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  • O'Leno State Park, FL


    O'Leno SP is one of Florida's older parks, dating from the 1930's, and features facilities built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Authority. The major natural attraction is the Santa Fe River, which disappears underground and reappears 4 miles away.


    There are two campground loops at O'Leno: Magnolia and Dogwood. This shows sites 3 and 2 in Magnolia, which is closer to the river and park attractions. It has 31 sites with W/E (30A) hookups. There is a dump station in the park.

    Note the rare East Coast occurence of two Lazy Daze RV's parked in adjacent sites !

    Most recent visit: Feb 2008

    Sites are mostly shaded, but of good size. Most of the sites are easy to back into, although a few require a tight turn that would preclude larger rigs.

    Back in Dec of 2000, we met some friends at O'leno to celebrate New Years. This was in the pre-Lazy Daze years.

    Each camp loop has a full-feature bathhouse.

    O'leno does not rate too high on my list of recommended campgrounds. It is simply out of date. It's not big-rig friendly, with a narrow, pot-holed dirt road through the campground. Entrances to sites are mostly quite narrow; backing in even our 23' class C is a challenge. For the past two years, there have been lots of downed trees all through the campground; management says it's leaving them there to rot naturally. That may be fine outside of the campground proper, but it sure does not make for an attractive camping experience.

    Here is a picture of a site in the Dogwood loop. Dogwood is located near the park's entrance and offers 29 sites with W/E hookups.

    Dotted throughout the park are spots where the underlying limestone has collapsed, in some cases forming sinkhole lakes.

    Here's where the Santa Fe River disappears at River Sink. The trees in the background mark the end of the river here. All one sees is slow-whirling eddy where 900 million gallons a day disappear underground.

    The park maintains a small museum outlining the CCC activities. It is open on weekends and holidays.

    The suspension bridge across the Santa Fe River was built by the CCC in the 1930's. Park volunteers keep it and other facilities in good condition.

    Also built by the CCC, this was the training building for the summer forestry program.

    This was the site of the town of Leno in the mid-1800's. Bypassed by the railroad, the town had no future and was just a memory by the end of the 19th century.

    O'Leno features a pleasant day-use area on the banks of the river. Tables, a playground, and this large pavilion are part of the facilities.

    The park also has 17 cabins, a central dining hall and kitchen, a meeting building, and pavilion. Groups of up to 125 can be accommodated.