This is Segment 15, Region G. The Florida Keys Overseas Paddling Trail is a great place to spend your next vacation. Paddlers enjoy tropical splendor and a rich diversity of marine life, ranging from manatees and sea turtles to lobsters, fish and stingrays. When you need to take a break from paddling, civilization in the form of great restaurants, lodging and entertainment are within easy reach of the water.
You begin this section at Pennekamp's canoe launch along Largo Sound. After leaving the park, head south toward Tavernier. Camping is not allowed so try several local hotels. From Tavernier it is a straight shot along the 4 main islands that make up Islamorada: Plantation Key, Windley Key and Upper and Lower Matecumbe Keys. Incidentally, Islamorada is commonly known as the fishing capital of the world.
Forty-three miles of paddling later, you'll arrive in the Middle Keys of which Marathon is the largest community. Camping is allowed on the smaller of the Molasses Keys in the middle of the Seven Mile Bridge crossing. Enjoy the view of the famous Seven Mile Bridge, a major architectural and engineering achievement. Next stop, Bahia Honda State Park. It's incredibly popular with tourists so reserve your campsite early.
South of Bahia Honda lies tropical lagoons, prime snorkeling, Howell Key, Sugarloaf Key and finally, the fun-loving maritime capital of Florida, Key West. Arrive early and don't miss the sunset celebration at Mallory Square!
111 miles of circumnavigational trail
- Distance and duration will be determined by which side of the Keys is chosen and all mileage estimates are based on paddling on the Atlantic side
- Because the Keys are a popular winter destination for tourists and snowbirds, advanced reservations for motels and campsites is recommended
- A GPS is highly recommended to find campsites and points of interest
Primary Campsites & Distances Between
- John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park to Tavernier, 12 miles
- Tavernier to Islamorada, 9 miles
- Islamorada to Long Key State Park, 15 miles
- Long Key State Park to Curry Hammock State Park, 13 miles
- Curry Hammock State Park to Molasses Key, 15 miles
- Molasses Key to Bahia Honda State Park, 7 miles
- Bahia Honda State Park to Howell Key, 12-13 miles
- Howell Key to Geiger Key Marina, 17-18 miles
- Geiger Key Marina to Boyd's Key West Campground, 7-8 miles
- Boyd's Key West Campground to Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, Key West, 7 miles
- Police, Fire and Medical Emergencies: 911
- Monroe County Sheriff: 305-289-2430
- Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission Hotline: 1-888-404-3922
External Site Links