After spending four months at Kings Bay Sub Base in St. Mary's, Georgia
-- the longest time we've camped at one place in the last eleven
years of extended and fulltime RVing -- we definitely have
"hitch-itch" and need to hit the road again.
Still, we had mixed
feelings about leaving one of the best RV parks where we've ever stayed.
After spending part or all of the last three winters there, it's
comfortable and homey.
Above and below: We like
camping near lakes; here are two views of Grassy Pond.
We'll most likely return to Kings Bay some day.
But for now, we're excited about moving on down the road again as we
gradually make our way to Alaska this summer. For the rest of the year
we plan to stay at some new campgrounds and RV parks and go back to some
others we've enjoyed before.
ALL ABOUT GRASSY POND
Our first stop was just 145 miles from Kings Bay at a military
campground at Grassy Pond Recreation Area. It is located south of
Valdosta, GA about a mile from the FL border.
We spent three nights here to break up the trip to our next RV park
in Pensacola, FL.
Above and below: We dipped
down into FL around Jacksonville in the fog,
which lifted west of the city as
we approached I-75, and went back north into GA.
The recreation area is managed by Moody AFB and, until recently, the
campground was open only to active duty and retired military folks and
A decision was made in January to open the campground to the general
public because it was losing money. The campground host told us,
however, that only about a dozen sites have been used by the public in
the last two-plus months. It's still primarily military folks using it.
We had some concerns about camping at Grassy Pond because of an
reviewer's negative comment about this recent development but we
really enjoyed staying here.
When we pulled in the campground host recommended a very nice pull-thru
site under tall trees:
WE like having shade, plenty of space for both passenger vehicles, and
no one close to us.
We have FHUs with 30/50 amp service, decent WiFi from the nearby
lounge-laundry-bathhouse, a strong phone signal, and a lot of clear TV stations
with our own antenna (the cable
doesn't work in the CG right now).
We weren't really expecting decent free WiFi
and TV reception in this rural area so we're very
happy campers. And the cost is a reasonable $20/day.
got here just in time Friday morning. By evening most of the sites in
the main campground and across the road were
full and a large Boy Scout group filled the tent area. Some of the RV
sites are occupied by seasonal campers but most are available for
View from my desk window of the pull-thru sites
across the road
The campground sits above two lakes. The larger one is Grassy Pond, a
popular fishing venue. The other is much smaller and more swampy, Lott's
There are several cabins between the campground and Grassy Pond but it's
visible behind our site.
The office with game room is located on the lake. There are some large
piers, several picnic shelters, a very nice kids' playground, a sandy
volleyball court, and a large shaded deck (second photo below) outside
the office where people can congregate:
This weekend there was a fishing tournament so we had some additional
The campground is located a couple miles off I-75. The nearby town of
Lake Park has grocery stores, fuel stations, a Camping World store and
campground, and other businesses.
HIKING & CYCLING AROUND GRASSY POND
We were very happy to discover there is a very nice three-mile trail
around Grassy Pond.
Jim rode it first on his bike on Friday afternoon. We
both hiked around it with Casey that evening after supper:
Above and below: One of our favorite parts of
the trail was a long boardwalk
over a swampy section by the lake; note the
"curtains" of Spanish moss below.
Jim liked the trail
so much he rode it two more times during the weekend, as well as nearby
roads through some very nice neighborhoods.
I liked the lake trail so much I hiked it three more times with the dogs on
Saturday and Sunday.
The trail is smoother than I expected, considering how primeval the
forest is -- swamps, boardwalks, huge trees dripping with Spanish
The two- to four-foot wide path is primarily soft leaf-covered dirt with roots in
a few places:
The trail is mostly flat except for the south side, which climbs higher
on a total of about 80 wooden steps -- up, flat for several
hundred feet, over a ravine on a bridge, and back down:
That part isn't conducive to cycling! Jim turned around there and went
back around the loop. I just cycled on the trail and boardwalk at the
other end of the lake.
The high point on the trail passes a HUGE live oak tree, one of the
largest we've ever seen:
There are some hazards around the lake, namely
alligators and four kinds of venomous snakes in the area. On our first
hike we heard a BIG 'gator splash into the lake but never saw him.
I did see lots of other interesting nature
subjects close up:
These colorful fungi on a log look more like
Jim enjoyed riding his bike each day we were at Grassy
Pond. His longest ride was 19 miles. On Sunday we took a
drive so he could show me some of the rural and residential roads he liked. Cypress Lakes
subdivision has large lakeside
homes with beautifully landscaped yards. This time of year is very pretty,
too, with azaleas, dogwoods, wisteria, and other flowers in bloom.
HIKING AROUND LOTT'S POND
The one-mile trail around little Lott's Pond is rougher than the
one around Grassy Pond. It's not suitable for cycling but interesting for hiking.
We walked around the pond just once, with Casey, and I took these
Lott's Pond is even more swampy than Grassy Pond but we
didn't see any alligators in it, either. I'm sure they're in there, though!
STILL SCRATCHIN' OUR TRAVEL ITCH . . .
Tomorrow we're headed to Pensacola, possibly for several weeks. We
haven't been there before, except in passing. Stay tuned for lots more photos!
Next entry: camping at the Blue Angel Naval Recreation Area near Pensacola, FL
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil,
Cody the ultra Lab, and Casey-pup
© 2015 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil