Crooked River Primitive Campground in Tate's Hell State Forest is a place to experience nature the way the universe intended, with your dog by your side and the pinging of devices far behind you! Here, the swampland meets dense forest, lending to a wide array of plant and animal life from bald eagles to hat-rack cyprus trees. You can explore this magnificent scenery by land or by water, with 35 miles of rivers and streams and an extensive system of trails.
According to lore, Tate's Hell National Forest gained its eerie name from the unfortunate adventures of Cebe Tate, a hunter who went astray in the swamp and succumbed to a snake bite. Rumor has it he met his fatal demise upon crawling to civilization, passing away after uttering his final words, "My name is Cebe Tate, and I just came from Hell."
Crooked River campground is not for those who want a pampered experience, or toilets for that matter, but rather for those looking for an authentic camping experience. At each site, you will find a fire pit, grill, and picnic table, and most are situated right on the banks of the river -- which makes it very convenient to grill up those fresh catches!
Pups are welcome to accompany their owners but should be leashed and respectful of wildlife. As with any humid and wet place, mosquitos are prominent; ward off those buzzing buggers with insect repellent for you and a good homeopathic spray for Fido. As with any wilderness setting, remember to pack in and pack out, leaving behind only footprints and taking nothing but pictures!
Though primitive camping is not for everyone, those who give it a try are likely to find serenity in the lack of modern amenities. Tate's Hell may just be heaven on earth for your pack -- but there is only one way to find out!