- The park contains a wide variety of tropical vegetation, shore birds and marine life. While the mangrove swamps and tropical hammocks offer visitors a unique and interesting experience, it is the coral formations and associated marine life that most park visitors come to enjoy. The coral reefs at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park are among the most beautiful and diverse of all living communities.
Like the tropical rain forest, the coral reef community is extremely diverse. Living among the corals are sponges, shrimps, crabs, turtles, lobsters, and nearly 600 species of fish. Touching or standing on corals may kill them and is therefore prohibited.
Scuba diving and snorkeling are the most popular attractions at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. Two beaches, several picnic areas, campground, fishing, wildlife viewing, swimming, canoe trails, and more are popular year-round. Touring the visitor center upon arrival is a great way to orient yourself to the park; highest visitations occurs from late fall to early spring. A private concessionaire within the park offers glassbottom boat tours, and snorkeling expeditions with over 30 years experience. The newest addition is the sailing catamaran. It is the ultimate in a smooth and relaxed ride with a passenger capacity of only 24 making it ideal for those who are looking for a quieter, more relaxed reef adventure.
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is located at Mile Marker 102.5, north of Key Largo in the Florida Keys.
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