My mission was to find us a spot to park the RV for the weekend in a remote, quiet, interesting place, half hour from Naples, if possible free.
Picayune Strand State Forest. $10/night. Wild. Close to Naples. Wait a minute. There are boulevards and avenues in that forest!
And this is how, looking for a cheap, remote and wild RV spot, we got ourselves in the middle of history in the making.
I was excited at the sight of avenues and boulevards all over a State Forest so I did a quick google search to get the story:
In the 60s a developer had the grandiose idea to turn a piece of the everglades into a mega community. He bought land, divided it into lots and sold them away. The operation did not last for very long as the gorgeous jungle transformed into a buggy swamp during wet season. He went bankrupt.
In the 70s and 80s small planes were using the abandoned roads as landings strips for drug trafficking. The two-lane interstate 75 had exit ramps which made the forest easily accessible for all kinds of illegal activities.
In the 90s, the State of Florida started purchasing back the lots from thousands of owners. The forest is currently being restored to its original state.
Kurt and I enjoyed our weekend stay at Picayune. On our hikes and bike rides, we were on the look out for wild life and any remains of past activity.
The forest and the camping area were not as remote and wild as we had hoped. The forest roads had more traffic than one would expect and at the camp site the grass was mowed and we had a few neighbors.