29.81643, -84.83709. First responders will not be able to locate you with just a campsite number. Reserve America does not include this information on your confirmation.

This campground does not afford much privacy, but is suitable for those who wish to be closer to the many paddling areas off SR 65, on the eastern tributaries of the Apalachicola River. It is also close to Eastpoint, the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve, St. George Island and seafood retailers and restaurants. There is a concrete boat ramp at this day use area and campground with sandy launch areas for kayaks and canoes.

The photos above are of Cash Creek looking upriver (first two shots) and downriver. This is a favorite launching area for motorized fishing boats headed downstream through the estuaries. For kayakers and canoers, there are over 12 miles of paddling options upriver. Downriver paddling is among estuary grasses and without shade. One can easily get lost among the trails in the estuary without some type of directional aid.

We have seen swimmers near the dock; we have also seen large alligators upriver.

The amenities at this campground are a vault toilet (bring your own toilet paper, just in case, and sanitizer), bear-proof garbage cans, covered picnic tables. There is no water at the site — it is a primitive campground.

Campsite 55 is next to the day use pavilion, separated by palmettos.

This is across the day use pavilion and adjacent to the non-reservable walk-in site #57.

Although lined with sand and gravel, the bed is adequate for tents.

These sites are perfect if you wish to take a moonlight night paddle in Cash Creek (no trees to obscure path of moon across the sky) and return to watch enjoy the night at the landing or around your campfire. (There are large alligators in Cash creek).

The photos above were taken on an overcast day. The photos below of the creek looking upstream and then downstream were taken on a sunny day.