Wednesday – February 19, 2014
E.G. Simmons County Park
We spent a very peaceful night at the Miccosukee Casino near Miami, Florida and departed there at 7:00 a.m. We took routes FL-997 north to U.S.-27 to I-75 in route to our next campground in Ruskin, Florida.
As we approached Ft. Meters, Florida we had breakfast at the Cracker Barrel off Exit 131 on I-75. After consuming a hearty breakfast we continued north on I-75 to Exit 139 and stopped at the Camping World Store there to pick up a few items.
We arrived at the E.G. Simmons Regional Park in Ruskin, Florida at 1:25 p.m. This is a beautiful park located in Hillsborough County overlooking Tampa Bay. The park is located eighteen miles south of Tampa and three miles north of Ruskin. It was developed from 258 acres of native mangrove with open land areas, intertwined with waterways. An additional 200 acres of mangrove swamp has been set aside for a bird and wildlife sanctuary. It was conceived to provide a scenic and relaxing environment for recreation activities to be enjoyed by all age groups, offering picnicking, swimming, boating, fishing, and modern facilities for overnight camping. The park provides a natural sanctuary for wildlife, birds and botanicals. Many endangered species; the Manatee, Roseate Spoonbill, Bald Eagle, and others may occasionally be seen at the park.
There are two campgrounds located within the park: East Campground and West Campground. All campsites are first-come-first-serve. Campground facilities include; restrooms with flush toilets, hot showers and a dump station in each campground. There are a total of 104 campsites (54 in the East Campground and 50 in the West Campground). The East Campground has 48 campsites (sites 51 through 98) with electric and water hookups and 6 dry camping campsites (sites A through F). All 50 campsites (sites 1 through 50) in the West Campground have electric and water hookups. Each campsite in the West Campground and about one-half of the campsites in the East Campground has direct access to waterways that flow into Tampa Bay. Those campsites allow campers to dock their boats, canoes and kayaks in the water by their campsite. The remainder of the campsites in the East Campground are surrounded by land.
Upon our arrival, all of the campsites with electric and water hookups were occupied, so we were assigned to the letter C dry campsite in the East Campground. Our name was then added to a list awaiting a campsite with hookups. We were third on the list. Much to our surprise, we were informed at 4:00 p.m. that a campsite, with hookups, became available for us to occupy. It turned out the campsite was too short to accommodate the first two names on the waiting list, due to the length of their respective motorhomes. We were assigned to site #3 in the West Campground and settled in for an extended stay of seven days.
We receive good Internet service here through our T-Mobile service provider, using a smartphone tethered to our laptop. Our smartphones get 4G with 1 to 3-bars signal strength. With our smartphones attached to a signal booster we receive consistent 3 to 4-bars signal strength.
Camping Fee: $24.00 ($18.00 for seniors over 55)
The camping fees are cash only, no personal checks, debit cards or credit cards are accepted.
Campers can stay for 28 days, if the total amount is paid at the time of registration. Those campers can stay another 28 days if there are at least 10 vacant campsites available.
Campers that pay on a daily basis are limited to a 14-day maximum stay.
Total miles traveled today: 250
Tomorrow another adventure begins.