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The two RV Gypsies stopped
in Wauchula, Florida
to kayak the Peace River
June 26-29, 2014

Florida map showing location of Wauchula

The two RV Gypsies parked their RV at the Thousand Trails Campground in Wauchula, Florida so that they could kayak the Peace River. It was a nice campground with paved roads and plenty of 50-amp full-service sites, with adequate space between sites. But only a few TV channels and very low water pressure. The campground had cabins, a boat ramp, tent sites, a nice pool, small hot tub & small recreation room. Wi-Fi only at the recreation room by the office, NOT at sites. No washing cars/RVs. Only back-in sites. Check out time was noon for RVs. This is the second time that the two RV Gypsies have been at this campground. In 2013 they went to Solomon's Castle, Bok Tower Gardens, and Spook Hill while at this campground. Scroll down for photos during this 2014 visit, kayaking the Peace River and more.

Thousand Trails Sign
the pool at Thousand Trails
The RV and toad of the two RV Gypsies
the RV and toad of the two RV Gypsies

Wauchula is a city located in Hardee County, Florida, United States. Wauchula has been called the "Cucumber Capital of the World", although citrus has become a more important agricultural crop over the past few decades.


The two RV Gypsies explored Paynes Creek Historic State Park located on Lake Branch Road one-half mile southeast of Bowling Green, Florida, on the site where Fort Chokonikla (1849) once stood. After paying the $3 entry fee, the two RV Gypsies took a short walk on the Peace River Trail. No alligators were seen. It was a hot day - about 93 degrees, so this was the only trail that the two RV Gypsies explored. There was not much at this park, just a few hiking trails, and the Visitor Center, a small picnic area, a small playground, and a monument honoring Fort Chokonikla.


sign-Paynes Creek Historic State Park
sign: Peace River Trail

historyDuring the 1840s, tensions between the settlers and Seminole Indians prompted authorities to establish a trading post in Florida's interior, away from settlements. Built in early 1849, the post was attacked and destroyed by renegade Indians that summer. In late 1849 Fort Chokonikla was built nearby as the first outpost in a chain of forts established to control the Seminoles. The Seminoles never attacked the fort, but the Army was nearly defeated by mosquitoes.

On November 21, 1978, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, under the title of Payne's Creek Massacre-Fort Chokonikla Site (also known as "site of Chokonikla blockhouse and bridge" or "Military cemetery").

Today, nature enthusiasts and hikers can enjoy walking along trails through the park's natural areas. Paynes Creek and the adjoining Peace River provide opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. A museum at the visitor center depicts the lives of Florida's Seminole Indians and pioneers during the 19th century. The visitor center is open 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Thursday through Monday. Located one-half mile southeast of Bowling Green on Lake Branch Road.

sign: Alligators

The two RV Gypsies noticed that the water level was high enough to creep up onto several of the steps. They also wondered why the steps were there since swimming is not allowed due to alligators. Surely nobody stands there to fish, and it is not suitable to launch a canoe or kayak there.
Oh yeah - it was put there just so Karen Duquette could take a few photos, of course.

Peace River
Peace River
Peace River
Peace River
sign: Cypress Swamps

clipart laughing dudeThe two RV Gypsies went inside the Visitor Center at Paynes Creek Historic State Park, and Karen Duquette decided to aim the big cannon at Lee. Duquette What a brave soul Lee was, he stuck his hand inside the cannon that was aimed at him. Duh!

Lee Duquette in the visitor Center
Lee Duquette and a cannon
Lee Duquette and a cannon

PeaceThe two RV Gypsies took a kayak trip on the Peace River by renting a kayak at Peace River Adventures. They were picked up at Thousand Trails campground and driven to the ramp where they launched the rented kayak. Half a day cost $45 for a 2-person kayak. Single kayaks were $45 each, so the two RV Gypsies decided on the 2-person kayak. It was a nice, peaceful, quite trip and the two RV Gypsies were the only people on this portion of the Peace River. Maybe because it was a very hot day.

sign: Peace River Adventures
the two RV Gypsies in the kayak on Peace River
the two RV Gypsies in the kayak on Peace River
the two RV Gypsies in the kayak on Peace River
the two RV Gypsies in the kayak on Peace River
kayaking Peace River
Karen Duquette kayaking Peace River
a lone tree
a cow along Peace River
a cow along Peace River
kayaking Peace River
kayaking Peace River
kayaking Peace River
kayaking Peace River

Below: Three turtles on a log.

No alligators were seen,
but Lee did see a snake.

Three turtles on a log on Peace River
sign: alligators and snakes

Below: Later, the two RV Gypsies hiked Fern Garden Trail and the Richard Lieber Memorial Trail in Highlands Hammock State Park in Sebring, Florida.

sign - Highlands Hammock State Park
a tiny frog on a log

There were lots of mosquitoes on Fern Garden Trail, but the two RV Gypsies had sprayed themselves and did not get bit. However, due to the heat and the mosquitoes, it was not a pleasant hike.

The tree below is the 1,000 year old Live Oak that is referred to as the "oldest living thing in the Hammock" according to the park's history books. Parts of the tree has been reinforced, as seen in the photo below on the right which is part of the tree laying flat on the ground.

1,000 year old Live Oak tree
reinforced part of the Live Oak tree
hiking at Highlands Hammock State Park
hiking at Highlands Hammock State Park

Menu for the two RV Gypsies Adventures in Florida - 2014
You may visit these ten (10) FL sites in any order you choose.
There is also a link to Alabama below.

Broward County holiday fun with friends and family - through Easter 2014

canoe trip at Jonathan Dickerson State Park, Hobe Sound

Florida Keys (2 pages)

boating at Everglades NP - with family on Fathers Day

Englewood (on the west coast)

St. Petersburg/ Madeira Beach / John's Pass

DeLand and friends

Wekiwa Springs State Park, Wekiva River, alligators/turtles

Wauchula and Kayaking the Peace River plus two state parks (this page)

Wakulla Springs State Park: boat tour, alligators, and manatees

choose a new page from below

continue on the the next adventure of the two RV GypsiesAFTER you have seen all of the above, please continue on to The Big Peach, plus Cross Garden - Hell's Warning Label in Alabama