We thought we had our winter all figured out. The rig would bounce back and forth between a couple of state parks (that we love) along the gorgeous scenic Highway 30A area of the Florida Panhandle. Our reservations were made 11 months out so the plan was laid out to a “T” (all thanks to Betsy’s diligence clicking on ReserveAmerica at just the right time).
Not so fast RV-A-GOGO!
This year when we arrived we were informed by the rangers at one of the state parks that a directive from the powers high up in Tallahassee were being strict on rules and regulations that in the past were not always enforced. One particular rule that did not bode in our favor is that you (meaning a “camping unit”) cannot stay in a Florida State Park more than 56 days in a six-month period. Therefore, our reservations after 56 days were voided by the park. Ouch! And back-to-back reservations, those longer than 14 days on one site, by using one name and then a partner’s name, is also being eliminated by the parks.
We scrambled to find other reservations and discovered that our other park of choice (Topsail Hill Preserve and Gregory E. Moore RV Park) has long-term sites available for 60 days. This is something we had never heard of before and never saw on their website, but were delighted to hear. The campground used to be a private RV park before the state park system acquired it so some of the rules are different.
Our intention here is not to express personal opinions about the rules. They are what they are, and unquestionably, we will abide by them. Instead, this post is to serve as an informational platter for those of you who like to spend extended periods of time in Florida State Parks. Just because ReserveAmerica lets you book a reservation does not mean that it is in compliance with a particular park’s rules and regulations. It is best to check with the park first and then book your site and we’re sure this goes for other state parks across the country.
What our change in plans has done for us is kept us moving around and provided a new work camping opportunity-all of which we’re looking forward to and might not have happened if we had not gotten booted! We will head to the national park in Pensacola Beach for a week, then to a Panama City Beach state park (which we have never been to), and a one-month work camping gig in January.