Beautiful beaches, hiking trails, and some of the best bird watching in the state -- it’d be a real faux-paw to try and take in Florida’s Long Key State Park in just one day! The good news is that you don’t have to -- the park is home to a furrifically Fido-friendly campground. You won’t need to sacrifice many of your creature comforts during your stay -- Long Key has hot showers, electricity and water hookups, and flushing toilets.
The campground’s location isn’t bad, either! You and your pooch will be staying right on the shore, and you're both welcome to splash about in the shallow waves (unfortunately, this is the only beach in the park where your pup is welcome). Be sure not to move any seaweed, though -- it’s important to the park’s ecosystem. Some sites are sheltered by palms, buttonwood and sea grapes, but not all of them, so it’s best to book early to ensure a shady spot. This goes double for RV campers, as 5 of the 47 sites are tent-only. The park has a $4.50 entrance fee for single visitors, while groups pay $5 and then 50 cents per extra person. Sites range from $20 to $36.
You and your doggo are sure to sniff out plenty to do during your stay! The park’s natural shoreline, mudflats, and mangrove swamps make Long Key a place of pilgrimage for South Florida birders, so keep an eye out for Mangrove Cuckoos, vireos, wood-warblers, flycatchers, and rare species like the Key West Quail-Dove. The park doesn’t offer much for serious hound-dog hikers to sink their teeth into, but the Golden Orb Trail is still worth a stroll. The one-mile out-and-back-route meanders past some splendid examples of the park's unique flora.
If casting a line is your idea of a good time, you’re in luck! The waters around Long Key have historically been a haven for saltwater fishermen (though, unless you’re fishing at the campground, your pupper will need to stay away from the shore).
Wifi isn’t available at Long Key, and cellular coverage varies from network to network. Fires are permitted, and you’ll find drinking water available on-site. One further note -- the shoreline attracts all sorts of buzzing, biting critters, so bug spray is a must in the summer! Remember to bring waste bags for your buddy, and have a pawesome time!