Biscayne National Park
Biscayne National Park is another Blue Paradise destination for families staying with us at our affordable family vacation rental at Kawama Tower 406, Kawama Yacht Club in Key Largo
Biscayne National Park is the next Snorkeler’s heaven north of John Pennekamp State Park.
Again there are tropical fish and coral reefs that have inspired the tropical palette but with a twist as there’s a Maritime Heritage Trail. This unique underwater archaeological trail showcases six of the more than 50 shipwrecks in the park. Due to their depths, most of the wrecks are suitable only for scuba divers, but some are in 12 feet of water or less. The park’s concessioner may offer ranger-led snorkel tours in the calm, summer months.
A leisurely half hour boat ride across the waters of Biscayne National Park, takes you out of sight of land. It’s time to walk the water and see the amazing shallow water reefs and wrecks.
Just an hour’s drive from Miami’s neon skyline, the park offers snorkelers the chance to observe the landscape that inspired the area’s tropical palette. The 173,000-acre national park encompasses magnificent mangrove shorelines, two-thirds of Biscayne Bay, the northernmost Florida Keys and the northern portion of the world’s third largest coral reef system. Just within view of the city skyline, Biscayne National Park was established in 1968 as Biscayne National Monument due to developmental pressures that threatened its fragile ecosystems.
On a sunny day without much wind, the water is calm and clear. Perfect for seeing the colourful Parrot Fish and a myriad of other brightly jewelled species.
There are fascinating animals everywhere and I’ll produce a blog of pictorial identification at a later stage. The park displays giant brain coral, swaying sea fans and unique areas where the endangered Elkhorn coral are thriving.
Many of these fragile animal colonies sit in shallow water, and snorkelers have to be careful not to accidentally touch them. When the weather is pleasant there are daily snorkel trips.
Biscayne National Park Reservations
Make reservations with the park’s concessioner, Biscayne Underwater Park, Inc. On weekends, the trips often fill up. Call 305-230-1100, or reserve online at biscayneunderwater.com.
Watch the weather. Windy conditions make the trip much less fun, and for safety, the boat doesn’t go out in thunderstorms.
The concession also rents kayaks and canoes if you’d like to explore the mangrove shoreline on your own.
Convoy Point, the park’s headquarters, is the start for your adventure. The Dante Fascell Visitor Center and Gallery is home to picnic areas, a short inter-active trail and scheduled ranger-led tours. The park also encompasses the remaining buildings of Stiltsville.
There is no fee to enter the park, but there is a charge to camp on Elliott Key or Boca Chita Key.
Check out the park’s website for more information.
With 95% of the park being under the water surface, Biscayne National Park is certainly one of the most unique and unusual parks in the array of parks. You don’t enter through a gated entrance as you do at so many other parks, but by sea. If you are not paying attention, you might miss the moment when you first dip your toe into the protected waters.