Alafia River State Park


Oct 2, 2015
Lakeland, FL
This camping trip was a full year and a couple of back surgeries since the last!! However, for the first time in Florida we made it to the park in daylight.

The Park – It was easy to find the park in the daylight (entrance not easy to see at night and bring a flashlight to see the keypad to enter your code) The check in was very quick, and as has been our experience with the state parks in Florida, very courteous and friendly and extremely knowledgeable about the park and its history. It's a 5 or so minute drive from check in to the campground, the sites are 2 loops, the bathhouse and dump station are in the center of the "figure 8". Dumpsters are a bit of a hike and there are only 2. They refer to the loops as separate campgrounds, Alafia Lake to the north and Lonesome Lame to the East. We were stayed in site 29, which is the last back in site on the North loop.

The Site - This was a back in site, paved (blacktop). The site was very level in all directions, taking only a few short minutes to be ready for top raising. The electrical hook up and water are close to each other, and the electrical box was clean with 50, 30 and 20amp service/connectors. Fire pits, Grills and picnic tables were at every site. We had neighbors in spot 28 (across from us, a Viking pop up) and a travel trailer in 27. The spots were spaced great, there is limited privacy (trees/foliage) between them. Power remained clean and constant, water pressure was good (used a regulator and filter). Using a 7-gallon Aquatainer for drainage was an easy fit. A picnic bench and fire pit are on each site.

The Experience - With a forecast calling for the back side of tropical storm Nestor and we had wicked wind and rain overnight from Friday to Saturday (yup - a tornado while in the camper!) - we didn’t setup the awning and the remaining days of our trip was still breezy. Bath houses were clean (there is only 1 and no washer/dryer available) in the center of the 2 loops. Even as close a spot we had dumpsters were quite a walk. We had trouble locating the hiking trail and ended up where we think we might been on the wrong one, but it worked out at the end. Deer, armadillo, lizards, birds and more dragonflies than we have ever seen!! There was biking events over the weekend, but the park remained peaceful and calm all day. “in front” of the loop we were on) and were more modern than those at Keystone Heights. Garbage and recycling containers were usually full by 10 am, so a trip to the dump station (Which is a bit of a haul from our site) was required to dispose of trash/recycling. If watching some TV is your thing(perhaps at night to wind down?) we were able to get quite a few stations (50+ according to the search) and image quality was quite good. We had ours (GE 70 mile range) elevated to about 15 feet and pointed north west. We sampled several local restaurants and strongly recommend the Brunchery (be prepared its PACKED but the food, portions and service were AWESOME) and Kobe if you like Hibachi. Cherry's not so much. Toppers ice cream was close and decadent, with extremely pleasant service. For quick supply shopping, Walmart is also reasonably close (think Valrico and a 20 minute drive). General RV had a sale going on (disappointed that the camper we saw online was determined to be sold AFTER we sat for a time with the sales person and took a 10 minute drive to it - which did surprise him as well since it didn't show as sold on their internal systems). We had wanted to look at a Rockwood HW296. They did offer to have us pay to ship a similar unit from their Ocala lot, but A) I wasn't going to pay to have it shipped and B) it was older and not in the color pattern my wife wanted, so we passed on that offer. It did make us go back and reconsider getting a newer pop up just because the Timmy is getting a bit old, as she's still in fantastic condition. Here's a shot of the camper setup in the site. 20191020_161341.jpg

Verdict – a site that was a close commute for us and we will bring the puppy next time as we enjoyed it very much. If you like peace and quiet - this may be a great campground for you as well.


Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday
Oct 15, 2006
Dukes, Fl
Sounds like the type of park that I may have to check out in the future. Thanks for sharing good luck and Happy Camping


Active Member
Oct 7, 2010
Knoxville, Tn
I used to mountain bike ride in that park years ago when I lived in Florida (Brandon). Some great trails for riding. I never camped there, but I dated a girl who lived right down the road from the park. We may, or may not, might have snuck in before it officially opened one night...