We camped in Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park

Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park

Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park is Florida’s newest state park, located in High Springs. The state bought the property in 2017 and turned it into the 175th state park in the state. I had visited the facility when it was privately owned and operated and felt it would be much better cared for by the state, so I was overjoyed when it went up for sale and the state purchased it for slightly more than $5 million.

At Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park, we camped for four nights. The campground is 1.15 miles back in the woods on a rough dirt road. The area is sparsely populated, but you can be near gas stations, stores, and a few restaurants in about 15 minutes. There is a small concession stand/store at the campground, and kayak rentals are available. You are also welcome to bring and launch your own kayaks.

We had our favorites and our dislikes.

What we liked best in Gilchrist Blue Springs Camp:

The Gilchrist Blue Springs has 18 RV-friendly campsites as well as some that are only for tent camping. We stayed at Site No. 1. Staying in site number one puts you right next to the bathhouse and spring. The main spring is about a two-minute walk from the campsite, and the bathhouse is about a one-minute walk. The main spring is only a 2-3 minute walk away from all of the RV sites (with the bathhouse being even closer). It was incredible to be so close to the spring! We could go down whenever we wanted to cool off. That was fantastic! In addition, there is another spring about a two-minute walk from the main spring at Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park. Naked Spring is located within the same park, about two minutes from the main spring and three minutes from the RV campsites. Both springs are stunning!

We liked how close the springs were. Furthermore, the campground is pleasant and shady, with plenty of trees. The campsites are small and lack privacy, but it worked out just fine. We also liked that we could leave and visit other nearby springs like Little River Springs, Rum Island, and Poe Springs while we were there (there are others in the area we’d visited before, too, like Itchetucknee Springs, Troy Springs, and Ginnie Springs).

gilchrist blue springs
Gilchrist blue springs state park

What we disliked In Gilchrist Blue Springs:

I have a Verizon hotspot on my phone, which has given me internet access at every campground we’ve ever visited. Until now, that is. I couldn’t get any internet service to work in this location. Before it would start working again, I had to leave the dirt road and get back on the main highway. That has never happened before. This has the potential to be both a blessing and a curse. Being virtually unplugged for four days is great for relaxation, but not so great if you are self-employed and need to respond to work-related inquiries that will bring you work when you return home.

Gilchrist Blue Springs campground only provides electric and water hookups; no full hookups are available. Worse yet, they do not yet have a dump station! I had no idea before we stayed there. After checking out, they recommend driving the 8+ miles to O’Leno State Park to use the dump station. That’s what we did because there was no other dump station nearby. It was also free to use if we showed our Gilchrist camping tag.

The bathhouse is a problem. This is due to the fact that those camping there share it with all of the day users. Good luck with the bathhouse if there are 250 people visiting the spring on that day. You distribute it to everyone. The campground desperately needs its own bathhouse, which it currently lacks. Because there are so many people who use the bathhouse, it is usually a mess. I’m also not sure how comfortable it will be for people to shower in there with so much park day-use traffic in and out.

Another issue is that the electric and water hookups are separated by a long distance. They are usually close to each other and on the same side at campgrounds. This was divided and dispersed. This is to warn you that you will need a long hose to connect. Ours was too short, so we had to go to Family Dollar and buy a longer one.

gilchrist blue springs
gilchrist blue springs

Overall Experience in Gilchrist Blue Springs:

Gilchrist Blue Springs State ParkIt is a fantastic destination. The two springs where you can swim are beautiful, and you can kayak in them. They should build at least a dump station and a designated campground bathhouse. I believe that will occur at some point. We had a good time, but we wouldn’t camp here again unless something changed. However, we would camp nearby and visit this park to snorkel. The campground is only $18 per night during this time of year (August 2018). The campground was very quiet, and we saw a lot of deer in the park.

One year later, in July 2020, I thought I wouldn’t want to come back here and camp for a year ago because of the disadvantages. But I did it! This month, we returned for a week. While I don’t like that there aren’t full hookups, you can’t beat how close each site is to the spring. And it’s a lovely spring! Furthermore, there is no cell service here. I, on the other hand, was looking forward to unplugging for the week. It helped my mind, so I don’t mind not having cell service. However, I still wish there was a full hookup or a dump station on the property.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2024 All Right Reserved