Key Largo Report
(North Nest Key, Florida Bay)

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Report By:  admin    Date: 1/21/2011 
Rating:Trip Rating     Photos: None     Map & Directions: View

North Nest Key is in the Florida Bay section of Everglades National Park.

My Report:

This is a nice overnight trip from Key Largo to one of the few permitted campsites in Florida Bay (the other beach site is Little Rabbit Key and there are 2 new chickees near Flamingo). Usually it is an easy run out but there was a head wind the day we left. Our group consisted of 3 sea kayaks and myself and my husband in our 16-foot Sailboat. Two of the paddlers were on their first kayak camping trip.

It is about a 3-4 hour paddle across two open water crossings - Blackwater Sound then part of Florida Bay. So it isn't necessarily for beginners but the mileage isn't extreme so moderate experience is okay. The third paddler in our group was very experienced and had done the trip many times so he was able to assist the first-timers but it wasn't necessary. I definitely don't recommend sit-on-tops or rec boats shorter than 14 feet.

When we got to the island, the sites seemed quite diminished since last time we were there. I'm not sure if it was due to past hurricanes or higher than normal tide. But we each found a space for our tents and got set up before dark. There was a dark sky for good star gazing and cool temps for making a small fire out of wood that we brought with us. We made sure to build it near the water line and cleaned up the spot before we left in the morning.

The rat population is still active so make sure you stow food and water containers in your hatches at night!

It is nice to return by the alternate route between North & South Nest Keys to Grouper Creek, Tarpon Basin into Dusenbury Creek. If you can find the tunnels to the North of the channel thru Dusenbury it is even nicer. The last leg is just a little over a mile back to FBO. Usually the return trip is against the wind but this trip was opposite!

Camping permits are required November thru April or May (call the Flamingo Ranger Station to find out exact dates: 239-695-2945).

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Location Data:

Distance (miles): 7
Fees/Costs $: 10 plus $2 each add.

Post Date: 1/21/2011

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