Sunday, January 25, 2015

Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve and More

We have been pretty busy this week!

Some of the parks we have checked out include the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve, the Withlacoochee River Park, the Veterans Florida National Cemetery, and Silver Springs State Park, among a few others.

The Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve West Tract is located just East of Dade City, Florida and encompasses over 37,000 acres.  

Green Swamp Wilderness West Tract

The first day we visited, we walked to the Ashley Campground and the Cumpressco Campground on the packed dirt road. 

Ashley Campground

Both of these campgrounds are primitive, but beautiful, with loaded orange trees and live oaks.  Oranges are in season (in January!) here in central Florida, and I actually picked a few right off the tree!  

Fresh Picked Oranges

Water is available at each campsite.  No power or sewer.

We went back there to bike the day before the hunting season started.  Our bikes are considered ‘comfort’ bikes.  They can handle a dirt, graveled road as well as paved. Road bikes are best for pavement, but are no good in dirt, sand and gravel.  Basically, the main difference is the tire width – skinny tires for road bikes and fatter tires for comfort bikes.  We biked from the entrance to the end of the dirt road, about five (5) miles. 

At the end of the road, we sat down to eat our lunch we had packed.

Henry eating lunch

We heard a rustling in the woods, and a little buck pranced out on the road and looked at us.  He was not too frightened and pranced about some more, pausing to look intently our way.  Then he flashed his white tail and fled back into the woods.  We ate our lunch and prayed the little buck would make it through the hunting season about to begin.

As we headed back, we encountered a big road grader coming our way.  The road really wasn’t in that bad of condition, but it was being graded.  That made the road less packed and more difficult to ride on.  We had to pedal much harder for most of the way back to the vehicle.  At least we’re getting some good exercise!  A little over eleven (11) miles of biking.

We drove through the Withlacoochee River Park and consider it to be an attractive park.

Withlacoochee River Park

It has a really huge open field where they hold several events annually, with a few camping spots and an actual campground with about fifteen (15) sites. 

Withlacoochee River Park Field

The park offers paddling access to the Withlacoochee River headwaters, nice biking opportunities and hiking trails, which includes a portion of the Florida National Scenic Trail for a $2 parking fee. 

The Veterans Administration Florida National Cemetery is only a couple of miles from Sumter Oaks RV Park, where we are staying.  

Florida National Cemetery

It is somewhat overwhelming to actually see the number of tombstones that represent the veterans who served this country, many of whom gave their life so we can enjoy the freedom of this lifestyle.

The price they paid

And this is only ONE of the Veterans Cemeteries! I have two in my family currently serving, both of which have just recently returned from overseas duty.  We walked almost five miles (exercise) around this seemingly endless sea of tombs.

I don't want to leave you with a downer, so let me show you another neighbor here at Sumter Oaks.

Bring me a carrot?

Silver Springs will be covered in the next blog post.  Be sure to check back for this one!


  1. Beautiful pictures and very interesting. We are glad you are enjoying your RVing. C&N

  2. Thanks C&N! We hope you will come back frequently as we have more adventures to come!

  3. Discovered you a month or two ago and well, I'm back at the beginning! I'm sure to enjoy.


  4. John, Glad you checked back wih us! We've got lots more to come. :)