Manatee County, Florida Primitive Camping

Manatee County, Florida Primitive Camping
Manatee County, Florida, is located on the Gulf Coast of the state, just south of Tampa. The county has access to lakes, parks and ocean beaches. Scuba-diving, sea-kayaking, canoeing, hiking, bird-watching, wildlife observation and fishing are all possible within the county. There are several parks and campgrounds that offer tent sites and primitive camping.

Manatee Lake State Park

Manatee Lake State Park is located along a three-mile stretch of Manatee Lake. Although the name suggests manatees would be in the lake, because the lake is dammed, there are none of the marine creatures in the park. Fishing, canoeing, swimming and bird-watching are possible in and around the lake. There are hiking trails to explore. Tent camping and primitive sites are at the park's campgrounds. Picnic tables and fire rings are in the campgrounds. Bathrooms and showers are available for guest comfort. Pets are allowed if leashed.

Manatee Lake State Park
20007 State Road 64
Bradenton, FL 34212
941-741-3028
floridastateparks.org/lakemanatee/default.cfm

Little Manatee River State Park

Little Manatee River State Park sits on the banks of the Little Manatee River. The park has many acres of swamp-land. Be prepared for mosquitoes when camping in the park. Tent camping is permitted at the park's campground. Tent sites are primitive. Picnic tables, fire rings and grills are provided at camping sites. Fresh water taps are accessible. Pets are only allowed if they remain leashed. Bird-watching, floating the river, swimming and snorkeling are all possible at the park. Manatees swim the river and it is possible to slip into the water and snorkel with the slow-moving water sirens.

Little Manatee River State Park
215 Lightfoot Road
Wimauma, FL 33598
813-671-5005
floridastateparks.org/littlemanateeriver/

Frog Creek Campground and RV Park

While primarily an RV park, the Frog Creek Campground can accommodate tent campers on a limited basis. Tent sites are in the RV zone and have picnic tables and fire rings. The tent sites are primitive. Showers, bathrooms, barbecue stations, laundry room and a guest house are available for campers. Pets are allowed. Fresh water is available for tent campers. Frog Creek and a 2,000-acre nature reserve abut the campground. There are wildlife observation platforms and a small nature trail on the premises. Bird-watching and alligator sightings can be done from Frog Creek.

Frog Creek Campground and RV Park
8515 Bayshore Road
Palmetto, FL 34221
941-722-6154
frogcreek.us.com/about.html

Article Written By Eric Cedric

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

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