Devil’s Den campground was a welcome change of pace from Sunset Isle RV Park in Cedar Key for multiple reasons. We really enjoyed it here despite a few negatives, and we were super excited we got SCUBA certified during our stay. Major bucket list item checked off!
The first thing that excited us about Devil’s Den's camground (particularly coming from Cedar Key) was the number of sites they had available. In Florida this time of year, open campgrounds are a tough thing to come by. We chose one of the sites without full hookups (just water and electric) because the sites were much larger. We were happy with this decision to not be stacked next to other campers. We had the whole area to ourselves for most of the time, which meant we could let the dogs run around a little bit. It was nice to have a bit more space to ourselves after being so close to our neighbors while in Cedar Key.
We were pleasantly surprised by the beauty of the drive into Devil’s Den. There is a long road going through a Thoroughbred farm with some of the prettiest horses. There are huge trees dotting expanses of pastures. We took sunset walks down this road as often as we could! Once we got to Devil’s Den, we were surprised to find a farm-like area with Emus and goats. Our dogs particularly loved walking past this area haha. The Emus had laid huge dark teal eggs which were neat to see as well.
Devil’s Den was also only a thirty minute drive to Gainesville. In this city, Swamphead brewery became one of our favorites. It’s dog-friendly and has a really cool spot with a lot of outdoor lawn area to hang out. The inside has neat wooden tables which we loved, and they have food trucks and events frequently. This is where we went for a beer to celebrate after getting SCUBA certified!
Before we were SCUBA certified, we went snorkeling in Devil’s Den which was really neat! I’m working on putting together all of our video footage of diving in the springs. There were fish and turtles in the crystal clear water which has a hole in the rocks above it where sunlight comes through to hit the water. It was a bit chilly in the water (72 degrees is much cooler in water than air temperature), but we rented wetsuits so were able to stay in for about an hour.
Getting SCUBA certified was a big moment for us! We had tried to get certified before, but we were both alternating being sick. But finally we both got healthy and were able to go to Scuba Monkey in Alachua, FL for our course. We highly recommend them if you are in the area! Our open water portion was in Troy Springs, which was more crystal clear water and we got to a depth of 65 feet on our last fun dive! Here, we could see where the water was actually entering the spring from the underground aquifer and you could feel the current it created too. We surfaced so pumped to dive again!
For us, dog parks are such a saving grace so we were disappointed to not find any nearby during our stay. However, a really nice guy recognized we had GSPs and let us know about some land near Blue Springs Park that was absolutely perfect for letting our dogs run off leash. We could walk down the roads with them for miles with their e-collars on and get them completely exercised. This made our stay in the area much more enjoyable!
The dirt road in Devil’s Den to our campground was terrible! We had to add about 5 minutes to our ETA whenever we left because we had to drive so slow over them so as to not destroy our alignment. Not to mention the stress of driving our Airstream into and out of these roads… they definitely need some maintenance there!
The facilities were ok. The showers were hot, but did not stay that way for too long if someone else was showering at the same time. Also, the showers in the pool area which are closest to the campground do not stay on. So you have to hold a lever near the shower head in order to keep the water coming out. You can jerry-rig it with a twist tie or wire, which is what we did when we used those showers (since we didn’t have full hookups, we tried to use them often so we didn’t have to dump our grey tank so much). However, if you walk down to where the main area of Devil’s Den is, the showers seem to have a greater supply of hot water and they have a normal nozzle that stays on when you turn it :).
We loved Devil’s Den! We loved our site, we loved snorkeling the spring itself, and would definitely be back. Williston is a cute little town with very nice people and a lot of horse and cattle farms. Seems to be a hidden gem!