Meander along the Atlantic Ocean shoreline and through the tropical hammock of Curry Hammock State Park on this ride or walk along the edges of the park’s day use area.
Location: Grassy Key, Marathon
Lat-Lon: 24.7429, -80.9827
Fees / Permits: $5.00 per vehicle plus 50 cent per person Monroe County surcharge
Open: 8 AM until sunset daily
Leashed pets welcome but not on beaches
The park’s main entrance is located at 56200 Overseas Highway, Marathon. The park itself straddles a chain of keys from Key Vaca to Grassy Key.
Spanning more than 1,110 acres across a chain of islands northeast of Marathon, most of Curry Hammock State Park is about protecting rare Florida Keys habitats such as the tidal rock barrens, rockland tropical hammock, and coastal berm. The portion that is developed for day use sits on the Atlantic Ocean side, although you won’t see any waves, or much of a beach, for that matter. These vast calm flats behind the reefs of the Florida Keys are important estuaries, a watery nursery for sea life.
A small sandy area adjoins the picnic pavilion in the day use section of the park. Check at the ranger station as you come in to inquire about kayak rentals and bicycle rentals. You’re also welcome to bring your own human-powered watercraft to launch. Some visitors swim in the inlet.
You can walk the oceanfront and survey the seagrass flats and the colorful wrack lines of seagrass flung onto the shore. In winter, stand on the beach and count the raptors passing overhead, as this is a major migratory flyover route.
The campground sits within view of the ocean but not directly on it. A bike path connects the front gate with the campground.
To explore the Florida Bay side of the park, on foot or by bike, take a look at the trails listed at the bottom on this page. Access to these trails outside of the park gates is free.
Explore the park
- Curry Hammock Nature Trail - For an immersion into a tropical rockland hammock and its rare bounty of Florida thatch palms, explore this short but rugged and fascinating loop along the bay side of Curry Hammock State Park.
- Grassy Key Trail - A pleasant piece of the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail that is entirely bike path, the Grassy Key Trail is 4.4 linear miles through Curry Hammock State Park
- Overseas Heritage Trail, Middle Keys - 43.6 miles. With the most island-hopping of the ride, the middle portion of the Florida Keys delights with its aquamarine waters and coconut palms, a very tropical vibe.
- Paradise, Palms, & Mosquitoes - My first exploration on the hiking trails of Marathon lead to thatch palm hammocks: the Curry Hammock Nature Trail at Curry Hammock State Park, and the trails of Crane Point Hammock, including the beautiful Palm Hammock Trail.