Saturday, December 16, 2017

2017 Florida RV Trip, Days 14-15, Moving Up To Dunnellen

Sunday was moving day and we awoke to temps of 45 which was 20* lower than the previous days and – what a difference in two days.  Our destination was Rainbow Springs State Park, about 220 miles to the north, and we took I-75 to exit on FL-44 to Inverness, where we picked up US-41 to Dunnellen and then a couple of county roads to the campground.  All of the roads were in good shape and FL-44 was four lane.

Unlike our previous two stops in resorts, the state park offered a real campground but with some large sites, FHU’s including 50 amp power, and normal campground items – picnic table, grill, and fire ring.  When I selected our site I looked closely on Google Earth and picked a satellite friendly site that would accommodate our length – I find Google Earth to be invaluable for trip planning.

Our site is right across from the office so I hope that makes it more secure.

I’ve read many good things about Florida’s state park campgrounds but this is our first stay in one and I would not hesitate to book another.  While I like the upscale RV resorts, I also like the woodsy feel of a campground especially at half the price – nature girl Cindy loved it here.

The Rainbow River begins within the park at Rainbow Springs which is Florida's 4th largest springs system producing nearly 500 million gallons of water per day.  It was a tourist attraction from the 30's-70's with glass bottom boats, etc.  Here is the springs area from the web along with some of our shots of the springs and it's swimming area.

As part of the original tourist attraction, water was pumped into a reservoir atop the hill to create several natural looking waterfalls.

This is the river a little downstream shot from a little path leading from the campground.  It only flows a few miles before dumping into the Withlacoochee River - Florida native Cindy had to say it for us.

When I booked this campground, I was just looking for the best place for us to be to see the sites and had no idea the state park had so much to offer.

On Monday we awoke to a frosty 27F morning which was 6F colder than our home, which is about 500 miles north, and even 2F colder than Chicago’s 29F – I don ‘t understand how that’s possible.  Over night, I tried heating the coach with just the fireplace and the electric portion of the Aqua Hot but it was pretty chilly in the coach when I got up so I kicked on the fuel burner in the Aqua Hot and we were soon toasty warm.  After a few discussions, we decided to just run some errands (Lowe’s and Winn Dixie), drive around the area a little, and fix a seafood dinner.

Bev had a recipe for Pecan Crusted Grouper and we had picked up a nice fillet from Skip One Seafood, so it was on the menu for supper along with a salad.  The recipe was from Kinloch Pecan Oil and I didn’t reproduce it here – we sided it with one of Bev’s nice salads.

It got mixed reviews with Cindy loving it, me liking it, and my non-fish girls saying it was just okay – I’m sure I can find better recipes for a nice big grouper filet – perhaps fried fingers next time.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them and the blue words are links.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


12/10-12/11/17 Event Dates


  1. Looks like a nice state park and the kind of area we would enjoy , The grouper sounds very tasty so many ways to cook fish.

  2. We have stayed in some of the best state parks. Big beautiful sites. It's in the 40s here at night and that is just too cold so our furnace gets used as well as the fireplace.

  3. Hi Larry, Like the State Park RV camp ground. I can see Cindy being very happy there...but hey, half price is the reason that we stay at Hampton Inns vs. Hilton Hotels. Makes a lot of sense to me! Swimming hole...what about gators in the warm weather?! Great looking hunk of pecan crusted and roasted grouper... Dang! You did get cold down there. We have had 2 21F days and one of them was last night. Our little group dined at Lakeside Grill earlier this week and a great time was had by all. They said to say Hi! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  4. There was a wicked cold front that ran across the south - so I guess you were right in the middle of it! Glad you picked such a picturesque location to camp - looks great!

  5. I've been in Florida in December when it's just stupidly cold, so I feel your discomfort. It doesn't seem reasonable, does it? It's really nice that Florida does such a good job with their state run campgrounds; it's always great when you find a bargain that turns out to be actually comfortable....well, other than the northern-style temperatures....

  6. Those waterfall shots remind me of Oregon..the cold weather in the morning does too! I think the grouper looks tasty to me.


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