Biscayne National Park's largest island, Elliott Key, at one time was a thriving community of pioneers that took part in wrecking, sponging, and pineapple farming among other pursuits. The island now offers picnicking, hiking, camping, wildlife viewing, and swimming to visitors. Visitors can view several habitats in the maritime forest along Spite Highway, which runs about six miles through the center of Elliott Key. Swimming is permitted just north of the harbor on Elliott Key's bay side in the designated swim area. Wearing shoes at all times is recommended due to the shoreline's rocky environment. Fishing is allowed south of the harbor off of the maintenance dock, as well as outside of the swimming area and no-wake zone along the shoreline. Starting on the island's bay side is a mile-long trail, found at the campground's north end.
The campground can be found on the Elliott Key's bay side between the hammock edge and to within twenty-five feet of the harbor. Camping on the island is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Within the campground is a campsite for groups that provides picnic tables and barbecue grills, located about one-third of a mile from the harbor on the island's east side. Also on the Elliott Key's east side, next to the group campsite, is a fire ring. This is the only spot in Biscayne National Park where an open ground fire is allowed. There are additional barbecue grills and picnic tables provided around the harbor and throughout the campgrounds. Restrooms are also available with cold water showers. Visitors are advised to bring their own freshwater, just in case the generator for the fresh drinking water outside the restroom building should go down. Photo: liquid studios /Fotolia
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