Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ruffing It at Blackwater River State Park


This past weekend, we went on a camping adventure at Blackwater River State Park in Holt, Florida which is in the western part of the Florida panhandle.

The 590-acre park is situated along both sides of the Blackwater River.  Though the river has tannin-stained water (from decomposing plant material) it is clean and clear with white sand beaches every so often for relaxing and soaking in the north Florida sun.  The river itself is designated a Florida Canoe Trail and though the park does not rent canoes, there are local outfitters right outside the park entrance.




Blackwater River and its white sand beaches

When we arrived Friday, we immediately set up our campsite.  There are 30 campsites in two campground loops situated among longleaf pine trees.  Some campsites can accommodate tent camping but all can accommodate RV camping which has its pluses: each site has water, electric, a picnic table, a charcoal grill and a fire pit.  The electric is handy if, like us, you do not just bring a camping mattress but the Aerobed!

Though, I will say depending on how you like to camp, the down side of all the sites being RV-ready is the campsites do not feel as "isolated" as some parks that have a separate campground for tenters.  That said, the campground is very family- and dog-friendly (FYI: all Florida State Parks require pets to be on a 6-foot leash while exploring and on a tie out while at the campsite)!  Both campground loops are adjacent to a restroom building (toilets AND hot showers) which was very clean.

After setting up camp, we walked the Juniper Lake Nature Trail which heads at the campground and wanders through the forest and down to a white sand beach beside the river.  Along this trail is a boardwalk that leads to pavilions with charcoal grills and picnic tables for day-trippers.  On this trail we saw many oxbow lakes, filled with cypress trees and cypress stands, which formed when the river overflowed.  The lakes and river are home to lots of wildlife including alligators and birds as well as this little guy - a Cooter turtle.




On Saturday morning, we walked the Chain of Lakes Nature Trail on the south side of the river.  This loop-trail wandered along the river, then went inland a bit where we saw a few more oxbow lakes and then finally lead us into the pine forest. 



At some spots it looked as though I was Toto leading us into the Haunted Forest.

"Lions, tigers and bears...OH MY!"

But then the trail opened up and we were surrounded by very tall pine trees.  The forest was beautiful and in typical Florida fashion, there were little palm trees and native grasses growing among the pines.

All in all, Blackwater River State Park was a TERRIERIFIC camping adventure.  I bet the forest is even more beautiful in the Spring when more of the plant life is in bloom.  If you like a great camping adventure and are near (or are traveling to) north Florida, I highly recommend Blackwater River State Park

I give Blackwater River State Park a Dog-Friendly Rating of 4 Dog Bones!







With my Nite Dawg collar on at camp
Before I leave you with a few more photos from my trip, I want to give a "Woof-out" to the kind folks at SafetyGearOnline.  A while back, they sent me the Nite Dawg LED Collar to review and I must say the collar worked AWESOME at night at the campsite.  No one had to worry about losing me thanks to my light-up collar!

Now...a few more photos from my trip!









30 comments:

  1. Awesome adventure! Cool pics!

    ReplyDelete
  2. We're back. Sorry we haven't commented much in January... With HH doing the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge, we didn't have much on-line time. Now we do....

    What beautiful picture of that park and right here in Florida. We'll have to tell HH about it.

    Thanks for sharing your adventure.

    Have a great day.

    Hugs, Max, Bugsy and Knuckles

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Max, Bugsy and Knuckles. No worries about being away for a while...I know HH was working on her paintings.

      It is a very nice park. If HH is ever in the area, she should definitely give it a visit.

      Delete
  3. What fun!!!!!!! I can feel the warm temps coming through your photos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BOL Miss Caren because we were a bit chilled up there in north Florida, if you can believe it! Glad it feels warm to you though.

      Delete
  4. Oz that's a great travel writeup...Momz sez she's visited that area before but never been in Blackwater...now she wants to go...I bet it would be fun to cool off in the river in the Summer time and I'd have a great time exploring those trails

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Giz! You and mom should go! Blackwater was a great park. The river would definitely be cool in the Summer but there are plenty of signs warning to "swim at your own risk" because of the gators. Those darn gators ruin all our fun sometimes.

      Delete
  5. Very beautiful. This looks like a wonderful place to visit. Those trails look awesome! Glad you had fun.

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a great adventure! Thanks for sharing the photos. (Not sure we'll ever be able to take Rita camping... I'm afraid she'd bark at every little sound and the other campers would end up pelting us with their cans of baked beans.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I was quite barky in the beginning Jackie, but then I got so exhausted I could barely get out a muffled growl. BOL It was a great adventure!!

      Delete
  7. Hahahah Toto...okays now dat was FUNNY! Dat is really a purty place to go campin' at...but then again, how would I know? Mum don't do bugs...at all...weirdo.
    It's a nice place withs all da things like electricity and a fire pit fur roastin' marshy mellows.

    Puddles

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My mom doesn't like bugs much either but she "behaves" when camping. They do live outside so can't really avoid them. Some of the forest looked like the haunted forest, I swear. I would run right in and pull mom...BOL.

      Hmmm, no marshy mellows made on our trip. Pffft! But we did pop popcorn over the campfire. It was nifty!
      *Cairn cuddles*

      Delete
  8. Beautiful photos! Looks like you had a pawsome camping adventure!
    Hugs,
    Pepper

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Pepper! It was an awesome adventure. I cannot wait until the next one!

      Delete
  9. Whoa, your haunted forest looks like the ones we have around here in Oregon! Maybe they're all over the place....that's a spooky thought.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm, maybe there are lots of haunted forests so that we dogs have something to protect our humans from?

      Delete
  10. That is totally my kind of adventure! Morgan and I would have had the best time! Morgan has one of those collars, too!

    Bunny

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES! I knew you would like it Bunny! You and Morgan get to go on so many adventures, I'm jealous.

      Delete
  11. I haven't been camping in so long! Your trip looks amazing Oz. I'd be afraid of coming across an alligator. Your cooter friend looks pretty nice though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Ann, you should go camping again. It was so much fun. Well, we are used to seeing alligators...you just gotta stay FAR away from them, especially if you're a little dog like me. I look like a tasty lunch!

      Delete
  12. Lookin like an pawsome break from your rooteen my pal....we likes to go campin too but we never got da wevver in da UK

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh you should come over here and visit. We have camping weather pretty much year round (that is, if you can stand the heat and bugs of summer).

      Delete
  13. Wow! Amazing photos and sounds like a great trip

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was Misaki! I loved it! The forest and river were beautiful.

      Delete
  14. Oz, thanks for the travel journal! We like! WOOF WOOF :) :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow, Oz, what a different and very cool place. I love the trees!! Thanks for sharing in the blog hop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for starting the blog hop, Roxy. I think it is going to be the best.

      Delete

Thank you for stopping by and leaving a pawprint. I enjoy reading each and every one!
Cairn cuddles,
Oz the Terrier