As a nature boy at heart, sometimes I have to escape to the woods to regroup and center myself, and that’s exactly what I did the last 2 nights.
If you’ve never been, Hopkins Prairie is a gorgeous, relatively secluded spot smack-dab in the middle of the Ocala National Forest in Florida. The campground is quiet, and primitive- you won’t find electric or water hookups in the sites. In fact, you won’t even find a formal latrine.
But that’s part of the beauty of this place. Those who come here specifically seek it out for it’s natural serenity.
We came here a few times as a family to camp. I always enjoyed our visits here, and Ocala is a great place to test your roughin’ it skills!
Even Tinkerbelle, the pillow princess and queen of air conditioning, enjoyed the peaceful escape.
I was planning on making it a relatively quick escape, and leaving just for a night. On my way out, I found this really lovely spot- it’s right next to a small boat ramp on the lake in the prairie. A small enclave of oak trees sprang up on a hill next to the ramp, and it had the best view of the lake and surrounding prairie. The more I looked around and breathed in the fresh air, the more I knew I needed to stay. So I did!
The wind was blowing quite a bit when I first checked out this spot- these plants looked like they were plush carpet the way the wind moved it in waves!
The extra time gave me a chance to brush up on some photography skills. Here’s a close-up of the plants that looked like shag carpeting in the wind.
This sign was at the water well in the actual campground- so vintage! And they’re not kidding about the bears. A small black bear was crossing the dirt road the night I arrived! I was so surprised, but he was gone in a hurry once my headlights were on him. If only I’d had my camera out and ready!
There’s nothing like some fresh air, some solitude, and new sights and sounds to help clear your head. I can’t believe how long it’s been since my last visit. Maybe I’ll drag my husband and some friends next time….
That’s all for now. Thanks for reading, I’ll have more to post soon!