- The John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park represents over 100 square miles of mangrove shoreline, grass flats, and coral gardens lush with tropical fish. Adjacent to the park is Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary. Anglers visiting the area find quiet backcountry saltwater fishing. A Florida saltwater fishing license is required.
Many wade the shallows in search of crabs, oysters, and shrimp. Snook and tarpon are prevalent in the deeper waters of the mangroves. Both snapper and grouper are offshore bottom dwellers; however, their young congregate in the mangroves. Many tourists turn to backcountry guides for maneuvering through the very complex and confusing environment. The marina has details about guided excursions, the canoe trails, boat mooring, diving lessons, gear rental, and much more.
While visiting the park, be sure to stop by the visitor center and view the 30,000-gallon saltwater tank. The park offers two beaches, campgrounds, hiking trails, and a variety of water sports.
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