A Guide to Upper Keys Parks

A Guide to Upper Keys Parks

Key Largo, the northernmost island of the Florida Keys, boasts some of the region's most stunning and ecologically significant parks. From the underwater marvels of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park to the family-friendly shores of Harry Harris, each location offers a unique glimpse into this iconic area's natural beauty and biodiversity. This guide introduces you to the wonders of Key Largo's parks, highlighting the outdoor adventures that await in this tropical paradise. Whether you're a diving enthusiast eager to explore coral reefs, a nature lover keen on bird-watching, or simply looking for a picturesque spot to unwind, Key Largo's parks offer an array of experiences for everyone.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is a marine sanctuary that offers visitors a glimpse into the underwater world of Florida's coral reef, the only living coral barrier reef in the United States. The park extends 70 nautical square miles and includes approximately 178 nautical square miles of coral reefs, seagrass beds, and mangrove swamps. Visitors can engage in a variety of activities, such as snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and camping. The park also features a visitor center with a 30,000-gallon saltwater aquarium and nature trails for those who prefer to stay dry. The Coral Cam provides a live view of the underwater world, allowing everyone to see the park's marine life​​.

Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park

Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park stands out for its large tract of West Indian tropical hardwood hammock. Home to 84 protected species of plants and animals, including the American crocodile, this park offers a serene escape into nature. Visitors can explore the park's beauty through its hiking and biking trails or enjoy birding and wildlife viewing. The park's history is rooted in conservation efforts led by Dagny Johnson, who played a pivotal role in preventing the area from being developed​​​​​​.

Harry Harris Park

Harry Harris Park is a family-friendly destination with amenities that cater to everyone. This park combines the beauty of a tropical seaside with the convenience of recreational facilities. It offers a sandy beach, picnic pavilions, and a playground, making it a perfect spot for a family outing. Boaters and fishermen can use the boat ramp, while the protected tidal pool area is ideal for young swimmers. The park's location is also a great launching point for kayaking and exploring nearby keys​​​​.

Founders Park

Founders Park, located in Islamorada along the Florida Bay side, is a 45-acre gem that offers a wide range of activities suitable for families, picnickers, and those looking to explore. The park is notable for its comprehensive amenities, including an Olympic-sized swimming pool, sports facilities, a splash pad, a marina, playgrounds, and picnic areas with grills.

Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park

Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park in Islamorada is a remarkable site where visitors can return to a unique part of Florida's geological history. Once a quarry for the Florida East Coast Railroad in the early 1900s, the park now showcases the Key Largo limestone or fossilized coral that makes up its foundation. The park has five short self-guided trails winding through a tropical hardwood hammock, allowing for bird-watching and wildlife viewing in addition to exploring the geological wonders.

Rowell's Waterfront Park

Rowell's Waterfront Park, nestled at mile marker 104.5 on the Overseas Highway in Key Largo, is a picturesque 8-acre area along Florida Bay. The park features picnic tables, benches, a swimming area, and facilities for launching kayaks, paddleboards, and canoes, making it a perfect spot for relaxation and recreational activities. Its waters offer a delightful opportunity for good swimmers and snorkelers to explore the marine life attracted by the shoreline rocks.​

Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park is a unique natural treasure offering a glimpse into subtropical wilderness. This national park is essential for conserving numerous rare and endangered species like the manatee, American crocodile, and the elusive Florida panther. It holds prestigious designations, including a World Heritage Site and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, underscoring its global ecological importance. Visitors can explore this unparalleled landscape through various activities, including hiking, bird watching, and ranger-led tours, providing immersive experiences in one of America's most iconic natural areas

Explore Key Largo Real Estate with The Florida Keys Sold Sisters

If you're captivated by the allure of Key Largo's parks and dream of calling this paradise home, reaching out to The Florida Keys Sold Sisters is your next step. Specializing in Key Largo real estate, Sabrina Wampler and Sarah Ewald possess the expertise, passion, and local knowledge to guide you through the process of finding your perfect home. Whether you're seeking a waterfront property, a cozy island condo, or a luxurious estate, The Florida Keys Sold Sisters are dedicated to making your real estate dreams a reality. Contact Sabrina and Sarah today to embark on your journey to homeownership in the beautiful Florida Keys.

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Sabrina and Sarah are dedicated to helping you find your luxury home and assisting you with any selling needs you may have. Contact us today and start making your Florida dream come true!

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