Thursday, April 7, 2011

Crooked River State Park - St. Marys, Georgia

Crooked River State Park, is located near St. Marys, GA, and overlooks the Satilla River. The main loop thought the campground has open campsites shaded by tall pine trees, while the smaller loop has secluded sites separated by palmettos, tall pines, and undergrowth.
The park was clean and well kept but we didn’t experience the interaction with the park staff like we have at other parks. Nor did the staff/host make frequent trips around the campground to chat with campers who were out and about. You just didn’t get the “warm welcome, we’re glad you came” feeling you get at most Georgia State Parks. 

We do recommend a visit to the Nature Center. The lady who cares for the animals is very friendly to visitors and her devotion to the animals is obvious. It is apparent that she enjoys the educational aspect of her job. 

We were excited to see another Casita pull in on Friday afternoon. It belonged to a couple from around Lake City, FL. They must have been out exploring the area because we didn’t see them but once.   

The no-see-ums, which are microscopic gnats that bite, were out in full force!!! If you were outside, you had to keep moving or be eaten alive. We purchased 6 types of bug spray and a bottle of skin so soft; none of which worked. Seems no one else   know of anything that repelled these little varmints. 
To the delight of Ms. Georgia, we spent our outdoor time on the move, hiking the trails and enjoying walks around the park. She was pleased to make friends with a spaniel named Pepper, who was camping with his family from WV. I think she is overcoming her fear of other dogs and finding it nice to have other friends to explore the woods.

I had given-up on bug repellent because it just wasn’t working on the No-see-ums. This was a big mistake! With all the hiking we were doing on the trails in through the wood, I got redbugs a.k.a. chiggers…lots of them…gave-up counting at 100 bites. I took a hot shower, scrubbed…really scrubbed with a very soapy bath cloth then painted the spots with nail polish, which will suffocate them. Thank goodness I had clear polish on hand. Yes I even painted the ones on my face and in my hair!!! 

Despite the bugs, we had an enjoyable relaxing time. We do plan to camp here again just not at the height of bug season (cool days of early spring and late fall days). It is good to have a campground so close to home that makes you feel as if you are miles away.