Peace River Campground – Wauchula, FL
Peace River Campground in Wauchula, Florida is a Thousand Trails’ membership campground in Hardee County in Central Florida, an hour from Tampa, and only about ninety miles from Orlando. We were lucky to get in to this campground for a full two week period in early January and have qince stayed another week and are headed back again soon! The natural beauty with an almost primordial feel and great campground amenities make Peace River Campground one of our favorite RV resorts in Florida for a winter stay. There are lots of things to do nearby in Wauchula and Zolfo Springs.
Campsites at Peace River
Although Peace River is a Thousand Trails campground, there area few publicly available campsites usually available through RVontheGo.com, or inquire about daily or weekly rates in the office. Peace River offers year-round camping with 460 sites, including some cabin sites and some annual and personal sites among the membership sites available. Most sites are level and though the upper campground can flood, it drains quickly. The lower campground is a different story…see below.
During the peak or high season, in the winter months, the Peace River Campground has an unusual policy for divvying up the available campsites with sewer which are campsites further away from the river, and on higher ground. If you don’t want or need a sewer site, you are free to choose a non-sewer site and let the office know where you’ve picked as your home. If you would like to try your chances at getting a decent sewer site that suits you and your rig, you can participate in the “lottery,” which is held at 1pm each day between the playground and main building. It’s not so much a lottery – a list of the available sewer spaces is made available each day at noon. Each party interested in a sewer site can check out the sites, make a list of particular sites of interest, and then show up at 1pm to wait and see if their name comes up on the list before the chosen sites are taken. During the non-peak season, there is no lottery for sewer sites.
So far, we’ve had no problem getting a site of our choosing and we happened to be at the campground during a record flooding event (Peace River crested at over 14′) which had the bottom half of the campground under water. Even during these conditions, we were able to get sites on our list.
On our first stay, we chose D11 – a shaded spot mid-campground. It was a nice spot, if a little crowded and sometimes noisy with trucks cruising by on the road not far away. On the plus side, it was close to the office and recreation areas and had unusually friendly squirrels.
On our second stay, we were able to take a beautiful riverside spot with no sewer for a few blissful days once the river had receded and the groundwater had drained. We were literally nose to the river and had a gorgeous early morning walk along the deserted riverside and spent the day outside enjoying the Peace River gurgling past at our feet. Although it was farther from the main building and rec areas, it was peaceful, quiet and the Camplink wifi down at this end of the campground was uncrowded. Win!
This campground features the usual Thousand Trails amenities, and it’s well maintained and clean. There’s a (seasonally) heated pool, a really nice hot tub, a large community room, activities, a small library in the former gatehouse, a chapel, a community fire-pit, and shuffleboard, pickleball and various other courts. The laundry room is clean and is connected to the bathhouse next to the pool, so it’s perfect for spending the afternoon by the pool while doing laundry. There’s a wifi near the office which is also adjacent to the pool, but it can be spotty. There’s CampLink available, but again – we found it to be spotty and sometimes flat-out unavailable at this campground.
In addition, there’s plenty of natural beauty. There are hiking trails throughout the park along the river, but it’s also not uncommon to see folks out walking with or without dogs throughout the campground. I cannot recommend highly enough that you take a trip down to the river and enjoy the real beauty of this area. Just watch out for snakes and alligators!