We’ve been thrown out of worse places!

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We’ve been thrown out of worse places!

PipesTraveler Rating:

As we wind down our winter visit back to Florida (yes the heat has already arrived) we were trying to dodge the Coronavirus pandemic and staying low…on the down low. We thought we had found the perfect plan for staying in the central Florida area with a lovely spot at the Edward Medard Conservation Park and Campground. We booked for 14 days per the staff and we were to come back up to the office and book additional weeks, etc. if we chose. This is one of those few places that don’t take reservations…you just have to get lucky when you arrive. Really makes it hard to plan a trip over here for a few days but the demand is high and with the small size of the campground guess thats the way it has to be.

General map of the vicinity

The park overall is pretty large with about 1,300 acres and a 700 acre reservoir for terrific boating and fishing on the dug out remains of a phosphate pit. There’s a lot of open space for picnicking, trails for hiking and bird watching. They do offer canoe/kayak rentals, large picnic shelters for gatherings of all kinds. The park team keep the grounds clean as a whistle and the camp hosts/volunteers do an amazing job of keeping the bath/shower house spotless!

The vast 700 acre reservoir
Hiking Trails

Flora and fauna is impressive here.

Big and beautiful open areas

This park is located close to the town of Plant City, Florida which is worth a visit – here’s a link to a post we did recently about Plant City – earlier post

It’s a county park of Hillsborough County so no discounts on camping unless you’re a senior 65 or older or a resident of this county. Our daily rate was $18 being over 65 but not county residents. Not bad at all for the quality of the park and the camp sites. The campground has two loops…. 1-17 sites and another with 18-42 sites for a total of 42 sites. They are all pretty large and most roomy enough for Class A motor-coaches. The sites all offer a picnic table, fire ring, 30/50 amp electrical service, and water connection….sites are mostly level. There are bath houses in each of the two loops if needed. A dump station is on site for use at no additional charge.

Site #7 our site. My fire poke is standing ready.

A water view from a trail

Canoes & Kayaks for rental

Boat ramp

Pets are welcomed but must be kept on a leash at all times which is par for the course…the leash helps you to jerk “Whiskers” up off the ground in the event of a stray or loose meanie. It happens way too often at campgrounds. The campground is very quiet because of its location – love this. There’s a boat ramp with plenty of parking close to the campground and picnic areas.

Campground loop

Sun setting behind the boat ramp

Hillsborough County made the call to close the park (Covid19) and run off all of the otherwise happy campers to fend for themselves with literally nowhere to go….we did get a week’s notice to vacate and the staff tried to work with everyone on the refunds, etc. that were necessary. The campground went from 100% occupancy to zero within just 4-7 days. When considering visiting this park for camping, we strongly suggest that you call them the day before you’re planning to arrive around noon-2 pm and the staff can give you an idea of how many sites (if any) might be opening then if it looks promising arrive at the front gate early and this will increase your chances of getting a site.

Luciousness

First fruit…taken in early February

Plant City is well known for its abundant strawberry production and there’s huge fields of these delicious berries in February-April and the weather is ideal too!

If you’re into birding at all this place has some amazing opportunities – Snowy Egrets, Anhingas, Double Crested Cormorants, the Great Blue Heron, White Ibis, and the smallest Heron…the elusive Least Bittern

He’s onto a fat frog…

This is an excellent County Park and as such based on our experiences we’re awarding them with a 4.5 Pickle review! Come over sometime and see what you think BUT save us a site!

Edward Medard Conservation Park and Campground, 6140 S. Turkey Creek Road, Plant City, FL 33567 – (813) 757-3802

Chris Pipes
chris@pipestraveler.com
4 Comments
  • Clark Waters
    Posted at 16:39h, 31 March Reply

    Thanks for the update and information. Is the boat ramp open to the public? Is there a dock on the Lake to fish from or are the banks clear so you could fish from there?
    Do you know if they stock the lake, is it spring fed or does it run into another source of water? Great pictures.
    Regards
    ECW
    PS I hope you found another camp as you were kicked out.

    • PipesTraveler
      Posted at 18:36h, 01 April Reply

      Yes, the boat ramp is open to the public..limited fishing from the banks as its too grown over but here/there you can get access and they do have fishing off the dock and a long walkway/dock over the water. The waters are stocked but don’t believe there’s any spring in that immediate area. They say the fishing is great from a boat. We’ll have to go sometime. Glad you liked the pics! Thanks for following along with us.

  • Pegi Brock
    Posted at 11:08h, 02 April Reply

    What a wonderful opportunity to have the time to see bits and pieces of our beautiful country. Stay safe guys! We love you!

    • PipesTraveler
      Posted at 14:41h, 08 April Reply

      Thanks Pegi – we sure are having fun seeing so many neat places – some obviously way better than others but each one is an adventure and an opportunity to learn, meet new folks and develop an appreciation for region, climate zones and our fav the flora/fauna. Miss you guys already but we’ll reconnect in the fall to continue the fun!

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