Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Park and Campsite

I have to admit that Carole and I chose the Ochlockonee River State Park because when we wanted to book a site, all of our first choices in Florida parks were booked solid. So we had to pick an alternate park, going down the list of parks in the area of the state we wanted to visit. Ochlockonee River was actually fifth or sixth on our preference.

Also, when we were picking out our campsite, the choices were getting slim there, too. So we ended up going with campsite #19, hoping for the best. When we arrived it seemed a little tricky getting the trailer into the site, but it ended up being a lot easier than I would have thought when looking at the area. In addition, we were extremely happy with the site's privacy, space, and shade. It was easily one of the largest campsites we've ever had at a state park.

The park itself is heavily wooded. It was once a slash pine/turpentine tree farm before the state bought it. These days it's known for its wildlife, in particular the white squirrels that are there in some number, and the popular boat ramp with access to the river of the park's name. We saw a fair amount of wildlife and were at first pleased to see the white squirrels, but soon grew irritated at how bold the little rodents were and how much of our stuff they ended up raiding, stealing, and damaging.

Also, the park was central to many of the places we wanted to explore, and we had some really nice float trips on some of the springs and rivers we'd picked out to see. All in all, I can highly recommend the park as a central destination.

Campsite #19. Not only was it spacious, there was access to the river right behind our campsite, complete with a stairway to the shoreline!

Tons of space to spread out, and plenty of shade.

Just another example of the space we had. The site went even farther back. I was standing in front of a clothesline when I took this photo. We used that line a lot to dry towels.

The view right behind our campsite.

When we first arrived, we asked a ranger about how and where to see the white squirrels. "Just stand next to a tree and make a sound like a potato chip," he said. He wasn't kidding. Soon, they were pretty much terrorizing us. One even grabbed a spatula from our picnic table and made off with it!

There's also a population of Red cockaded woodpeckers in the park. I did see a mated pair of them, but they would not let me get very close. This was the best I could do of a photo of one. Taken from a very great distance with a telephoto lens and then cropped. I wish I could have gotten a clearer photo.

Turkey vulture. This one was sitting on the stair leading to the riverbank.

Another white color phase animal! There must be something in the water. This was the most solidly white deer I have ever seen in the South. Popularly termed "piebald" deer. She was a beauty.

No comments: