Camping at Rodman Campground in Palatka, Florida

Our recent camping trip took us to Rodman Campground in Palatka, Florida. It was about a 1.5 hour drive north for us. We have stayed at Salt Springs twice, and Rodman was just a bit further north off Route 19. Rodman is a Florida State Parks campground.

Rodman does not offer swimming so a November trip seemed perfect. It turned out to be pretty warm, but nice enough to take bike rides on the roads and trails. We also took a walk around the dam, which was nearby.

Our Campsite #44

We were planning a trip with some friends and booked a bit late to be side by side. In fact all I found left was site #44 and there was no picture online. It was a gamble, but turned out fine. They were in site #52 just down the road. Our site was quite spacious, with one big tree for shade in the afternoon.

The downside to this site is the fact that it contains electrical equipment in the form of a big box and standing power box right behind the picnic table and in front of the fire ring.

The power box gives off a slight hum, but nothing really annoying – just noticeable when all else is quiet. And this place is quiet!

About the Campground

This is a fairly small campground with one loop near the entrance labeled as Phase One with 13 sites, according to the map. Across from those sites is an area for “primitive camping” but that whole area was closed at the time. In the Phase One camping area is the boat launch and picnic table pavilions. It is a pretty area. I rode my (non electric) bike down and got a photo.

sunset at boat ramp
Boat ramp at Rodman

The launch is for small boats, with a warning for boaters to beware of hidden logs and debris in the water. I’m not crazy about being near fresh water here in Florida, but I think I would kayak here. My son says I’m crazy to consider it because of the gators. But, it all seemed very peaceful and perfect for a paddle.

Campsites That Are Not on the Canal

The back loop camping area, called Phase 2 on the map, is where we stayed. It is down the road from the park entrance, and makes a one-way loop that contains “upper level” sites and the sites along the canal. The canal sites are coveted, but the upper level sites are not too shabby either.

The photo below is the one way road (all roads are paved) that holds site numbers 40 – 58 on the section of the loop that is not near the canal. I got this information from the map given out at check in.

Most of these non-canal sites have big trees for shade and are quite spacious. There is a curb in some areas, and I am guessing it is to direct water flow for heavy rainstorms. You will have to back over this curb to get into some of the campsites.

Halfway down the road is a bath house (I did not go in) with two handicapped camping sites (beside and across), which are the only paved sites. All other sites are packed gravel and pretty level.

Our friends stayed in site #52 and it had a huge backyard area (photo below). All of these sites either backed up to a field or woods. On the inside of the loop was a hill and on the other side was the canal. The outer campsites had nature behind them.

Site 52 where our friends camped

I liked that there was plenty of space with many open areas where there were no sites. We were not crammed in. Also, the park was very clean and well kept. So far, we have been very happy staying at the Florida State Park campgrounds. (See my reviews of O’Leno and Hillsborough River.)

Last campsite on upper level
Last campsite on the upper road with big field next door!

The Canal Road and Campsites

The canal road campsites are pretty sweet. Each site is angled so no one seems to be in the other campers business. There is also plenty of shade, and everyone has a view of the water. According to the map, there are ten sites here.

There are two chairs set up along the water’s edge and I would walk down here and sit to enjoy the water view. I saw a manatee on the far side.

One downside when camping in this area is no bath house access unless you either climb the steep hill, or walk all the way around. If your camper is self-contained, it’s perfect.

The whole road was full when we arrived on a Wednesday, but by Friday almost every camper had left. I’m sure the place would fill up by check in time, but we were leaving on Friday.

I enjoyed sitting by the water in the shade. Every now and then a boat would zip by, and I noticed a manatee on the far side after hearing him blow out his air to take a breath. The wide ripples from his tale moved slowly down the shoreline.

Things to Do at Rodman


A wide walking and biking trail runs alongside the canal. These trails are right off the canal road area of the loop in Phase Two, where we camped. I rode my bike down the trail for a while, but it was VERY bumpy from tree roots. The area seems to be mostly shaded and would be perfect for running or walking or riding a bike with great suspension!

The campground roads were where I mostly rode, going over to the boat ramp area and back. It is a short ride.


I did not do this, but riding to the dam is doable also. If you are a fresh water fisherman, the dam has a dock and other spots for fishing. Of course you could drive to the dam easily, which is what we did.

Our friends like this place for dirt bike riding. Beyond the dam, at the end of the road, there are dirt trails for ATVs.

The dam at Rodman

Pros and Cons of Camping at Rodman

We would definitely return to Rodman Campground. I loved the quiet nature all around. It was a great place for bike riding – electric or not. It is an affordable location, and even more so if you get the senior citizen discount.

Although the water access is fresh water, with typical Florida critters such as alligators, a small boat or kayak would work perfectly for exploring. Use the ramp in the campground, or the one at the dam.

I have only one thing to list as a con. The biggie for me was that there was no internet access. Our friends had stayed before and were on the canal. They seemed to think that internet was better down there, but I don’t know. I have an online job and couldn’t do anything during our two day stay. Because of this, I would not be able to stay longer.

Also, a personal preference, is if I camp during the summer months, I like to have a place to swim and cool off. So, Rodman would be a winter camping location only – for me.

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Our Second Camping Trip to Long Point Campground

A review of our second camping trip to Long Point in Melbourne Beach, Florida.

Back in March (2023) we camped at Long Point Campground in Melbourne, Florida, which is on the east coast. I have a link to that review at the bottom of this page. The whole campground is an island with many sites that back up to the water. On our first visit, we had a small, uneven campsite, but nice water access. I was eager to see how our second trip would go.

This time, in May, we had a great view, but no easy water access directly from our site because of coquina rocks. When booking a site online it’s impossible to tell whether you will have access to the water or not. I thought we would. Don’t assume that every site on the water gives you water access!

Our stay of two days began with wonderful peace and quiet.

Coquina rocks block water access
No easy water access

Fortunately, our site – #67 – was the last in the row of rentable sites (at the time). Every campsite beyond us, down to the end of the island, was closed (photo below) due to erosion from a storm it seemed. That meant we could use the beach access next door (site #68) for putting in the kayak. (The campers in that little tent at the end of the island were working on their boat motor which they ran off and on all morning the next day.)

No campers to the south of us
Empty sites to the south

To the north, our closest camping neighbor was many sites away. We had arrived right after the Memorial Day weekend and the place was nearly empty!

empty campsites
Closest neighbors to the north

Our first afternoon was hot and sunny. The water was calm and perfect for kayaking. The wind picked up the following day, but I went out for a while and kayaked around the southern end of the campground.

Campsites along the water
Site #68 had a beach but the site was closed to campers so we used it to access the water

For about 24 hours we had our area completely to ourselves. It was peaceful and wonderful. I launched my kayak from site #68 with a nice sandy beach. I even did a little swimming in the shallow water. It worked out perfectly.

Water is the Reason to Camp Here

If you get a water access site (and in my opinion it’s the only reason to camp here), it’s a great area to do some kayaking, or paddle boarding, if the wind holds off. This campground also has a boat ramp and a place to keep the trailer.

Kayaking near the fishing dock and bridge to Scout Island
camping next to the water in Florida
Water view from inside the camper

Then, Everything Went Downhill

From complete peace and quiet for 24 hours to a family invasion next door. Campers came and took both sites along the water next to us.

Of course it’s a campground, and we simply lucked out by having so much space to ourselves, but the campers who set up next door were rudely loud, with no consideration for the fact that they had neighbors. They spoke loudly to each other, the kids yelled and then more people came to visit them! It was party time. The woman was up at 7AM talking loudly on her phone – on speaker!

All this has made me wonder if I am cut out to be a camper. I couldn’t wait to leave.

We had one good day and quiet night, but once the peace was gone, nothing was fun. If we hadn’t been leaving the following morning, I’d have asked for another site.

My Thoughts on Long Point

After staying at Long Point Campground two different times (see review #1 here), I’ve come to realize that the sites are pretty well crammed together. Because campers can place their trailers, and tents, in any position on their site, you could be directly facing other campers. And if they are loud and obnoxious all day long, there is no buffer.

Some spots are larger – longer, but many are quite small. Not every site along the water has water access. Some have nice little beaches, and some have only a small access through the bushes. Some sites have no water access, or it is shared with the camper next door.

Scout Island has a nice beach with shallow clear water. This island is accessible by a bridge at the campground. I have no idea if the island is ever closed for scouts to actually camp there. When I walked over to Scout Island this time, I had the place to myself (due to a low volume of campers), but last time there were many people walking their dogs and letting them swim.

Scout Island beach
The beach area on Scout Island

In comparison to the waterfront campground near us, this one is half the cost, so I still think it’s a good value if you like a water view. Having access from a site is the best. You are also very close to the beach at Sebastian Inlet. My son rode his electric bike there – all sidewalks on the main road. For more thoughts from campers who stayed at Long Point, read the reviews at RV Life Campground Reviews.

Some negatives for me: The trash truck came by at 7:30 in the morning (on a Thursday and ?) to empty all the dumpsters in the campground. It is loud if your site is near a dumpster (we were). There were a lot of loud crows. I suspect people feed them so they have learned to be annoying. Right across the road from our site was a lamppost with a light that was on all night (not good for night sky viewing if you like that sort of thing). Getting there (from the north, and probably from the south) means driving in traffic, which is typical for Florida especially near the coast.

camper at night

I’m not sure we would ever go back here to camp again. I live in Florida and there are many other campgrounds to try.

The Campsites: Here’s a Map

My thoughts on some of the sites. If you only want a great water view, the site we had, and the three next to it were perfect (65-67). Site #65 was also on the rocks, but had a little area to access the water. We watched those campers put a kayak in. Also, if you don’t care about being in the water, or need a big site, sites 114 and 115 at the southern end are large. All the sites beyond us on the water, which were closed, did have nice little beaches with water access, but they were fairly small. They were closed for a reason, and who knows what will happen. More rocks could be added, but I hope they can keep the water accessible.

Most campsites have water and electric only, but a few in the center of the island have full hookups. There are two dump station areas for the rest of us.

  • map of Long Point campground in Melbourne Florida
  • Campsite 67
  • No campers to the south of us
  • Closed campsite to the south
  • camping on the water

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