Fall is in full swing. The leaves are changing and the temperatures are falling. The days may be getting shorter, but camping in the fall has many advantages. You can usually avoid the summer heat, and the winter cold hasn’t set in. But the best part of fall camping may be the lack of crowds. Spots that are packed full of tourists and families can be practically empty this time of year. You’ll have your choice of camping spots, and won’t have to wait in line to get in and out of parks, use a dump station, and more. So we thought we would share some of our favorite fall camping spots.
Blue Springs State Park in Florida: Blue Springs State Park is about an hour north of Orlando or 2 hours south of Jacksonville. The park has tent and RV camping spots as well as a few cabins. There is panty to do in the park. You have the standard hiking and campfire acitivites, but you can also kayak, canoe and fish. But the most unusual thing about this park may be the manatees. The warm waters of the park’s natural springs attract these graceful animals, as they seek refuge from colder waters. As many of 500 manatees swim in the ⅓ mile section of the crystal clear St Johns River. The best time to view these creatures is from mid November to mid January.
Anza-Borrego State Park in California: At 600,000 acres, this is the largest state park in California. The park is named after the spanish explorer, Juan Bautista de Anza, and the spanish word for bighorn sheep. Look carefully at the side of the mountains and maybe you’ll catch a glimpse of these well camouflaged “ borregos”. But rest assured that whether you see them or not, the bighorn sheep are there. The park also features roadrunners, golden eagles, and tons of other desert wildlife. This is desert camping so the air is dry, it’s warm during the day, and chilly at night. There are plenty of hiking and off-road trails in the area and you can even hike a section of the PCT. You definitely wouldn’t want to camp here in the middle of the summer. So fall is the perfect time of year for this campground.
Hocking Hills State Park Ohio: Hocking Hills State Park has mile upon mile of hiking around beautiful waterfalls, caves, and gorges. The The park is bathed in lush green foliage. (Very different from Anza Borrego!) and is beautiful any time of year. Be sure to do the hike to “Old Man’s Cave”. Apparently named after and hermit who lived and then died in the cave. His remains were reburied at a new location, but some say the cave is still haunted by the old hermit and his dog. A short half mile hile from the camping area will also get you to Whispering Cave, where the 105 foot waterfall flows on onto the floor below or the Hemlock trail with its swinging bridge that crosses Old Man’s Creek. Just try not to look down.