Date: 2/27/15 – 3/1/15
Location: Canoe Outpost Little Manatee River
Some of our northern family members from Vermont were trying to escape their cold winter and rented a house for a week just south of Disney. Early on in their planning they messaged us about wanting to have a family gathering with the Florida family members. So, we planned a Saturday get together at our daughters house near Lithia, Fl. This would be a short driver for for the crew from staying in Orlando and centrally located for us as well as my brother and sister-in-law (Jim & Jo) from south Florida.
Over the past year+, we’ve started camping again with Jim and Jo and figured this would be a great opportunity to get in a camping weekend together. A Hillsborough County campground, Lithia Springs, is just a half mile from our daughters house and I gave them a call to check on availability. The person I spoke with in the front office assured me that they “always” have openings and we’d have no problem getting a campsite for the weekend. They don’t take reservations, so I was a little concerned about getting a site during the busy winter season.
We had camped at Lithia Springs back in August of 2012 and enjoyed the campground, although it was a little warm at that time since it was summer in Florida. We had no problem finding a place to camp back then,
On the weekend of our family get together Jim and Jo were a little ahead of us and arrived at Lithia Springs before we got there and were informed by the person working the gate that the park was 100% full and no way we were going to get a site. They started to drive back down the road leading into the park and we passed them. Seeing that they were leaving we knew what the deal was. So much for calling ahead and checking on availability!!
We both parked on the shoulder of the road and started calling around to other parks to see if any had any openings. Of course with it being winter in Florida everything we tried was full. One person on the phone recommended that we try the Canoe Outpost on the Little Manatee river since they have a campground along with their canoe rental business. Luckily they did have a few sites open, with two of them being side by side. So, we took them, sight unseen.
Unfortunately, the Canoe Outpost was about 20 miles south of where we wanted to be, so it took us a while to make our way there through the Friday traffic. When we arrived we found that the sites were small and the campground was just so-so. There was not much privacy between the sites and many of them were taken by long term renters. But we made the best of it and had a good time.
Our campsite at The Canoe Outpost campground
On Saturday we had the get together with all the Florida family and the visitors from up north. We were lucky and had a great weather day and a few actually got in the pool (brrrrrrrrr!). We played a few “friendly” games of corn hole and enjoyed our time together.
A group shot of the family!
On Sunday we made a good camp breakfasts and then broke camp and headed back home. Although we were glad to be able to find a campsite for the weekend, the Canoe Outpost campground probably isn’t a place we’d want to visit again. Maybe we’d want to kayak the Little Manatee River, but we’ll pass on using their campground!