Camping Review of Long Point Campground in Melbourne

Camping in Florida right on the salt water river in Melbourne. Long Point offers water access sites and we stayed for two nights in March.

In March 2023 my sons and I went camping at Long Point campground in Melbourne, Florida. When I first saw the images of this campground I was very excited to go there. Many of the campsites are set around the edge of the island and have water access. The cost of a stay is also reasonable, so I went online and found a spot for us. This was our third camping trip with the 28 foot long Imagine.

Our Site #14

We chose site #14 because of the beautiful view, and it certainly was a beautiful view in person. However, the site itself was a bit difficult for maneuvering our 28 ft. trailer. The ground slanted downward toward the water and we had to lower the front of the camper all the way down to level it. Also, that open water access was set between two campsites, so the little beach area was shared with site #13. You can’t tell any of that from the online picture when making the reservation.

If we’d had a smaller camper like the ones beside us, this site would have been plenty big. As you can see in the photos below they just drove in and parked.

At this place everyone just pulls into the spot as they choose. Both of our neighbors were horizontal to the water. They had drivable campers, so they could do that. We had a truck and camper which made setting up a bit tough. My advice: if you pull a trailer, choose a larger site.

Long Point Campground Map

I’ve noticed that campground maps are handed out when you actually arrive at the campground. Sometimes you can find a map online, but it would be helpful to have more information before booking a site. I’ve never actually called a campground to ask for a site.

Without seeing this campground and the sites in person, it’s tough to realize what type of site you will have. I took a walk and found some big, level sites with great views and private water access – although all sites are pretty close together with no buffer between.

Here’s a tip: If the site looks small on the map, it probably is. View the Brevard County Site to find Long Point Campground information.

map of Long Point campground in Melbourne Florida
Campground map

Our Beach

We had a beautiful view, and set up our chairs behind the camper at the water. If I’d had to share that beach with other campers (as it is set up), I would not have been all that happy. It was our only somewhat private area.

Fortunately we had friendly neighbors. They had a long term reservation and didn’t seem to be interested in the water. We only stayed two nights, and they never came out to the beach area except to to view the rocket launch. We did have the water to ourselves, but that was pure luck. If you camp together with friends, this set up might be perfect.

This is saltwater, but there is little change from low to high tide.

Being Near the Water Has Pros and Cons

The obvious good think about camping near the water is the view. A manatee came up just at the edge of the mangroves (the bushes that grow in the water) right in front of us. He stayed there and ate for a while and we saw his nose pop up. We saw dolphin swim by and pelicans dive down to catch dinner. We faced west and could watch the sunset. On our second night, it got so cool and breezy that we slept with the windows open and could listen to the waves being blown onshore by the wind.

On the other hand, bugs can be a problem whenever you are near the water. Along this waterway tiny, biting bugs called “No see ums” can be a real nuisance. They are hard to see but you will feel the bites. To be outside when they are around means wearing bug spray. They can come through screens, so close the windows when they are present. Mosquitoes can also be a problem. My sons were sitting outside by the water on the first night we camped and were driven in by a swarm. These things are random and unpredictable, although no-see-ums tend to be worse in Spring.

The water is brown near the shore and a sign in the campground warns of alligators. Whenever you are near any water in Florida gators are possible. This is the same water we boat in all the time, only we are further north. It is all part of the Indian River Lagoon. It was not super hot when we camped, but if it was, I would have dunked in to cool off. Or better yet, head over to Scout Island where the beach has clear water.

And then there is the wind. On the second day of our stay it was very windy. I did go kayaking, but it wasn’t very relaxing.

Exploring the Campground and Scout Island

A bridge will take you over the water to another island names Scout Island. It is apparently where boy scouts can come in groups and camp – I read this somewhere. No one was camping here when we visited, and many people were using the area to walk their dogs, and let them swim. My son, who was visiting us from New Hampshire, went swimming at this beach.

A Final Word About Long Point Camping

We camped for two nights which is not long at all, but did enjoy ourselves. On our one full day, I took the kayak out, but it was very windy and tough to paddle. On the other hand, because of the wind, we slept with our windows open that night and it was wonderful.

If you pull a boat behind your camper, there is a boat ramp and a field for the trailer. The water here is very shallow! If you love to fish, there is a dock for that, or fish from your water access right at your campsite, like my son did (he caught nothing!). These are typical Florida things to do – don’t forget to buy a fishing license.

The downside: The campground island is mostly wide open with very little shade. Occasionally a site will have a tree – Site 19 has one (photo below). With a tree comes falling leaves, roots, and possible bird droppings, but also some shade.

Site number 19 at Long Point campground has a tree for shade and water access on the west side of the island.
Campsite #19 has a tree and water access

The campsites are wide open with little privacy and no shade. Also, remember that if you camp during hurricane season you might have to pack up and leave the coast if there is a warning. Hurricane season is June – November.

We enjoyed our short stay here and have booked a site for the end of May (See Review of Stay #2 here). We live only about an hour and a half away, so it will be another mini vacation. By the way, the cost of these sites is very reasonable for what you get. There is a campground near us with sites right on the water that charges more than double what we paid at Long Point.

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Campers, Camping and Hurricanes

How much wind can my RV, motorhome or camping trailer take? As two hurricanes recently struck my area, I was wondering this very thing.

We’ve had our new Grand Design Imagine travel trailer for about five months. We’ve also had two hurricanes. Fortunately these hurricanes did not bring enormous winds, only 60-70 mph I believe. Hurricane Ian hit us after it moved across the state from the Gulf, and a few weeks later Nicole came in from the east.

Our RV sits at the side of our house on the grass while not in use. It is not undercover, and there are trees all around. Fortunately this does help to keep the camper cooler in hot months. But the threat of limbs falling is real! We had no damage to the camper with either hurricane.

RV parked in side yard
The camper is stored in the yard.

We live in Florida and will most likely have to weather many more hurricanes and strong storms. This state has loads of campgrounds and many are near water and located along the coast.

So what happens to the people camping who are in coastal campgrounds and a hurricane approaches?

They have to leave. With Hurricane Nicole beach erosion was the big problem along with flooding along the coast. Campers had to pack up and get out of campgrounds that would be underwater. This was probably true for Hurricane Ian as well because it dumped nearly two feet of water where I live!

Where do all the campers go? I really don’t know. If you are a camper who has been displaced by a Florida hurricane, please fill us in. Because there are a lot of campgrounds maybe everyone headed inland to various camping spots. Maybe they headed back home.

As I was reading the Grand Design FaceBook page, one person was asking about how much wind a camper could take. I suspect quite a bit. RVs have to travel on roads being towed fast. It is likely that traveling means hitting some windy spots too. It was a good question and probably came from someone like me who stores their camper out in the open at their home. They were probably facing a hit from Hurricane Nicole.

How much wind can an RV withstand without tipping over?

I figured I should look this up. On GudGear they say up to 75 mph, but it matters whether you are towing it or it is stationery. It doesn’t take much wind to affect a camper while it is being towed.

As you may imagine, it also matters what type and size the camper is. Some campers are big and weigh a lot, others are small and lightweight. Either way, a parked camper can hold up to some high winds without tipping over, and especially if it is facing the correct way.

Our travel trailer is parked so that it faces into the wind, which comes from the east when a hurricane passes. It is also very blocked by the house on one side and woods on the other. I would worry about an RV sitting out in the open with winds hitting the side directly. We had 90mph gusts with Hurricane Ian, and 70 mph winds with Nicole and had no trouble with our 28 foot RV swaying or tipping – that we saw!

RV parked at the side of the house
Our camper is tucked between the house and woods. Photo taken the day after the 2nd hurricane.

Hooking a trailer up to a truck / tow vehicle might help as well. The article mentions that stabilizers should be down too. All common sense stuff.

If we ever had higher winds, we could be in trouble, but this side of the state rarely gets a direct hit from any hurricane, much less one in a high category.

One thing that annoyed me a bit on FB was comments saying to hook up and leave and get away from the wind. Now, campgrounds have to make you leave for safety sometimes, but if your camper is sitting in your yard, it’s not that easy to get away.

First of all, people work, and even though businesses can be shut down for a day or so, it’s not enough time to pack up a camper, find a campground out of harm’s way, and wait until it’s safe to go back. If the storm is covering a large area, finding a camping spot could be especially difficult because of all the other displaced campers who are also looking for campsites.

My son drives our truck and tows the camper. He is a firefighter, and First Responders work during hurricanes. They don’t have the luxury to even be at home with family for storms, much less pick up and go camping to stay safe. We can’t leave even if we wanted to.

This year we bought our camper, got Covid, camped twice (Salt Springs and O’Leno State Park), and have had two hurricanes. I’m looking forward to starting a new year.

(Retro camper photos on this page: credit to Pixabay)

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Camping at O’Leno State Park

Camping at the O’Leno State Park in High Springs, Florida. A wonderful place to enjoy time in nature with walking and biking trails, and the Santa Fe River.

We took a quick two day camping trip to O’Leno state park the end of October to enjoy some Florida nature. This place has plenty of it.

The drive for us took nearly three hours. This part of Florida has hills, unlike the area where I live and I enjoyed the ride. The park is located in the northern part of Florida in High Springs – close to Ichetucknee (good to know). Rain came shortly after we had backed the RV into the site, but didn’t last long and we were out and about on our bikes.

We camped on the Magnolia Loop which is one of two camping loops in the park. The Dogwood Loop is near the entrance, but the Mag Loop is down near the Santa Fe River.

The Campsites

The photos here are typical of the sites to rent around the Mag(nolia) Loop. Site #6 had a trail that led down into the woods behind the fence. Another site had 2 picnic tables. These sites can easily hold a camper, vehicle (two are allowed) and tent or screen house.

Hookups are electric and water but no sewer. There is a place to empty sewer in the campground, which we did on our way out.

The loop road is very bumpy sand and each site is sand, but very level. I think large RVs would have some trouble with close trees along the roads and backing into the sites. We saw deer behind our camper in the morning. The woods are full of big old trees.

We camped during the week and left on a Friday. After the first night, both sites on either side of us were empty! Animals are allowed in this campground, and we did hear some dogs barking during the day.

The Santa Fe River

At the entrance of the O’Leno Campground follow the road back to the river area. A large parking area and picnic tables are provided along with a large roped off swimming area. The public can visit during the day.

One of the main draws to this place seems to be the suspension bridge over the river. It was closed at the time we visited, due to damage from a fallen tree (the website did announce this). This bridge is also part of the trail that leads to the River “sink” and usually makes a loop. With the bridge out, the loop can’t be completed but can still be walked.


Part of the river is roped off for swimming. Due to the abundance of cypress trees, the water is very dark. I do not go in Florida fresh water, unless it’s a spring (Salt Springs camping). For this reason, and the fact that there are so many wonderful trails, I would not camp here during the hot months.

River swimming and suspension bridge
Swimming area in the river

Walking Trail to the River Sink

Another feature in this rural location is the Santa Fe River “sink” and “rise”. The sink is the area where the river water goes underground. The place it emerges again (the rise) is about three miles away.

I was looking forward to biking to see the river “rise” but the trails were too full of roots and soft sand to make biking manageable for me. As far as I know, you must walk or bike to see the rise.

From the trailhead by the swimming area, we followed the trail to the river sink (we biked part way, then had to walk). This is where the Santa Fe goes underground. An amazing 900 million gallons of water flow underground here each day! On the surface, nothing is moving and green stuff makes the water seem stagnant. There is an alligator warning sign. Gators can literally be anywhere but we didn’t see any.

We drove to the Limestone Trail and took a short walk up the left side of the trail to see the old quarry. It was a hole in the ground with some protruding rocks.


This place is a historical location of the old town of Leno – O’Leno is short for “Old Leno”. The campground / park has lots of information about the history with parts of the old grist mills (there were two) under a pavilion – photo below.

We missed out on visiting the little museum, but the town of Leno disappeared after the railroad was built and passed it by. The deserted town became a work camp during the Great Depression. The Civilian Conservation Corp built up the area in the 1930’s and 40’s into the campground and park it is today.

Remains of buildings and the dam can still be seen.

More Info

Here are some things I’d have liked to know before booking my stay.

Wood can be purchased for $7.00 – exact change! It says nothing about bringing in your own wood, so I’m not sure if that is allowed.

There are many trails throughout the area. Some are for walking and biking and some are walking only (also equestrian). A trail map is provided at check-in (like the one linked above). The map shows the location of the “sink” and “rise”. Eventually, I figured out what that meant!

See the park map here.

Bring bikes if you have them. The bike trails were too bumpy for me, but there are other places to ride. I rode along the main roadway and never saw a car! I’m sure there are busy times, but this was not one of them.

We took a drive to see the Dogwood Loop camping area and were glad we didn’t stay there. Those sites were on the inside of the loop, whereas campsites are on the outside at the Mag Loop. Some of the sites were pretty close and looked tough to maneuver because of trees. But, if you want to be away from everything (the playground, day visitors, and swimming) and you have a smallish camper or tent, Dogwood might be your thing.

The Mag Loop has a playground area and a bathroom in the center of the loop. Although we didn’t use the bathrooms, I went into the women’s side to get photos for campers who may need to use the facilities. The bathroom is located closer to the entrance / beginning of the loop, with the playground further toward the top of the loop.

Just for Fun… What’s For Dinner?

Camping food is kept simple. Grilled chicken with veggies in foil. With wine of course!

Have you ever camped at O’Leno? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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