Established in 1963, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is well-known as the first undersea park in the United States. Located in Key Largo, Floria, the park encompasses about 70 nautical square miles in to the Atlantic Ocean and provides visitors unique experience with not only mangrove swamps and tropical hammocks in the park’s upland but also coral reefs and their associated marine life.
Besides that, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park offers wide range of recreational programs for visitors from nature walks to water activities. The park is also a favorite destination for camping lovers. If you are planning for more than one day trip to John Pennekamp, camping is an interesting activity you can participate. And if you are looking for information about camping at John Pennekamp, you are in the right place.
Campground of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
Overall, campers are satisfied with well-equipped facilities, quiet campsites as well as friendly staffs. There are two areas for camping: general campsites and Youth/Group camping areas.
With general campsites, John Pennekamp provides 47 campsites for both tent and RV campers. Each site has well-equipped facilities with water, sewer hookup, electricity, picnic table and grill. Seperated from Highway 1 and the back of campground is a wooden area that create quiet atmosphere for campers.
There also has campsites for Organized Youth and Adult Group camping. This place serves for non-profit organized groups. This camping area will accommodate up to 24 people and at least one adult chaperone is required per ten youths. Besides benches, a large grill, picnic tables, Pennekamp Coral provides fire circle for campfire activity – the most awaited moment for campers when participatinggroup camping.
Campers can access to restrooms and hot showers easily. Beside that, visitors can use coin-operated washers and dryers located at the main restroom. A dump station is available for all campers to use. In addition, staffs are very friendly and helpful that can support all your needs.
Recreational activities when camping at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
One of the best part when camping at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is taking part in wide range of outdoor programs such as camping, boating, boat tours, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, hiking, nature trail walks, picnicking, scuba diving, and swimming.
In addition, exploring the park underwater could be the most coolest experience when visiting there. Visitors are recommended to visit Visitor Center and Aquarium – a 30,000-gallon saltwater aquarium that can provides you different looks at marine inhabitants. This is the big chance for you to explore the beauty as well as much knowledge of marine life.
More important information
- Operating time: year round from 8 a.m. to sunset
- Fees: include admission fee for vehicle and pedestrian and campsite. To have more information about fees, you can Google or refer to reviews from previous visitors
- Large-print formats of park information and brochures are available at Visitor Center. You can get more information about the park when visiting there
- Dogs are allowed at one of the 47 campsites as long as they’re friendly but not at youth group camping areas
- Reservations for this camp may be made earlier to get suitable campsite for your needs. Reservations open 11 months ahead and sell out seconds very soon. So that, be patient and look for last-minute cancellations. Campers can book online through ReserveAmerica. Call (from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.) at (800) 326-3521 for general camping; at (305) 451-1202 for youth group camping
- Keep clean your campsites and around by taking out what you bring in.
- Be careful with fire and make sure you completely extinguish fire before leaving
If you are looking for beach and mountain views in combination with many recreational outdoor activities, you can choose to camp at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. Well separated from Highway 1 and crazy day-use traffic, this is a quiet place to make yourself relax.