Long Key State Park – Long Key, FL
We just spent two weeks at Long Key State Park and I was very surprised, it was quite different from last year.
Something different is going on with the water as it is just unbeliveably horrid. The shoreline has at least 25ft (more @ low tide) of thick dead sea grass stuff that kinda looks like pine straw- some places it is 12 to 18″ deep- dead things are in it. It is thick with bugs and mosquitos and it enters your campsite slightly. As you walk over it, get to the water and then are walking through it this muck- your feet dissapear- meaning the water begins but you can’t see it you simply start walking out until you start to sink through the grass stuff. The water along this grass line is heavy tanic/tea colored and hot enough to burn your skin. I can not imagine anything lives in water that hot. You will actually think your skin is getting burned a bit. In two weeks I only saw two people walk along the beach- no one did it- you would cut through to the road and walk on the road before walking that “beach” muck back to your campsite. You can not lie on the beach, lay out a towel in the sand or have an area for a chair. You have to have secure water shoes- little velcro shoes or flips will be lost in the muck and you don’t want to try and dig around blindly trying to find them. The smell is a cross of something decaying, rotten eggs and sulfer that flows through the campground.
There are nice water areas – they are nearer the higher numbered campsites- you still have to walk thru the horrid part, but once you get past that, there are nice sandy patches you can relax in or use a float. Bring a way to anchor your float- you don’t want to drift into the other areas.
The clear nice sandy areas are not that large. For the ladies, if you have a squemish or “Ewww” factor.. this will freak you out… I heard ladies yelling everyday as they tried to broad stride thru it as fast as they could- You have to hold your breath and go. It’s really nasty.
Long Key is a great state park- the design is great with every site on the water. Last year was so wonderful. Would we go back? Hummm… I would make reservations again (books up 11 months in advance) but right before leaving, I would be checking the forums, making a few calls and cancel if it was like this again.
It was really dissapointing… and that coupled with the large price increase (apx $25 to almost $40 next year)— I would really have to think about it.