Of all of the Florida State Parks in the Keys, Long Key has the best campsites: they sit right on the shoreline overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Location: Long Key
Fees: $4-5 per vehicle
Open: 8 AM until sunset daily
Leashed pets welcome
By 1906, Zane Grey was America’s first millionaire author. He could vacation anywhere, but he chose the Long Key Fishing Camp as his getaway where he could fish in the mornings and write in the afternoons.
The island itself was a stunning beauty, with more than 17,000 coconut palms, and caught the eye of Henry Flagler as a resort property as he decided on a route for his Overseas Railroad to Key West. The camp’s grand hotel attracted the rich and famous, including Ernest Hemingway, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and William Randolph Hearst.
Wiped out by the horrific hurricane of 1935, the land passed into private hands and to the Florida State Park system in 1969.
Hiking and nature trails introduce you to the many habitats on the island, including the weird tidal rock barren, a scrub-like habitat with a forest floor of chalky white sand embedded with coral splinters. Paddle the mangrove-lined lagoons, snorkel the shallows, and soak in the sun in this natural Florida paradise.
Explore the park
- Florida’s toxic trees - Southeast Florida is home to two poisonous trees, the poisonwood and the manchineel. Learn how to recognize them so you don't get too close, and find out how truly dangerous they are.
- Golden Orb Trail - At Long Key State Park, the 1.2-mile Golden Orb Trail starts and ends near the campground, offering a loop through some of the stranger botanical sights on this salt-rich island
- Layton Trail - At Long Key State Park, the Layton Trail leads you on a quarter-mile exploration of mangrove forest and tropical hammock on the shores of Florida Bay.