Striking in its seclusion along a stretch of the Keys known for development, even those with the most feverish wanderlust will stop to appreciate this untarnished sanctuary.
Halfway between Key Largo and Key West, sits 1,000 acre Curry Hammock State Park and is the largest uninhabited parcel of land between Key Largo and Big Pine Key. The park protects large areas of mangrove swamp, rockland hammocks and seagrass beds essential to the Florida Keys ecosystem. The park is an ideal destination to kayak and paddleboard, and with the Atlantic Ocean as a backdrop, it's easy to understand why this stunning plot of land was left as nature intended.
Bicycles are welcome on park roads and on the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail, which passes through the park, providing easy access to and from Marathon. Helmets are highly recommended for all cyclists and Florida law requires helmets for cyclists age 16 and under. To preserve the natural areas of the park, bicycles are limited to roadways and are not permitted on footpaths, boardwalks, restroom ramps or the nature trail.
A 28-site campground, located within view of the Atlantic Ocean, is open year-round. The main restroom has composting toilets and solar-powered hot showers that meet ADA requirements. All sites have a gravel parking area for cars and RVs, and most have an adjoining sandy area for pitching a tent, with the exception of #3, 10-19, 21, 26, and 28. Tents may be placed on any site, but the sites with sand tent pads are preferred for tenting. Site 1 is ADA accessible. Access to the beach is between #13 and #15. Each campsite comes equipped with a picnic table, charcoal grill, water and 20/30/50-amp electrical service. A dump station is available.
The campground fills quickly in winter, so make your plans early. Visitors can enjoy kayaking from the beach, a 1.5-mile nature trail and bicycling along the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail. Launching of powerboats, ganoes or other motorized vessels is not allowed. Kayak and canoe launches are allowed.
Pets are welcome, but must be confined, leashed (up to six feet in length) or otherwise under the physical control of the owner at all times.
Maximum RV length = 70 ft.
Reservations may be made up to 11 months in advance through ReserveAmerica. Book Online or call (800) 326-3521 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.) or TDD (888) 433-0287.
Canoeing and kayaking are outstanding in Curry Hammock State Park. Human-powered boats may be carried to the waterfront and launched from both the day-use area and campground. The shallow waters are usually calm with gentle currents. There are miles of shoreline on both the Atlantic and Bay of Florida sides of the park and a beautiful mangrove creek to explore. There are no facilities for powerboats in the park, and most of the waters within the park are a no combustion zone. Kayaks may be rented at the park between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The cost is $17.20 for a single for 2 hours and $21.50 for a double. Stand up paddleboards are also available for rental at a cost of $21.50 for two hours.
Fishing is allowed within the park. The flats often hold permit and bonefish, and the channel alongside the park has produced sizeable sharks, snapper, snook, and more. Florida fishing regulations apply within the park.
Spearfishing, possession of spearfishing equipment and collection of tropical fish (by any method) is prohibited within the park.
All fishing within the park must conform to regulations concerning size, number, method of capture and season. A fishing license may be required. More information is available at the Florida Wildlife Commission’s Fishing in Florida.
A 1.5-mile nature trail winds through the hardwood hammock on the bay side of the park. The tread is uneven and appropriate footware is recommended. The trailhead is located one mile south on U.S. 1 from the park's main entrance,
The picnic area is located on the southeast end of the park and has 4 pavilions, each with a barbecue grill and 4 picnic tables. These pavilions may be reserved for $53.75 for a full day or $32.25 for a half-day including tax. Please contact the ranger station at (305) 289-2690 for availability and reservations. When not reserved, these pavilions are available on a first-come basis. Other picnic tables are spread out along the waterfront. Pavilion 1 is ADA accessible.
Snorkeling is available in designated areas. The water in the park is generally shallow and the bottom covered with seagrass. This natural community is different from the tropical reef most commonly associated with the Florida Keys, but as one of the most productive marine communities, it is teeming with fish and invertebrate life, and is essential for the well-being of the reef. A 'Diver-Down' flag is required.
Campers are invited to join a local astronomy group on Saturday nights when the weather is clear to view the night sky from the parks' day-use area. Current star charts are posted in the kiosk and are available from the Ranger Station. Contact the Ranger Station for more information.
Swimming is available in designated areas. In general, the water is shallow and the currents and waves gentle. Deeper water is located on the east side of the day-use area by the kayak launch.
The park is an excellent place to observe wading and shorebirds. Herons, egrets, ibis, plovers and sanderlings are commonly seen. Raptors are also frequently seen, particularly during migration periods. The park lies on an important bird migration route. In the summer, the endangered White-crowned pigeon is frequently seen in the hammock feeding on poisonwood berries. Curry Hammock is part of the South Florida Birding Trail and plays host each year to Hawk Watch and the Florida Keys Birding and Wildlife Festival.
The grass flats are home to many interesting species like spotted rays and nurse sharks, and are teeming with baitfish; pelicans, herons, bald eagles, and osprey are often seen hunting there. Manatees and dolphins are sometimes seen from the park when they come in close to feed. The Key Vaca raccoon is present in the park. This threatened subspecies is easily acclimated to man, but please don't feed them. Human food is unhealthy for them, and encourages aggressive behavior.
For daytime visitors, a cold outdoor shower is located on the ocean side of the restroom near the picnic area. All facilities are fully accessible.
The 1,200-foot, sandy beach at Curry Hammock State Park faces the Atlantic Ocean. The water is shallow. Sunbathing, swimming and sand castle building are favorite activities.
Visitors to coastal parks are reminded to pay close attention to the Warning Flag Signs posted at welcome stations and on the beaches. These flags indicate the swimming conditions at the beach. Double red flags mean absolutely no swimming because of high winds and undertow currents; yellow means swim with caution and stay close to shore; green means that the waters are safe; purple means that marine pests are present. Please use caution! Lifeguards are not provided.
The picnic area is located on the southeast end of the park and has 4 pavilions, each with a barbecue grill and 4 picnic tables. These pavilions may be reserved for $53.75 for a full day or $32.25 for a half-day including tax. Please contact the Ranger Station at (305) 289-2690 for availability and reservations. When not reserved, these pavilions are available on a first-come basis. Pavilion 1 is ADA accessible.
Pets are not allowed on beaches, in picnic shelters, or in the bathhouses. In the areas where pets are allowed, they must be on a six-foot, hand-held leash and be well-behaved at all times.
A playground is available in the picnic area.
A restroom with hot showers is located in the campground for registered campers only. For daytime visitors, a restroom with a cold outdoor shower is located in the day-use area. All facilities are fully accessible.
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