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We wanted to do one last camping trip before school started (anyone else think the summer flew by?). Some place that we could drive to in one day and then stay for several nights. Some place with lots to do – preferably swimming, hiking, and biking. We had visited John Pennekamp State Park in Key Largo when we drove to Key West earlier in the year and knew that it was the perfect place to go. I managed to snag a site for four nights.
According to the description, the sites are narrow – maybe 16′ wide. So I measured our camper – it’s eight feet wide. Even with the slide and awning out, we fit. The site was plenty long, but we found a perfectly level spot close to the front and were reluctant to back up anymore. We just barely got our car off the road, but no one complained.
We didn’t have neighbors most of the time which was good since the sites are pretty close together and the kids sometimes forget to not cut through other sites. Honestly though, we didn’t spend that much time at our site.
Our campsite was right by the pond and we had lots of wildlife to keep us entertained. These crabs are such a pretty blue, but they don’t hang around when they see you moving!
There were lots of iguanas! We would come back from snorkeling and they would be scurrying back to the pond area.
Some of them were little, but there were a few bigger ones too.
I was surprised at the different colors!
One of the things we wanted to do was snorkel. John Pennekamp is the first undersea park in the United States. If you have an underwater camera, bring it! We don’t have one and wished we did the whole time we were snorkeling. We’re thinking about this one for when we go back.
Offshore is a replica of a Spanish shipwreck complete with more cannons and an anchor. The kids loved snorkeling out to it.
There are lots of jellyfish too. They mostly sit upside down on the bottom, but you will see them floating through the water too.
Even though bikes are not allowed on the hiking trails, we rode our bikes around the campground – to the visitor center, to the trail head, just around so the kids could burn some energy. The Grove Trail is a beautiful trail! Make sure you wear lots (and lots!) of bug spray.
It ends at an old citrus grove.
While we were walking along the trail it started sprinkling and when we finally got here, it decided to start raining a little more. We still took time to walk around the grove and made it back to our campsite without getting too wet.
The Wild Tamarind Trail is all about different trees. The tree you are to be looking at is marked with a ribbon which is nice. It’s always frustrating when you’re not sure which tree the sign is talking about.
We’re planning to go back again in the semi-near future – winter is a tough time to get a site! We’ll be taking a couple more snorkels and (hopefully) an underwater camera. 🙂
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