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Author Topic: Fort Pickens Campground, Florida  (Read 722 times)

ClickHill

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Fort Pickens Campground, Florida
« on: January 09, 2018, 05:13:58 PM »
Has anyone gone to Fort Pickens Campground?
We will be going in February, and would like to hear how others liked it. Also what you might have done in the Pensacola area for day trips.
D & D
2015 Winnebago Itasca Merdian
2013 Chevy Equinox toad

javandyke

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Re: Fort Pickens Campground, Florida
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2018, 05:57:16 PM »
Nice campground, water and electric only as I recall. Getting a site required early reservations. The fort itself is quite interesting and we enjoyed the Air Force museum.
Jim

2011 Sunova 33
2016 Sahara Wrangler

Old_Crow

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  • Phormer Phantom Phixer
Re: Fort Pickens Campground, Florida
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2018, 06:58:42 AM »
I've already got two weeks booked in April.  We love it!  First time we went was in January, a couple of years ago.  It was cool, but nowhere near as cold as it was in Arkansas at the time.
Just a few minutes walk to either Pensacola Bay or the Gulf, depending on if you walk north or south.  There's also a nice nature trail adjacent to the campground. 
The old forts are cool and you could spend the whole day exploring.  There's several geocaches there.  As stated the Navel Aviation Museum is great.  I'll probably go back this year, without the DW so I can check it out more.  We drove down the coast road as far as Panama City Beach just exploring.  Found an awesome food truck in PCB called Finn's.  Blackened Redfish tacos.  MMMM, can't wait.
Wally Crow
Retired 30 year ASE Master Auto Tech
Y2K Bounder 36S F53
'03 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

ClickHill

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Re: Fort Pickens Campground, Florida
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2018, 03:10:09 PM »
Thank you both for the help. We are looking forward to going and will be using your information in our plans.
D & D
2015 Winnebago Itasca Merdian
2013 Chevy Equinox toad

billandpam

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  • Following our yellow brick road
Re: Fort Pickens Campground, Florida
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2018, 02:41:49 PM »
We spend 2 weeks there every fall on our to Az.  Sunsets viewed from the western tip of the island are awesome.  Canít beat a hand in hand stroll on the beach at sunset! Enjoy.

Bill
USAF Veteran
 06 29' Class C Sunseeker
 E450 V10
 2015 Jeep Wrangler
 Northeast Ohio

CharlesinGA

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Re: Fort Pickens Campground, Florida
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2018, 07:53:53 PM »
Nice campground, water and electric only as I recall. Getting a site required early reservations. The fort itself is quite interesting and we enjoyed the Air Force National Naval Aviation Museum.

There, fixed it for 'ya.

I went twice in the fall of 2016. Planned to go this last fall but the park was closed due to road damage from the hurricane, so we stayed at Big Lagoon State Park. I was traveling with friends (who have a Dodge 3500 and 30 ft Avion TT) and was in my '07 View MH. First trip we stayed on the C loop, and second trip we stayed on the A loop. B and D loops have been designated as tent sites though a popup or van camper will fit in many of them, lots of low hanging limbs on B & D. I liked A loop more, but it is a toss up.

Note that rates have gone up, you will pay $20 now for a 7 day pass plus the camping fees. If you have an annual Interagency Federal Park pass, Senior version, or Disabled Veteran version, you will not have to pay the $20. Senior pass will get you half price camping fees. If are eligible and don't have it, it can be purchased at Pickens when you enter, according to this list of places the passes can be purchased. https://store.usgs.gov/sites/default/files/PassIssuanceList.pdf

Lots of good eating, nearby, do not miss Peg Leg Petes, on the road to the park. Get there early as it will be crowded, but quite good.

Its a long ride (30 to 40 minutes) to the Navy Museum as you MUST enter thru the WEST gate on S Blue Angels Parkway (FL route 173) just below the intersection with Fl route 292A (aka Gulf Beach Highway) Best way to get there is back across the bay bridge and take Business US98 west thru town till it angles off to the left and becomes Barrancas Ave which then turns into 292, and follow it to 173, turn left and go to the West gate, thru the zig-zags to the guard and fill out the form. East gate is not allowed to let you enter except to visit the National Cemetery, you are not allowed to pass thru the base to get to the museum, thus the requirement to enter via the West gate.

Check the Blue Angels practice schedule and DO NOT visit the museum on a day when one is going on. I made that mistake the first visit and was told that upwards of 10,000 people will show up for a practice session and flood into the museum when it is finished. Second trip I went on a day when they were not practicing and it was very pleasant with few people in the museum. On practice days, stay at Pickens and climb to the top of the metal building at Battery Worth, just west of the campground. You have a tree top view of the area and can watch the flying from there. At 8 am most everyone in the campground pauses for the Flag Raising at the NAS across the bay, the anthem is easily heard at the campground.

The light house is right across from the museum, so you might consider it too. Plan to spend 4 to 6 hours in the museum if you like airplanes, and get there early enough to get free tickets on the bus ride thru the stuff stored on the ramp (10am, 11am, 1 pm tours). Good food inside the museum, they took the entire officers club from Subic Bay and disassembled it and re-assembled it in the museum. very neat place, food is reasonable priced and they have daily specials.

If you like to fish, surf fish from the beach in the park, or use the pier on the east side of the toll booth of the 399 Gulf Breeze/Pensacola Beach bridge, very safe, even at night. DO NOT fish the pier on the North end of the 399 Pens Beach Bridge nor the fishing pier on the east side of the bay bridge, both are frequented by a lot of homeless people. The Gulf Breeze/Pensacola Beach Bridge is a $1 toll south bound only, for any size vehicle.  Southbound coming off the bay bridge is a Chic fil A and behind it is a Neighborhood Walmart if you need anything.

Northbound off the Gulf Breeze/Pensacola Beach bridge, if you turn right, in about 6 miles is a Super Walmart, and another 6 miles or so is the Gulf Breeze Zoo. Have not been to the Zoo, I just mention it as a place to visit.

The bay bridge was built in 1960 and has exceeded its design lifespan and a new one is under construction now. When the new west half (southbound lanes) is finished all traffic (N&S) will be diverted to is while the old bridge is removed to build the new northbound lanes. Will be a mess for a couple of years. http://www.pnj.com/story/news/2017/12/27/pensacola-bay-bridge-project-schedule-completion-summer-2020/982107001/

In the park there are trails, and you can easily walk from the campgrounds to the fort. Across the parking lot from the fort are several WWII wooden barracks buildings and there is a very nice museum in one of them, of the eco system, nat seashore, and history of Pensacola itself. There are also one or two museums in town, which I have not visited but was told by the volunteers at the Navy Museum were quite good.

Charles
2007 Winnebago View 523H on a 2006 Dodge (Daimler-Chrysler aka Mercedes) Sprinter 3500 chassis (T1N). Bought Sept 2015 with 18K miles on it, Prog Ind HW30C, Prog Dymanics PD4645, Coleman Chill Grille, PML/Yourcovers.com deep alum trans pan, AutoMeter 8558 trans temp gauge, Roadmaster sway bar, Koni Red shocks (front & rear), Fantastic Ultra Breeze hood, added OEM parabolic mirrors and RH aspherical mirror, MB grill conversion.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 08:35:01 PM by CharlesinGA »
2007 Winnebago View 523H, 2006 Dodge (Daimler-Chrysler aka Mercedes) Sprinter 3500 chassis. Bought Sept 2015 with 18K miles, Prog Ind HW30C, Prog Dynamics PD4645, Chill Grille, Fanstatic Fan Ultrabreeze, PML/Yourcovers.com deep alum trans pan, Roadmaster sway bar

ClickHill

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  • Posts: 241
Re: Fort Pickens Campground, Florida
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2018, 03:29:28 PM »
Thank you CharlesinGa. What a great amount of very helpful information.
D & D
2015 Winnebago Itasca Merdian
2013 Chevy Equinox toad