RV Rental Starke, FL

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The small settlement of Starke is located just north of Gainesville and southwest of Jacksonville. Starke was founded in the 1850s due to the development of the railway and the implementation of a post office, both of which were put in place to help the growing lumber industry in the region. The origin of the city's name is disputed; many believe it was the family name of the city founder's fiance, while others believe it was named after Florida Governor Madison Starke Perry.

Still a small community, Starke is the perfect place to visit if you're looking to explore Gainesville along with the lakes and parks surrounding the city. This typical small Floridian city is a great way to experience Florida, and RV rentals in Starke won't disappoint.

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The Great Outdoors

If you're a fan of water sports, an RV rental in Starke will be ideal for you due to the many lakes located just outside the city limits. The largest of the lakes, Lake Sampson, covers over 2,000 acres of water and is a popular fishing spot, with catches including black crappie, catfish, and bass. The large amount of vegetation here, including lily pads and cattails, make the lake ideal for a scenic picnic. Make sure you bring along your swimming gear too, as other more exciting pastimes include water skiing, jet skiing, and boating. The other two smaller lakes, Lake Crosby and Lake Rowell also offer similar experiences.

A stunning stretch of wilderness worth exploring when you rent a campervan in Starke is Belmore State Forest near Keystone Heights. This forest is perfect for nature watchers due to the varied environment that's found here, such as floodplain forests, sandhills, and more. This environment means a large variety of birds live in the woods, with songbirds, hawks, and wild turkeys all calling these trees home. A vast network of unpaved trails make this a fabulous hiking destination, and Coot's Shanty Recreation Area features picnic tables, so make sure to bring along a picnic in case you get hungry.

Another interesting wildlife park to visit when you book an RV in Starke is the Santa Fe Swamp Conservation Area. This dense swamp covers over 7,000 acres of land on the northern shore of Santa Fe Lake. Hunting is a popular activity here, despite only primitive bow hunting being allowed in the off-season, and favorite animals include white-tailed deer, hogs, and rabbits. Other activities, such as fishing, hiking, and nature watching, are also possible here. This swamp also allows dogs, making it the perfect place to walk your four-legged friend, as long as you don't mind them getting muddy.

RV Parks

Despite being a small city, there are few places to park nearby when you rent an RV in Starke. One of the closest destinations is Dixieland RV Park in Waldo. This campground offers 150 grass sites with full hookups that deliver 30 and 50 amp electric. This camp has lots of space and supports big rigs and slide outs, with most of the sites offering pull-through access. Extensive amenities include the basics such as toilets and showers, as well as luxuries such as storage areas and a restaurant. There are also plenty of recreational activities, including a rec hall and outdoor games.

If you'd rather be in the city when you rent a camper in Starke, then consider staying at Starke KOA. This campground has over 100 paved and grass sites, with full hookups and max amp electric. There's space for slide outs and big rigs here too, and most of the sites offer pull-through access. Showers, restrooms, and laundry services can be found on site, and there are fun amenities such as a swimming pool and a game room.

Exploring the City

Although it's a small city, when you rent an RV in Starke, you'll have access to plenty of the great sights in Gainesville less than 30 miles south. Starke also offers some shops and restaurants, meaning you shouldn't need to leave the city too often. One of the best things to do in Starke is to visit the Camp Blanding Museum. Camp Blanding was established in the 1930s and was a significant training facility during the Second World War. Now a museum and memorial park, this camp houses a large variety of historical guns and artillery, refurbished army barracks, and photographs which help show what army life was like during the war.

When you rent an RV in Starke, you'll be close to one of the biggest cities in Florida, Gainesville. Gainesville offers some great attractions, and one of the best is the Florida Museum of Natural History. Featuring some of the best natural history displays in the state, this museum offers an exciting and educational experience. Visitors will see amazing fossils, including the jaws of a megalodon shark, the largest shark to ever live. There's also the butterfly garden, an indoor display of over 1,000 living butterflies within a simulated rainforest setting. This variety of exhibits means there's something for everyone to enjoy and is well worth a visit if you're near Gainesville.

Another amazing place to go when you're in Gainesville is the Santa Fe Teaching Zoo. Part of the nearby Santa Fe College, this zoo focuses on teaching its students about ecosystems and conservation efforts while letting the general public interact with and enjoy the animals. There are some adorable animals here, too, including otters, ocelots, and lemurs. The educational nature of this zoo means it's the perfect place to bring your kids, especially any budding zoologists.

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Popular nearby hiking trails and campgrounds

  • Hiking TrailLocation
  • Belmore State Forest Loop Trail, FLMiddleburg, FL
  • Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park Trail, FLKeystone Heights, FL
  • Black Creek Ravines Hike, FLMiddleburg, FL
  • North Fork Black Creek Trail, FLMiddleburg, FL
  • Fire and Water Nature Trail Loop, FLMiddleburg, FL
  • The Florida Trail Segment 24: Holloway Road Trailhead to Gold Head Branch State Park Trailhead, FLMike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park, FL
  • Morningside Nature Center Loop Trail, FLGainesville, FL
  • Trails of the Devil's Millhopper, FLDevils Millhopper Geological State Park, FL
  • Cecil Field Recreational Trail, FLJacksonville, FL
  • Gainesville 6th Street Rail Trail, FLGainesville, FL

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