Starting at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, you'll begin paddling one of the most pristine areas in coastal South Florida. Mangrove lined shorelines, shallow patch reefs and colorful fish will be your companions for many miles.
Florida Cities: Miami, Homestead, Coral Gables
Contact: Contact our Region H Director or Trailkeeper for more information by clicking here Click Here
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This is Segment 16, Region H. Starting at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, you'll begin paddling one of the most pristine areas in coastal South Florida. Mangrove lined shorelines, shallow patch reefs and colorful fish will be your companions for many miles as you explore Pennekamp, Biscayne Bay and Biscayne National Park, the largest marine park in the U.S. national park system.
Heading north along the shore you begin to take in the Miami skyline and several local parks offer easy access to shopping and restaurants.
From Teacher's Island in Miami, the bay gradually narrows as you head north until you'll see the huge area of mature mangrove forests, framed by large buildings. This is Oleta State Park, terminus for this segment of the trail. A primitive campsite for paddlers is a short ways up the Oleta River, on the north side. This campsite is currently being renovated, so a temporary paddler's campsite has been set up in the park.
72.5 miles of circumnavigational trail
- Heavy winds and storms may prove challenging in open water areas
- Weekend boat traffic can be heavy, especially in the more narrow northern section of the bay
- "Government Cut" in Miami is famous for challenging water conditions - be prepared
- A GPS is a must to safely follow the route and find campsites
- Biting insects are prevalent throughout the year
Primary Campsites & Distances Between on Circumnavigational Trail
- John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park to Port Bougainville campsite, 4.5 miles (Not yet open for camping)
- Port Bougainville campsite to Elliot Key, 24.5 miles
- Elliot Key to Boca Chita Key, 5 miles
- Boca Chita Key to Chapman Field Park, 11 miles (Not yet open for camping—use alternate route in guide)
- Chapman Field Park to Teacher's Island, 17 miles
- Teacher's Island to Oleta River State Park, 10.5 miles
- Police, Fire and Medical Emergencies: 911
- Monroe County Sheriff: 305-289-2430
- Miami-Dade Police: 305-4-POLICE
- Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission Hotline: 1-888-404-3922
External Site Links