Beach near the campground at Long Key State Park

Once upon a time, Long Key was the site of a luxurious fishing resort. Then the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 destroyed the resort. Today, the saltwater fishing is still among the best in North America but island is now Long Key State Park and it also offers picnicking, beaches, hiking, boating and camping.

The campground contains 60 sites, all of which offer a picnic table, ground grill, water and electric. There are three restroom/hot shower facilities centrally located in the camping area. There is an RV dump station nearby. Maximum RV length: 45 feet.

There are three nature trails in the park: two hiking trails and one canoe trail. The canoe trail is an hour-long self-guided tour through the park's shallow lagoon, canoe rentals are available. The Golden Orb Trail (named after a prominent native spider) might take about 40 minutes to walk as it journeys through several different plant communities. On the bay side of the park is the Layton Trail, a leisurely 15-minute walk.

Swimming and snorkeling are available in designated areas of the park. The water tends to be shallow and the wave and current action gentle.

There are picnic areas located along the beach and near the campground entrance.

For day use Long Key State Park is open from 8 am until sunset every day of the year. Entry Fees: $5 per vehicle for 2 to 8 occupants; $4 for single occupant vehicles; $2 each for pedestrians, bicyclists and extra passenegers. In addition, Monroe County imposes a $0.50 per person surcharge. Camping Fees: $36 per site per night (plus tax), includes water and electric.

To get there: Long Key State Park is located on US Highway 1 at mile marker 67.5 in the Florida Keys.