Salt Springs Rec Area, Ocala Nat. Forest

Shore of Spring

We decided to visit this area on the advice of a friend who camped there many times. Our first surprise came with the entrance fee. We thought Karl’s Golden Age/Senior access pass gave us free entrance, but Karl received only a small discount. I paid full price. I questioned the person at the gate, who gave evasive answers at first. Finally, she said that a concession manages this location and several others in the national forest, and that determines whether they take the pass or give any discount. We also learned that the prices increased on August 1, 2018 but the national forest website which I had consulted did not yet reflect the new prices.

We drove around the campground, and even the higher price now charged seemed reasonable for a full hook up sites. The campground consists of the large field concept with over 100 sites with room between the sites but no foliage or privacy, and only occasional shade. Some appeared quite level, others clearly not level. Sizes varied. The overall reviews online tended towards positive.

Otter

Then, we took a walk in the spring area. Butterflies of various types fed on the flowers totally ignoring us, fish swam by in the very clear water, and an otter popped up, studied us briefly, and swam away.

turtle

We found the visit pleasant, and might return to camp if an event takes us to the area. We knew that private companies managing state and national parks and forests occurred in several places, but did learn that it is more prevalent than we knew. These private businesses do pay the government and according to a sign at the location 100% of what they pay stays at the site at which they collected it.

 

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