State officials and other park supporters cut a ceremonial ribbon Wednesday
Colt Creek State Park’s newest campground, complete with a bathhouse and full hookups opened last month, but Wednesday state officials, parks staffers and local supporters gathered to officially commemorate the opening.
The speaks included Noah Valenstein, secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and Eric Draper, director of the state park system.
Valenstein said partnerships have been key to the success in acquiring the park and improving it since it opened in 2007.
Draper said the park aids the local economy and the success of this and other state parks is aided by a corps of dedicated volunteers.
Park manager Scott Duncan said establishing a campground has been a high priority with the public ever since the park opened.
He said the opening of this campground—it has 27 spaces for RVs and six reserved for tents– followed earlier projects to open primitive campgrounds for individual hikers and for groups such as Boy Scouts and to develop a primitive campground, which has since been expanded, to cater to equestrians.
The campground includes six sites reserved for tent camping
Paula Dockery, a former state senator involved in securing state money for the park, said adding the campground will give more visibility to this park, which is a relatively remote location in Florida. She said initial reports are that its has remained fairly full since shortly after it opened and anyone wishing to camp there should be sure to make a reservation.
Colt Creek State Park is located at 16000 State Road 471 north of Lakeland and is open daily from 8 a.m. to dusk.