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******************

By Clyde Powell


 

 


Key West Camping Long Key State Park    

Welcome to Long Key State Park
LONG KEY STATE PARK
P.O. Box 776
Long Key, Florida 33001
Phone: 305-664-4815

 

Long Key was once referred to by the Spanish as "Cayo Vivora", which means Rattlesnake Key. The name was used to describe the shape of the island, which resembles a snake with its jaws open. Today, Long Key State Park is known for being rich in history and recreational opportunities as well as natural beauty.

The 965 acres that make up Long Key were acquired between 1961 and 1973, with the park's official opening in 1969.


Key West Camping Long Key State Park
HISTORY

Long before the park was established, the subtropical climate, clear waters and abundance of marine life attracted explorers. The Calusa Indians lived off the plant and marine life before the arrival of the first Spanish settlers. After Spanish occupation, other travelers from nearby islands such as the Bahamas made their way to Key West.

By 1912, the Florida Keys were no longer considered a remote area to travel. By this time, the Key West Extension of the Florida East Coast Railroad was completed, allowing Long Key to become an important depot. Henry Flagler, the founder of the railroad, also established the Long Key Fishing Club which was a mecca for the world's greatest saltwater fishermen. This productive era came to a temporary end when a hurricane destroyed the railroad and fishing club in 1935.


GEOGRAPHY & WILDLIFE
Long Key contains the remains of ancient coral reefs that were formed 100,000 years ago when the sea level was 20 to 30 feet higher. The vegetation is primarily of West Indian or Caribbean origin. A large variety of trees and shrubs are found, including species such as the gumbo limbo, poisonwood, mahogany, Jamaica dogwood and crabwood. The shallow waters off Long Key support an abundance of marine life. Various wading bird species may be observed in the mangrove-lined lagoons, particularly during the winter months.

Long Key State Park Camping
ACTIVITIES
Educational offerings at the park include fun and informative programs on snorkeling, fishing, birding, canoeing, sea turtles, plants, history and the marine ecology of the area. Three nature trails are located within the park for visitors who enjoy both walking and canoeing. The "Golden Orb" Trail, named after a native spider, is a leisurely 40-minute walk through several plant communities. The Layton Trail is located on the bayside of the park and takes 15 minutes to walk. The third trail is Long Key Lakes Canoe Trail, which covers a shallow water lagoon. Canoe rentals and a self-guided brochure are available for this hour-long journey.

Picnic areas are available with a scenic view of the Atlantic Ocean. Swimming and some of the best sport fishing in the Florida Keys are popular year-round. Saltwater fishing licenses are required in Florida.Campsites are located along the crystal clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean for visitors who wish to stay and enjoy all that Long Key has to offer.

Interpretive Programs

A two-hour guided walk along the "Golden Orb Trail" is offered every Wednesday at 10:00am. Every Thursday, the park offers a Ranger's Choice program at 10:00am. These programs may consist of guided-walks, birding, photography, Florida's Native Americans, canoeing, and Florida's unique wildlife. Programs are subject to Ranger availability and weather conditions. Please check at the Ranger Station.

Canoeing & Kayaking

One of three nature trails in the park, the Long Key Lakes Canoe Trail provides visitors with the opportunity to enjoy a leisurely "paddle" through the park’s shallow water lagoon. Canoe rentals and a self-guided brochure are available for this hour-long journey.

Key West Camping
Full Facility Camping
There are 60 full-facility campsites in the park, all overlooking the Atlantic ocean! Each campsite comes equipped with a picnic table, ground grill, water, and electricity. Three restrooms with hot showers, are centrally located. Also provided, is a dump station for gray and black water. Reservations may be made up to 11 months in advance. The sites book quickly so make your plans well in advance. For reservations, please call Reserve America at 1-800-326-3521 or online www.reserveamerica.com


 

DISCOUNTS
Florida Seniors(65+) or 100% Disabled Florida Resident
(max. 4 people per site)......1/2 base fee

Weekly Rate Discount
(*selected parks, seasons vary)......10% off base fee

Monthly Rate Discount
(*selected parks, seasons vary)......30% off base fee

Club/Group Discount
Key West Camping
(10 site minimum, 1-7 nights, selected parks, seasons vary......10% off base fee, plus one free site


 

Prices are subject to change   Give Mike a call for the current pricing