Sunday, April 14, 2013

Gamble Rogers Memorial State Park

                                       Travel Florida in style....


Vintage VW Bus Rentals www.floridavwrentals.com                     This is one of my top three campgrounds in Florida.  I heavy heartedly write this blog, as this small park is getting harder to get into.  Most people that stay here return often and would like to keep it a secret.  They are the ones with the huge RV's that 'move in' for weeks at a time.  Can I have just one night please???  
Location:  3100 South A1A Flagler Beach, Florida 32136 (386) 517-2086
With our recent trip to Blue Springs State Park we scored a cancellation as we were 
driving to the east coast.  Since it was walk up only their were many people headed
 for the one spot!  We were lucky as we were headed that way anyways and was 
less than 15 minutes away.  
The majority of our customers want to head to the Keys, Everglades or South Beach.  
 Flagler Beach and the surrounding area is one of my favorite spots.  Living in a very congested beach community in the St Petersburg area definitely makes me yearn for wide open spaces. The drive down A1A where you can see the waves crashing on the beach is a pleasant change. 

A1A in Flagler Beach 

Drive to any spot on this wonderful stretch of beach, pop the top and enjoy a nice day at the beach.  These buses are equipped with a two burner gas stove for you to make lunch or clean dishes in your sink with an on board water tank.  Pop the top and take a nap,  hearing the sound of the waves and feeling the breeze of the ocean.


The park's full-facility campground is situated on the dune above the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. 

                        Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway,
                        this windswept park is named for Florida folk singer Gamble Rogers.  

                        18 miles north of Daytona Beach and 30 miles south of St Augustine.  
View from the best campsite at Flagler



Things to do:

The Beach...
The beach is the most popular feature at this park. Visitors enjoy swimming, sunbathing, beach combing and fishing. The daily low tide is an ideal time to observe shore birds feeding in tidal pools. Summer months bring sea turtles that lay their eggs in the golden-brown coquina sand. 
Nice walk way to the beach in front of the bath houses.  Another one located behind the day use.  

 The beach is a great place to catch some waves!  Surfers and wake boarders a like will love the waves that come up in stormy conditions.  But in can be dangorous so beware in that rip currents can form off this beach.
 Boaters and canoeists can launch from a boat ramp on the Intracoastal Waterway. 

On the Intracoastal Waterway side of the park, picnic pavilions provide a shady place to enjoy a meal. 
Hidden back behind the new butterfly garden is a wonderful mile long nature trail.  
It give you a look inside the brush sand dunes you drive by in this area.  It was pleasant on
 a warm afternoon under the shade trees.  You will find two different types of eco systems.  

Scrub and Maritime Forest.

Scrub occurs on sand ridges along former shorelines.  It occurs in many forms, but is often characterized as a closed to open canopy forest of sand pines with dense clumps or vast thickets of scrub oaks and other shrubs.  Typical plants include sand pine, sand live oak myrtle oak, scrub oak, rosemary, ground lichens, hog plum, silk bay, stagger bush, and saw palmetto.  Typical animals include red widow spiders, scrub wolf spider, oak toad, Florida scrub lizard, six lined racerunner, coachwhip, Florida scrub jay, ground dove, loggerhead shrike, yellow-dumped warbler, Florida mouse, and spotted skunk.

 Maritime Hammock occurs on olds costal dunes that have been stabilized long enough for the growth of a forest.  It is characterized as a narrow band of hardwood forest living just inland of the Costal Stand community.  Live oak, cabbage palm, and red-bay generally combine to form a dense, wind pruned canopy whose streamlined profile deflects winds and generally prevent hurricanes from uprooting the trees. 

  
Sand Oak Trees are a shrub to medium size tree. The tree limbs are sculpted by the wind.  The limbs grow down to support these trees during hurricanes and high winds. These trees along with other plants help to keep the sand dunes stable. 



The Joe Kenner Nature Trail

Joe Kenner was a successful and well respected member of the Florida Park Service Family. He was a native of Dalton, Georgia, he received a B.S. degree from Auburn University in 1959 and after serving four years in the U.S. Coast Guard, he moved to Deland, Florida.  He fell in love with the St Johns River since he first saw it at the age of 13.  He was a fishing guide on the river for six years before he joined the park service as an interpretive Naturalist in 1968.  Later in his career he focused on protecting the manatee and reestablishing the Florida crub Jay population using prescribed  burning.  He worked for the state parks until his death in 1996. 



                             That is great to know!  Makes sense why it is our state tree!  

 A nature trail winds through a shady coastal forest of scrub oaks and saw palmetto.

Another thing that should not be missed at this park is the sunrise.  You have no excuse not to wake up early to see this gorgeous sight.  I never miss a sunrise when I camp here.  Appreciate mother nature at her finest.  

 



 
History:
Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area at Flagler Beach is a state park with history as long as it's name.  
  • 1884-1918  a "Beach House of Refuge" was built on the site by the United States Lifesavings Services.  These were the first attempt by the U.S. government to watch our coast, mainly for hurricanes warnings and rescuig shipwrecks sailors.  Ten of these two story beach house were set up along Florida's coast with a "keeper" and his family.  The building was a hurricane proof type of infirmary for shipwrecked sailors until it was closed in 1918.
  • 1900 - By the turn of the century rolled  around, steamship and gas powered vessels ended the need for the watch houses.
  • 1915 - The United States Lifesaving Service merged with the United States Revenue Cutter System to create the U.S. Coast Guard.  
  • 1942 - 1954 During WWII, the U.S. Army Air Corp established and air warning site to monitor and detect hostile submarine and air activity along this section of Florida's coast. 
  • 1954 - Deeded to the state of Florida.
  • 1968 - The Florida State Parks was awarded the land and it opened as a state park
  • 1991 - This was named after Gamble Rogers, a folk singer.  On October 10,1991 he was camping and in response to a child's plea for help he attempted to rescue a Canadian tourist in heavy surf and riptides of Flagler Beach.  He was unsuccessfully at saving the tourist and lost his life as-well.  The Florida legislator in honor of this Florida Folk singer/guitarist.  After his death he was honored with many awards including a Kiwanis Award for Bravery, a Carnegie Award for heroism, and a Florida Folk Heritage Award.  He was also inducted into the Florida Artist Hall of Fame in 1998.
     
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~ Flowers of Gamble Rogers ~
                                                                          Wild flowers
Oh what a beautiful morning with 'Morning Glory"