- Name: Alafia River State Park
- Dates of stay: November 26 – December 4, 2017
- Location: 14326 South County Road 39, Lithia, Florida 33547
- Type of campground: Florida State Park
- Cost: $22/night; with reservation fee and taxes totaled $25.50/night
- Additional fees: none known
- Stay limit: 14 days
- Accepts mail / packages: unknown/did not ask
- Cell reception: AT&T: fair signal
- Website: https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/alafia-river
- Pros: Incredibly spacious pull-through site in a beautiful State park
- Cons: no sewer hookup, summer would be hot and buggy
I’m coming to really love camping in the State and Local park system. Compared to commercial campground sites that I’ve seen (so far), campsites in the parks are much more spacious, beautiful AND less expensive! Maybe they don’t have all of the amenities of the commercial campgrounds, but I haven’t missed them yet.
We chose to stay at Alafia because it has an awesome mountain bike trail system. Jeff will post a review of the trail system separately. We had tent camped here years ago, so we knew the campground was nice. Although, tent camping and RV camping are very different animals!
The Alafia River campground offers 30 family campsites, twelve of which are for equestrian campers. Campsites are spread out along two loops, offering plenty of privacy and space. Our campsite (#28) is huge. There is a curved paved pull-through section, and a large grassy area with fire ring and large picnic table. You could pitch several tents out there without crowding. At night, the campground is extremely quiet.
The one negative of camping here is that it is not full hookup – water/electric only (50/30/20 amp). There is a dump station centrally located near the bath house. It is our first extended stay without sewer hookups, so we are only using our bathroom at night and putting minimal dish/hand washing water into our gray tank. No showers in the bus and no washing machine use. However, it’s no hardship to use the nearby bath house which is clean and has plenty of hot water. So far, it looks like our holding tanks will have plenty of capacity for our current use rate. A week is fine, two weeks would be harder! No park laundry facility coupled with no sewer hookup means either doing minimal hand laundry, venturing out to find a laundry mat, or wait until the next stop to do laundry!
There is no campground wifi, but our AT&T hotspot combined with our cellular booster antenna allows for reasonable internet access. It is sufficient for email and web surfing, but transferring large files is slow. Satellite TV is no problem, and Tampa is near enough to pull in a number of over the air channels.
The park feels way off the beaten path, but a full service grocery store and other civilization amenities are only 10-15 minutes away in Lithia. The park closes from sunset to 8 am, but a gate code is provided for late entry.
Besides the mountain biking trails, Alafia offers equestrian and hiking trails, fishing areas, canoeing/kayaking, boating, and wildlife viewing. We are here in late November, and the weather is absolutely perfect – 50/60s at night, 70s during the day, and dry. It’s weather that sucks you outside into nature!