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Curry Hammock State Park, FL
Saturday, August 15, 2009 - 5:00pm by Lolo
53 miles and 1 hour from our last stop - 1 night stay
We never really intended to come back to Curry Hammock this trip, but the torrential rains in Key West made staying there for sunset pretty pointless. Why go back to a campground that costs $100 a night and just huddle there in the rain, when we could get a little driving north under our belts and spend half the price at a state park campground?
This time we got a campsite right on the water with a lovely view of a mangrove tree out our back window, and the rain even stopped. I found myself hoping that the sun wouldn't come out, because I really would regret having missed out on a classic Key West sunset.
Tomorrow was to be a big driving day. We had two days to drive the 780 miles to Huntington Beach State Park in South Carolina, and I wanted to have some fun along the way. Fortunately, I was prepared with my list of about 10 state parks along the Florida and Georgia coast. We would just drive until we got tired of driving and then turn right to the beach.
The park’s 1,000 acres were set aside as a state park in 1991 to protect its large areas of mangrove swamp, rockland hammock, and seagrass beds, which are essential for the ecosystem of the Florida Keys. The marine grass beds and tidal swamps serve as a crucial nursery for many important species of fish and crustaceans and provide rich feeding grounds for many wading and diving birds.
Although its shallow, seaweedy waters are not ideal for swimming, there are several activities in the park:
- Kayaking/canoeing along the pristine coastline on both the Florida Bay and Atlantic Ocean sides of the island, as well as along a beautiful mangrove creek
- Windsurfing/kiteboarding on the ocean side
- Birding – the park is an important stop for migrating birds. Every fall HawkWatch International conducts a census of raptors passing through.
- Fishing – on both the bay and ocean sides of the park
- Hiking – 1 ½ mile trail through the hammock
The park contains a 28-site, full-facility campground on the oceanfront.
Curry Hammock State Park location map in "high definition"