TRAVEL DAY - 109 milesKATHRYN ABBEY HANNA PARK
PAYNES PRAIRIE PRESERVE STATE PARK
Kathryn Abbey Hannah Park is the first city managed park that we have visited. It is a very large park located on the coast of Florida, just south of the mouth of the St. Johns River. This could very easily have passed for a state park, with it's access to lakes and a long stretch of beachfront, if it weren't for the fact that the campground was very poorly planned, in my opinion!
We have visited a lot of campgrounds and most of them have had one thing in common, one way travel roads, very clearly marked which direction the flow of traffic was designed to move in. The parks that didn't have this one way travel design had double wide roadways so that RVs could pass each other if the situation arose. At Hannah Park, only the main feeder road down the middle of the park was double wide so people could pass each other. All of the side roads, where all the campsites are located, are single wide roadways leading in to the sites. The situation reminds me of a lyric from The Eagles' song Hotel California, You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave!
So if you are trying to get in to your site at the same time someone else is trying to get out of their site, you would meet head on somewhere on the narrow roadway. To make matters worse there is no way to determine who has the right of way in this situation. With nearly 300 campsites here that makes it a very real possibility for this scenario to occur. I will post a map of the park below and maybe this will make a little more sense.
I can't speak for every site in the park but ours had some additional design flaws. Site #161 was a diagonal pull through site between Rows K and L. It was classified as a 45 foot site, the largest category of sites available in the park, and we barely fit our 27 foot trailer and truck in to it. To make matters worse it had a large tree in one corner that created a high spot. Most campsites are considered unlevel if they slope more than 4 inches across the parking area of the site. This tree made an 18 inch high spot across most of the site. To make matters worse we were paying for the sewer hookup that we didn't even try to use, it was located behind this tree and as we all know, sh@t doesn't flow upstream. Another odd design to the park was the entrance to the sewer hookup. It was not flat on the ground, like everywhere else we have ever been, there was a 90 degree bend in the pipe that meant the seal between it and our sewer hose would be vertical instead of horizontal. As if that wasn't enough, the entrance was another 4 inches above the ground level. At least they provided a free dump station at the exit of the campground.
I know this sounds like I'm complaining a lot, but we didn't spent much time in the campsite. We were here in Jacksonville to visit with friends and spent everyday at there home, only returning to the campground at night to sleep. Even with all the design flaws it's still the nicest park in the Jacksonville area.
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