Located in Ocala in North Central Florida, Santos Campground has only 22 sites with water and 30/50 Amp electrical service. All sites are back-ins. Sites along the periphery of the single campground loop are wooded while those in the middle have less shade.
The Santos Campground isn’t part of the Florida State Park System but reservations can be made through Reserve America. Instead it is part of the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway which is part of the Florida Parks and Recreation System. This area is best known for their bronze level mountain bike trails. The trail head is located right next to the campground so it’s a popular spot for bicyclists. Just as a note you won’t find the campground in any of the usual campground books (ie Good Sam) but you can make reservations through Reserve America. Sites here are $22 per night or $11 with FL resident senior 50% discount.
Overall Impression – 3/5
A small but well maintained and clean campground. It felt safe (entrance is gated) and the majority of other campers were generally friendly. It seems to be popular with families and there were a number of tenters present while we were there. Many of the campers were also here for the biking activities, so the pace was less laid-back than a typical snowbird oriented park. Only minor complaint we had was the noise from the traffic on adjacent SR27 and the nearby rail line that seemed to have horn blowing trains going by constantly. Probably not a campground that we would go out of our way to visit again but we would return if we needed a place to stay in the area or had an urge to do some serious off-road biking.
Sites – 3/5
All sites are back in sites ranging in length from 35 feet to 62 feet. 19 of the 22 sites are listed as capable of supporting 40 foot rigs, 17 for 42 foot rigs and 12 for 45 foot rigs. We didn’t measure, but had the sense that the listed lengths may have been slightly optimistic (due to trees and other obstructions), so we would recommend larger rigs shoot for the longest site available (lengths are listed on Reserve America). Sites were well spaced so you had decent room between your site and your neighbor’s.
Along the outside perimeter, the sites were wooded and shady and most had some privacy while those in the middle were less shaded, more open with no privacy.
Amenities – 3/5
Gravel sites have water, 50A electrical service, and a fire ring with a grate. There was one bathhouse, several picnic shelters and a dump station. Miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails.
Location – 4/5
Across the street from the campground is a convenience store that sells firewood, rents bikes and probably sells general grocery items. Being on the outskirts of Ocala, there is a good selection of retail stores, grocery stores, medical clinics and restaurants within 5 miles and anything else one might need not too much further.
Maneuverability and Roads – 4/5
Roads were paved and easy to maneuver although backing into some sites could be a little tricky due to trees and vehicles parked on the opposite side.
Peace & Quiet – 2/5
There wasn’t much. Located close to railroad tracks – trains seemed to run fairly frequently, blasting their horn. Also predominant traffic noise from the main road nearby. Was most noticeable at night when we were sitting outside by the campfire or sleeping with the windows open.
Utilities – 3.5/5
- No Sewer
- Satellite – depends on the site, might be marginal on the wooded sites around the perimeter. Despite the trees on site #1, we were able to lock into the DISH Network 61.5 bird.
- WiFi – not offered
- Cellular signal – Moderately good Verizon 4G LTE with booster.
- Over-the-Air (OTA) TV – We were able to lock in to all major network stations.
- Power – 50A/30A on most sites with steady 120+ voltage on both 50A legs.
- Water Pressure/Quality – Good pressure, slight chlorine taste.
What We Liked
– Very clean, well maintained park
– Hiking/biking trails
– Our wooded, semi-private site
What We Didn’t Like
– Noise, particularly the frequent horn blowing trains.