Pennekamp Park and the Wonderful Reefs Welcome You Back!!!
As marinas, parks and green spaces reopen in our city, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is a fantastic place to come and enjoy the outdoors with the many facilities reopening in stages: the beaches and the boardwalks are open, the kayak rentals and the snorkeling tours have resumed on a limited capacity with more availability being added as it becomes safe to do so.
Monroe County will be closing beaches over the 4th of July weekend. At this time, State Parks have not been asked to close or limit beach access for the upcoming holiday weekend but this may change. Do check out the latest status before you head out. Here's what's happening at the park:
- Park hours are from 8:00 am until sunset
- The main concession building is open for retail sales as well as pre-packaged snacks
- Kayak and Paddleboard rentals have resumed
- Marina Services have resumed
- Dive Shop is open for retail sales only. Scuba tours have NOT resumed
- Snorkeling Tours have resumed on a very limited capacity. Bookings are offered between 3 - 7 days in advance of trips.
- Glass-bottom boat tours have NOT resumed
- The restaurant is closed
- Restroom availability may be limited.
- Visitors are expected to maintain distances of at least six feet apart and limit group size to 50 or fewer people.
Canoeing, Kayaking and Paddleboarding at John Pennekamp State Park are a great way to explore the many channels and mangrove creeks
within the park and the calm protected
waters of the sound.
Most people come to the park to enjoy its underwater wonders but there's also much above water to keep you busy, lots of
native vegetation and birdlife to enjoy, and nothing better than a fun easy paddle around the park's mangrove-lined water trails.
Specially in the winter months which is peak season for wildlife viewing, temperatures are pleasant and mosquitos are not too bad, paddling
at Pennekamp Park is a very popular activity.
You can spot osprey, herons, egrets, cormorants, pelicans... and below
the surface look for stingrays, mangrove snappers... the occasional manatee wading around.
Kayak, Canoeing and Paddleboarding at John Pennekamp Park
Kayak and Canoeing Trails at John Pennekamp Park
There are three short trails, in a 2 1/2 mile network of channels and mangrove lined passages. The shortest one takes about one hour, short and easy enough for even first-timers.
There used to be a guided kayak tour at the park but is no longer being offered. You can get a Self-Guided Eco Tour Guidemap at the Main Concession and
explore on your own. The trails are not all well-marked, so pay special attention when venturing through the maze.
You can also paddle out in the sound, which is calm and protected.
Canoe and Kayak Rentals
The canoe and
kayak rentals at the park are super convenient, located at the Main Concession next to the Visitor Center it's only a short distance to the launch area.
The equipment is in great condition, the kayaks are the sit-on-top kind, very easy to maneuver even for beginners.
The rates are some of the most reasonable we have found. Hourly rates are:
- Single Kayak $12
- Double Kayak $17
- Canoe $20
- SUPs $25
- Special rates for several hours.
You can call the concession at 305-451-6300 for more information and current conditions, concession hours are from 8:00 am - 3:45 pm
If you have your own canoe or kayak, you can also launch from several canoe ramps in the Park. There are parking lots convenient to the launch spots.
There is one
by the marina and a couple by the beach. See the map here. There is no launch fee, only the entrance fee to the park.
What to Bring?
- Sun protection, hat, sunglasses
- Mosquito repellent
- Drinking water
- Waterproof camera
- Waterproof case for valuables (wallet, money, phone) if needed
- If renting gear, you will need ID or Credit Card as deposit
More info: http://pennekamppark.com/rentals/ or Call (305)-451-6300.
The Florida Keys Have Reopened! Get In The Water!
John Penekamp Coral Reef State Park
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