There are so many fantastic budget friendly activities to do in the Keys, but one of our favorites is swimming and padding at Curry Hammock State Park! For just a small fee of $4-8 (depending on how many people in your group), you can spend the day at the park. We found this to be one of the most peaceful spots in the Florida Keys.
Heading straight from the entrance, it’s just a short drive to the beach area. The parking is rather limited, so in season you’ll want to arrive early on the weekend. At the park, you’ll find a playground, bathrooms, picnic tables, grills, and a beach access area. The beach access wraps around the island. The water in this area is shallow and great for kids, and people often bring floats and rafts to the beach. To the left, there is also a kayak launch. Although no pets are permitted on the beach, they are permitted in the park, and of course can paddle with you if you bring your own kayak or SUP!
Paddling at Curry Hammock
Curry Hammock State Park provides several places for you to take your kayak or SUP. There is a trail that winds its way through the mangroves around the island, starting from the launch in the main area of the park. This takes about an hour. If you’d like a longer trip, you can wind around a second island (deer key), which will double your distance. In addition to both these paddle trails, you can paddle straight out into the Atlantic and check out one of the two sand bars – they are easy to spot, as there is usually a collection of boats anchored at the sand bars.
Don’t have a kayak or stand up paddle board? No problem. The park rents them out for a very reasonable rate ($21 for two hours). They offer paddle boards, single kayaks, and double kayaks. You can pay for your rental at the guard gate, where you will also grab your paddles, life vests, and seats for the kayak. Then you can head down to the waterfront and choose your vessel!
Other Activities at the Park
If you enjoy biking or running, you can head just outside of the park for a direct access to the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail. This bike path, partially paved and partially unpaved, provides more than 90 miles of distance. The trail does often have construction along the way, so check in with their website to be aware of any closures. It was too hot when we visited to really enjoy this trail, but we did check out a few miles!
Want to stay a few nights? The park has an RV and tent campground. With only 28 sites, the campground is small and often full, so book your reservations early! Enjoy spacious sites and super clean bathrooms at the campground!
We hope you enjoy biking, swimming, and paddling at Curry Hammock State Park as much as we did! We will be back to this park, the next time we can snag a site at the campground. For more to do in the area, visit out page on budget friendly and free snorkeling locations in Florida – many of which are in the keys!