Nestled within the heart of the Florida Keys, the Curry Hammock State Park is a wonderful place to visit when you need to relax.
Located just a mile north of Marathon, this beautiful 1,000-acre park sits between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.
It is home to a fantastic patchwork of mangrove swamps, wetlands, rock land hammocks and seagrass beds, which collectively form a diverse landscape to explore.
There are plenty of ways you can do this, including snorkeling and scuba diving, hiking and biking and paddling.
Other things to do at the park include fishing, swimming, stargazing, birding, wildlife watching and picnicking. So boredom really isn’t an option!
Named after Lamar Louise Curry, a schoolteacher and historian whose father owned much of the park’s land, this Florida state park was established in 1991.
Curry Hammock State Park is open every day of the year, from sunrise to sunset.
If you want to visit it, here are some of the main activities you can do during your time there.
Snorkeling and Scuba Diving at Curry Hammock State Park
The sparkling waters of the park provide a terrific environment for snorkeling and scuba diving.
Teeming with fish and various other aquatic critters, you will get to see lots of colorful species of marine life during your underwater exploration.
If you would rather go into its depths with an experienced practitioner, there are several companies that offer guided tours.
Paddling at Curry Hammock State Park
For those who prefer to stay above water, you can do this on a kayak, canoe or human-powered boat.
These watercraft can be taken out to the Bay of Florida or the Atlantic Ocean, both of which are generally calm.
If you did not bring either of these vessels with you to the park, they can be rented out from the main office. Park rangers also offer guided kayak tours of the mangroves on Wednesdays which are well worth going on.
Fishing at Curry Hammock State Park
Fishing is a very popular activity at the park with anglers from all over Florida coming here for the chance to drop a line in its fertile waters.
Whether you choose to do this on the shore or via a watercraft is up to you. But you can expect to catch plenty of snook, snapper, bonefish and even shark whilst you are there.
Hiking and Biking at Curry Hammock State Park
On dry land, the park offers a selection of trails that are set up for hiking and biking.
As well as the roadways, be sure to check out the Curry Hammock Nature Trail which leads you to spectacular rock land hammocks that convey incredible views.
For those who want to explore the city of Marathon, the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail will take you there over the course of a two mile jaunt.
The Grassy Key Trail also showcases several scenic lookouts along its four mile route.
Stargazing at Curry Hammock State Park
As the skies around this part of Florida are crystal clear at night, they provide excellent opportunities for stargazing.
You’ll definitely want to bring your telescope with you for the chance to see the Milky Way in all its glory.
Should you want a bit of guidance as to what constellations to look out for, the park has an astronomy group that meets every Saturday night.
You can also grab a star chart from the ranger station, which will give you a firmer understanding of what you might be able to see.
Bird Watching at Curry Hammock State Park
Given its spectacular landscape, one of the most popular activities at the park is birding.
You will definitely want to bring your binoculars with you for the opportunity to see several breeds. Many of which reside permanently in the park.
The Curry Hammock is an especially good place to view osprey, bald eagles and pelicans in flight. While there is a strong likelihood you will see herons, ibis, egrets, sanderlings, plovers, raptors and hawks too.
Pets at Curry Hammock State Park
Pets are allowed at the park although some restrictions on their presence may apply.
To clarify what they are you would be well advised to contact the main office for clarification.
Camping at Curry Hammock State Park
For those who want to stay overnight at the park there are 28 beach campsites available.
All of these sites are equipped with hookups for electricity and water. They also come with their own picnic tables and charcoal grills.
Amenities at the campground include an ADA-compliant restroom which has solar-powered showers and composting toilets and a dump station.
One of the best things about these sites is that they look out to the Atlantic Ocean. They are also nestled within a tranquil location. Which means it is not affected by the noise pollution from the highway you need to drive along to get to it.
Of the 28 campsites at the park, 25 of them can be reserved online up to 11 months before your visit. The other three are kept aside on a first come, first served basis for walk-ins.
Each campsite has a gravel parking area that can fit RVs of no more than 70 feet. You will also be able to pitch a tent in the sandy areas that are situated near most of them.
Curry Hammock State Park
56200 Overseas Hwy
Marathon, FL 33050
Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Curry Hammock State Park: