Big Shoals State Park
|Org./Park Name:||Big Shoals State Park|
Date of Review: 10-17-2014
Hours worked per week/person: 20 to 30 hours
Organization Type: Public
Job Title: Volunteer Park Host
Did you receive Wages or Stipend ?: No
Please share your comments about your experience : Volunteering in one of Florida State Parks is almost always a fun experience. Each park is so different in what they offer to their visitors and volunteers as well. Big Shoals State Park is a "Day Use" only park with trails, picnic area, a canoe launch, bathroom facilities, paved roadway in the park and a paved 3.4 mile trail between the Little Shoals and Big Shoals areas. It is very popular place with canoers, kayakers, hikers and trail bikers. It is more popular during the weekends than through the week and even then neither area really get as many visitors as we are use to in other parks. For the volunteer workamper who likes a laid back atmosphere, being able to do their jobs pretty much when you want and not have to deal with campers then this is a pretty neat place to spend a couple of months. On the bad side there is no extra storage available, extra shower or laundry facilities within the park itself but you are allowed to go about 6 miles back into White Springs to Stephen Foster Memorial State Park and use their showers and volunteer laundry for FREE. The dirt roads in and around the park are in desperate need of repair with all the rain this past 12 months (2013-2014). There is only one park ranger and a new park services specialist being hired for the park. We close the gates each evening and the ranger opens them every morning. Once it gets dark out here there are no outside lights within the park. You will get a set of master keys to open any of the locks in this park and Stephen Foster in case you need any supplies when the park ranger is off duty.
Did you receive any special benefits or perks while workamping? : When it works, you get the use of a John Deere Gator to motor back and forth between Little and Big Shoals areas to clean the bathrooms, check the trails and blow off any leaves and debris on the paved road and trail. The ranger picks up the trash and delivers all the supplies you will need. The designated volunteer park host site is a level cement pad with electric and water on site. You will need to bring with you about 70 feet of durable sewer hose to reach the dump station which is right next to the bathroom building about 50 feet in front of the campsite. Due to the county requirements they were unable to get the required leverage to put a sewer outlet next to the water and electric utilities. You do get two water outlets and the power box currently only has a 50amp plug-in that works. For those of us with a 30amp plug you will need to bring a converter. The park is right next to the beautiful Suwannee River with great fishing and pretty spectacular views.
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-- Jolene MacFadden