Campers ar T.Y. Park Healthy snacks available at the concession A tepee and a rent-a-tent set up at Quiet Waters Park.

Camping is the Number One outdoor vacation activity in America. So says the Travel Industry Association trade group, which also reports that a third of adults in the U.S. have gone on camping trips in the past five years, and only 6 percent of them concluded the experience wasn’t for them. RV Trade Digest confirms the popularity of this heavily family-oriented activity, citing a 23 percent increase in total campground and RV bookings from January to May 2008 versus the same period in 2007. That’s a lot of happy campers. “These numbers show that camping continues to be a strong and viable vacation option even in this uncertain economy,” says Linda Profaizer, president of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds.

In Broward County, five County parks offer campgrounds: C.B. Smith, Easterlin, Markham, Quiet Waters, and T.Y. All but Quiet Waters offer sites with full RV hookups, and all have picnic tables, charcoal grills, and restroom complexes with hot showers. C.B. Smith and T.Y. include laundry rooms, while T.Y.’s restrooms are also air-conditioned.

At Quiet Waters, a unique Rent-A-Tent package is available. Each site includes a platform with a pre-set-up 10-foot-by-10-foot canvas tent (capacity six), a fire ring, a grill, a picnic table, electricity, and running water. Also available are two tepee sites, each with a grill, a fire ring, and a picnic table. No RV sites are offered at this location.

All campgrounds provide after-hours security. Two pets per campsite are allowed with proof of current vaccinations and appropriate licenses. Pets must be registered at check-in and must be kept on a leash no longer than six feet at all times when not inside the RV or tent.

Camping fees vary based on residency, with residents of the tricounty area of Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade receiving discounts. Reservations are highly recommended, especially during the peak season of November through April.

Reservations are made by contacting the park office by phone. Parks will accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover charge cards. Please see below for campground phone numbers and e-mail addresses.

Park Name Phone Number E-mail Address
C.B. Smith 954-437-2650
Easterlin 954-938-0610
Markham 954-389-2000
Quiet Waters 954-360-1315
T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) 954-357-8811

Primitive Group Camping

Primitive group camping is offered at seven regional parks - C.B. Smith, Easterlin, Markham, Quiet Waters, Vista View, and T.Y. This activity, popular with scouts and both youth and adult groups, lets you experience nature as it is, without utilities and other creature comforts. Organized nonprofit groups of adults or supervised youths are permitted to preregister at the park office for overnight camping at designated locations.

Campers will need to bring their own equipment, including tents and other supplies. Open fires are permitted only at designated fire rings. Other park amenities not far from the campsite may be made available by prior arrangement with park management. All park rules and regulations apply to primitive group campers. Group reservations can be made only by an adult 18 or older. All groups of youths under 18 must include one adult for every 10 youths.

For more information, call or e-mail the individual parks.