Great Camping in Central Florida

Lake Griffin State Recreation Area

Largemouth bass are the goal of anglers at 14-square-mile Lake Griffin, although bluegill and specks make respectable consolation prizes. Tell that to bird-watchers and they may remark about their favorite part of the 427-acre park-the rookery, which resounds with a cacophony of bird chatter. Actually, the most unusual facet of this park may be the"floating islands." See the marsh between Lake Griffin and its uplands? Sometimes chunks break off from that marshy mat of soil and roots, and float like icebergs toward the lake.

Campers sleep in the shade of oaks, so bring mosquito repellent in summer. All sites-most sandy, some with pads-have a picnic table, grill, and fire ring for roasting marshmallows. As at most other state parks, campers are set apart from day-use areas such as the three-quarter-mile nature trail. Look for otters, rabbits, and raccoons during your stay. Canoeists and boaters use a ramp at the head of a quarter-mile canal leading to Lake Griffin. Ocala National Forest is nearby.

How To Get There

From Leesburg, drive about two miles north on U.S. 441/27. The park is on the right side of the road in Fruitland Park.

Campsites, facilities: All 40 sites are for RVs and tents, and all have water and electric hookups. Eight are pull-through. Each site has a picnic table, grill, and fire ring. On the premises are showers, rest rooms, a dump station, a boat ramp, a dock, canoe rentals, a playground, a nature trail, horseshoe and volleyball areas, and laundry facilities. Management says at least some facilities have wheelchair access. A restaurant, bait, and groceries are available within one mile. Children are welcome. Pets are welcome and are included in the fee.

Reservations, fees: Reservations are recommended. There is a $15 per night fee. Major credit cards are accepted. The maximum stay is two weeks.

Contact: Lake Griffin State Recreation Area, 3089 U.S. 441/27, Fruitland Park, FL 34731; (352) 360-6760 or fax (352) 360-6762.


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