Paddle Florida

PADDLE FLORIDA
Over 85 Florida Paddling Destinations

PaddleFlorida
Pennekamp State Coral Reef Park, Florida, The KeysPennekamp State Coral Reef Park, Florida, The Keys

You are here > Home > Florida Keys  > Paddle Pennekamp State Park
Reported: May 2012

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park... Paddling in the Florida Keys

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park at Key Largo is the first undersea park in the U.S., covering about 70 nautical square miles. Most people come to see the coral reefs and for diving (to visit, take a snorkeling or diving tour, or ride the glass-bottomed boat). Paddling to the reefs is four to five miles, but there also are 2.5 miles of marked mangrove wilderness trails to explore. (Detailed map and photos below.)



View Larger Map
Distance: Various; 2.5 mile marked trail
Location: Key Largo (US1)
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Tidal: Yes
Launch points: Boat ramp at the Marina in the state park; kayak launch at the end of the parking lot (See map, left)
Kayak/Canoe Rentals: At the state park concession; in Key Largo (links, above right)
Nearby points of interest: Miami, Key Largo, The Everglades

While we sometimes find paddling through mangrove a little boring due to lack of diverse habitat, Pennekamp was fun due to the variety of mangrove tunnels and open channels, plus access to Largo Bay for big water. The mangrove tunnels can get narrow, bring a take-apart paddle or canoe paddle for convenience.

There's a boat ramp at the marina, but to avoid the traffic use the launch at the beach at the far end of the parking lot. Off the marked trail it's easy to get lost in the maze of mangrove, a compass or GPS is recommended if going exploring. Continue out to Largo Bay, explore the coastline, or start your week-long adventure along the 110-mile Florida Keys Overseas Paddling Trail to Key West.

The park has parking, food, swimming, camping, fishing, picnicking, playground, hiking trails, snorkeling and diving tours, glass-bottomed boat tours, and boat rentals. The Visitor Center includes a saltwater aquarium, theater, and exhibits.

Paddling at Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
(tap or hover over photo for larger view)
Paddling through Mangrove
Paddle Florida Keys, Pennecamp State Park - Kayak, CanoePaddle Florida Keys, Pennecamp State Park - Kayak, Canoe Paddle Florida Keys, Pennecamp State Park - Kayak, CanoePaddle Florida Keys, Pennecamp State Park - Kayak, Canoe Paddle Florida Keys, Pennecamp State Park - Kayak, CanoePaddle Florida Keys, Pennecamp State Park - Kayak, Canoe Paddle Florida Keys, Pennecamp State Park - Kayak, CanoePaddle Florida Keys, Pennecamp State Park - Kayak, Canoe Paddle Florida Keys, Pennecamp State Park - Kayak, CanoePaddle Florida Keys, Pennecamp State Park - Kayak, Canoe
Into the mangrove We took apart our paddles Watch for the
directional signs!
Along one of the channels Snorkeling
Paddling on Largo Bay side
Paddle Florida Keys, Pennecamp State Park - Kayak, CanoePaddle Florida Keys, Pennecamp State Park - Kayak, Canoe Paddle Florida Keys, Pennecamp State Park - Kayak, CanoePaddle Florida Keys, Pennecamp State Park - Kayak, Canoe Paddle Florida Keys, Pennecamp State Park - Kayak, CanoePaddle Florida Keys, Pennecamp State Park - Kayak, Canoe Paddle Florida Keys, Pennecamp State Park - Kayak, CanoePaddle Florida Keys, Pennecamp State Park - Kayak, Canoe Paddle Florida Keys, Pennecamp State Park - Kayak, CanoePaddle Florida Keys, Pennecamp State Park - Kayak, Canoe
Leaving the mangrove, out to the Bay Beach on bayside Keep out of the boat lane, be careful when crossing High tide, birds are sitting on the rocks Low tide, rocks are exposed
Marina and Launches
Paddle Florida Keys, Pennecamp State Park - Kayak, CanoePaddle Florida Keys, Pennecamp State Park - Kayak, Canoe Paddle Florida Keys, Pennecamp State Park - Kayak, CanoePaddle Florida Keys, Pennecamp State Park - Kayak, Canoe Paddle Florida Keys, Pennecamp State Park - Kayak, CanoePaddle Florida Keys, Pennecamp State Park - Kayak, Canoe Paddle Florida Keys, Pennecamp State Park - Kayak, CanoePaddle Florida Keys, Pennecamp State Park - Kayak, Canoe Paddle Florida Keys, Pennecamp State Park - Kayak, CanoePaddle Florida Keys, Pennecamp State Park - Kayak, Canoe
The Marina Boat ramp at
the Marina
Beach launch at
end of parking lot
Picnic/parking at
beach launch
Leaving the
launch area

More information on paddling at Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park (opens in a new window):

- Florida State Parks - John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
- Florida Greenways and Trails - Florida Keys Overseas Paddling Trail

Top of Page

Paddling in Florida - Kayak, Canoe
Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Outfitters/Rentals

Pennekamp State Park

Florida Bay Outfitters


Key Largo, Florida, weather forecast