John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

This state park is renowned for its spectacular reefs and colorful marine life. Most of the park (53,000 acres) protects a segment of the only living shallow-water coral reef in the United States, but the 2,350 acres of uplands include a tropical hammock and a mangrove forest. The visitor center provides an excellent introduction to the park with its exhibits, slide program, and aquariums. A glass-bottom boat takes visitors out to view the reef. Other concession boats take visitors on snorkeling/scuba excursions on the reef. A boardwalk allows visitors to venture into the mangrove forest, while a nature trail winds through the hammock. Ranger-led canoe trips and nature walks are also offered.

Watchable wildlife:
The coral reef and tropical reef fish will thrill underwater explorers, while above ground black-whiskered vireos (summer and fall), mangrove cuckoos (summer and fall), and smooth-billed anis, as well as spring migrant birds, will raise the heart rates of birders.

Department of Environmental Protection

(305) 451-1202

The entrance to the park is off U.S. Highway 1 at Key Largo.

Related Sites:
Other Southeast Florida Wildlife Sites
Florida State Parks

FWC Facts:
Over 200 species of birds migrate between their breeding grounds in the United States and Canada and their wintering areas in Mexico, Central and South America or the Caribbean.

Learn More at AskFWC