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If you want to experience the Everglades, this is a great campground to do it from. Located deep into the park, you are surrounded by the beauty of the “river of grass” and of all that nature has to offer in this incredible place! The rangers are very helpful.
We loved our stay here! We had a spot on the water and enjoyed a beautiful view of the water! The staff were friendly, professional, and helpful. The campground is very well kept. It is located in a great area of the keys, so it is a nice drive to Key West, or you can visit several trails close by. Big Pine Key and Bahia Honda State Park are very close and offer excellent scenery!
The rustic campground is very clean, but a little far from the restrooms. The rest of the campground is mostly made up of senior citizens that visit every year. Lots of interesting people to talk to. The beach is ok for launching kayaks and the boat launch is good for smaller boats.
We kayaked the Hells Bay trail in January and had a great time. The trail is well marked for the most part and easy enough for a beginner paddler. The chickee was windy, but in good repair. It would have been slightly uncomfortable if the other camp of the 2 site chickee was in use, just based in privacy and proximity. If you are in the fence, you should totally do this paddle/camp. We didn’t see much wildlife at all - just a few fish and a few birds.
I’ll admit, based on the size and the bugs I had really, really low expectations. Our trip was in January. We stayed here because we were leaving on a backcountry kayak trip the next day and this was the closest site to the launching point. We stayed in the dispersed tent field, which was spacious if not at all private. I really thought the bugs would be awful, but they were just slightly annoying. Decent bathrooms, cool water showers. We felt safe. Not a dream destination, but did the trick.
Flamingo Campground, Florida Everglades—eco-tent
Pro: The location is superb. Ours was located closest to the water(#6). You don’t get to choose—assigned when you check in. There was a lovely breeze each afternoon and very few mosquitoes. Egrets and Anhingas were in abundance. Our eco-tent was equipped with a queen size bed, pillows, bed linens, blankets, fluffy large bath towels, a fan and bedside lights. The towels were a pleasant surprise because I had specifically asked about towels and was told “no.” The tents are located on boardwalks with embedded lights to the bathroom building (it can be a fair walk from your tent) so you can see your way there at night. There is an electrical outlet box with one spare outlet. We brought a surge protector with additional outlets so we could charge electronics and toothbrushes. Several people we met rented empty eco-tents for $50 (no beds, lights, etc) a night.
Con: a solar panel was broken wide open with water flowing out onto the ground so there was no warm water at all in the showers. The bathrooms are adequate but old and tired—cleaned once daily. Only one shower in the ladies room was working. For the price, a decent bathroom would be anticipated. There is an electrical outlet near the sinks which seemed to be constantly in use by a crockpot. (Despite a sign on the boardwalk saying for eco-tents only, this bathroom and the nearby picnic tables were heavily used by tent campers.) There are two dish washing stations at the bathroom building—faucets were not sealed and so water ran out the sides splashing on the backsplash. There are no water spigots so if you need water, you must use the dish washing faucet (the water is potable but for drinking, you might want to bring in your own as it has a salty taste). Maintenance certainly could be improved.
Eco-tent residents must use tables and fire pits close to the parking lot which are not very close. No food is allowed in the tents. There are no lights around the picnic tables so if you are cooking after dark, be sure you’ve planned for that. Also know that you cannot leave unaccompanied food at the picnic tables or the Anhingas will be feasting with abandon.
The food truck was open at the Marina. It had been closed due to hurricane damage. Because of the long new year’s weekend, the shop had no ice, no firewood and only minimal supplies like snacks and beer—lots of empty shelves and coolers. We received an email just before arriving telling us that there was no ice or wood due to the holiday long weekend so we needed to get them before arriving. We had planned to bring all our food which was a good thing given the lack of items at the store. With a 38 mile drive from the Coe entrance center to the campground and another 45 minutes to Homestead, you don’t want to have to go back to Homestead for supplies!
No internet or phone service (other than AT&T). Was wonderful to escape!!
We stayed here a night before launching our kayaks out to the more remote backcountry stuff. All of your basic amenities and hella skeeters as you'd expect in South Florida.
It is a big open field, so don't expect visual privacy.
A six and half mile paddle from the visitor center. We had 15 - 20 mph headwinds heading out which was BRUTAL, but the way back was WICKED breezy. The park provides maps and I got 3 bars of AT&T cell service the whole way. It was COVERED in bird poop when we got there so we had to lug a bunch of bags of water up to wash it off (use an empty drybag).
One of the wildest places I've camped. Felt super remote, only a few boats went by the 2 days we were there. Good fishing at the key, around the chickee, and for much of the paddle out. Caught a nice red on our float back to the mainland. Saw sharks and lot of seabirds.
The chickee had a clean port-o-potty and space for a tent on each side.
Good stopover if you're headed to Rabbit Key where you can also camp (a ranger stopped by and told us the Key was flooded so we didn't make it out.)