Saturday, May 11, 2024

5/9 T.H. Stone Memorial State Park

I visited here about ten years ago and remember arriving in a woodsy area in a driving rain with thunder and lightning.  It was even more difficult to back in because it was dark, and I very seldom drive in the dark, but I did manage among all the trees. 

Other than the beautiful white sand beach, on this current trip, I could not recognize anything at all.  The campground and the road into the campground were brand new and completely different.  It felt really strange to be somewhere you had been before, but not recognizing anything.  Mostly, instead of a heavily wooded campground, with dirt camping spots and electric only spots.  Now, there is a new road into the place, and the camp sites are full hookup, paved, and in a grassy area with no shrubbery or trees to block your view.  In other words, you can seethe entire campground from wherever you are standing.  

Nice new sign and good paved road, at least.  Not a chuck hole to be seen since the state park has only been open for a few months!

Along with the rest of the peninsula, the standing dead trees make things look pretty stark.  However, they will not remove any of the trees unless they are in the way of something because they provide homes for a lot of birds.

The next two photos show my large campsite and the east half of the campground.  Pretty base, but in a few years it will look like Jonathan Dickinson State Park near Jupiter, FL, which also suffered hurricane about 15 years ago.  Now, there are tall shrubs between sites that provide privacy there.  
Actually, I like the openness because it makes for good satellite service and also enables snooping on fellow campers. 


One interesting thing they have included in this brand new campground is a tenting shack.  Basically, it is a screened in little building where you can pitch a tent inside and be protected from the amazing number of bugs Florida is known for!  There were two of these, and I expect they will become popular with tenters once people find out about them.  

The campground is on the edge of the dunes that are protecting the land from future hurricanes, and is true with all Florida beaches, you cannot walk on dunes, so they build boardwalks over them. 

This is a nice sign that describes how the peninsula is recovering from the hurricane.  

More photos of the boardwalk.

When I took this photo, the sun was very bright and I could not tell if anything was living in this hole on the dunes.  Now that I have enlarged it, you can tell it is the home of a crab.

Looking back at my rig in the campground.

Good view from the higher part of the boardwalk.

This is a beautiful beach, especially at low tide.  The sand is incredibly white and soft on your feet.  Lots of people fishing and others just enjoying the view.  Can get sunburned fast here, so lots of people had sunshades of some sort.

A lot of state parks are putting in cabins of some sort.  Most of the time, these are small, one-room structures or tents with beds in them.  The cabins in this state park are two-story houses, and rent for $100 per night plus a $7 electric fee and taxes.  They each sleep 6 and have full kitchens and even come with sheets, towels, blankets, etc.  Plus, they are very private.  Most overlook the bay, but the peninsula is so narrow that they are also only maybe 500 feet from the Gulf. 

That's all, but I think I might come back here in a couple of years, however, it was HOT here so next time I will come earlier in the year when it is in the low 70s instead of upper 80s!!!



  1. After first reading about Ortona COE campground on your blog several years ago, I will finally be visiting this summer. You noted that one of the bath houses was more private. Do you know which loop it was?

  2. I am sorry, but I just can't remember. What date did you read my posting so I can try to refresh my memory. I do like the eastern loop, however, as there are better views of the locks and boats. The western loop does have more shade and is closer to the fishing pier, however.