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  1. #1

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    Riding in SoFla, School me....

    So i've been basically researching riding down here in Miami and the Keys on and off for the past 5 years since i've been dying to buy a ski. Well now i think i'm finally really close to picking one up and I have a few questions.

    I know that Biscayne National Park is off limits and so are any National Parks in the Keys. What else should i know about where to ride and not ride down here in SoFla? What are the rules about riding in the Keys? How much of a pain in the arse is it to ride in the keys? I'm big into GPS so is there anyway to get these restricted area's onto my GPS so i don't accidently venture into them?

    Thanx!


  2. #2
    JAG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thameth View Post
    So i've been basically researching riding down here in Miami and the Keys on and off for the past 5 years since i've been dying to buy a ski. Well now i think i'm finally really close to picking one up and I have a few questions.

    I know that Biscayne National Park is off limits and so are any National Parks in the Keys. What else should i know about where to ride and not ride down here in SoFla? What are the rules about riding in the Keys? How much of a pain in the arse is it to ride in the keys? I'm big into GPS so is there anyway to get these restricted area's onto my GPS so i don't accidently venture into them?

    Thanx!
    I've ridden in the Keys 3 times in the last 13 months...and I live in VA! You can camp and put in at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo. There are a number of decent hotel options too. Let me know what you're looking for and I'll give you some of my experiences on hotels there too. Here's Pennekamp's website... http://www.pennekamppark.com/

    The big thing about knowing where you can't ride in the Keys is to stay EAST of the intercostal waterway and out of the Everglades National Park. You can run the intercostal, just don't go west/northwest of it.

    For snorkeling - get coordinates from this site: http://www.divespots.com/scuba/site-...stination.info Just set up a free login and you can get coordinates and lots of great info and pics from each site.

    I love riding in the Keys...and I've ridden in Key West too if you're interested in going that far into the Keys. Key Largo area offers some great riding for a first time trip though and isn't very far into the keys.

    Keep me posted on what you do...you'll have a blast!

  3. #3

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    Thanx for the info Jag, but as far as i know and have been told you can't use a PWC at PenneCamp because its National Park.

    I've been to PenneCamp and through the keys many times since I've basically been born and raised in Miami. Just never had to deal with rules for PWC's in KeyWest.

    From your post are you basically saying that PWC's aren't allowed on the Gulf Side of the keys? Only ocean side? Hmmmm never knew about that but i've seen ski's on the water gulf side while driving down. Though i did hear something once about having to stay 1000 feet from any of the islands unless your approaching a dock and such.

  4. #4
    tomgtv's Avatar
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    The Keys are a blast

    I live in Weston and run down to Islamorada all the time. There's
    a great free public launch area on Bay side. You can run all over
    in Bay and outside in Ocean. You can also run out in Pennecamp and
    hook up to those buoy's like regular powerboats to dive on the reefs.

    The big no restrict zone is Biscayne National Park.
    read all about it and send a msg to your rep
    http://www.boatbiscayne.com/petition.cfm

    We'll all rendevouz down in Islamorada pretty soon once I see my
    new Ultra. There are several interested.

    Another killer area is Lake Okeechobee and running the Kissimee River
    up north with locks and all.......that's described with lots of pix on
    this topic, SE FL riders
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #5

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    WOW, so you can run your PWC at PenneCamp and pull up to the bouys? Thats freakin awesome news! I had been told PWC's couldn't enter any National Park area's like how it is with Biscayne and Everglades.

    I've been down to Pennecamp to go diving in my friends Zodiac before, its some amazing diving. Thanx for the clarification, thanx.

    I'll definitely sign the petition for them to open up Biscayne National Park. I know back when they closed the National Parks to PWC's it was because of noise, pollution and idoits. Well i think PWC's have grown up alot since back then. There are still idoits but the PWC's are quiet and pretty clean. They should just enforce fines for the idoits and let the rest of us who respect those area's be free ride them. Its like saying Motorcycles aren't allowed to ride on highways because of the idoits.

    Do you have Lat long for that ramp?? Thanx for the map! BTW, I'm right below you in Pembroke Pines, just West of i-75 on Sheridan.

  6. #6
    tomgtv's Avatar
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    Here's a couple more pix

    Get Google Earth (free) if you don't already have it. It's great for
    this kind of stuff. I'll post in advance when we're next going to
    run down there. I'm waiting for my Ultra 250. When it shows I'll
    be chasing dolphins, turtles, manatees and bikini's!

    Lat 24degree, 53min, 22.15sec
    Long 80degree, 40min, 23sec

    The grid shows this also
    Attached Files Attached Files

  7. #7
    JAG's Avatar
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    Gulf-side in the Everglades National Park - no pwcs allowed. Here's the link to that information...

    http://www.nps.gov/ever/planyourvisit/personalwc.htm

    Here's a link to a map so you know where the park boundaries are. You'll see the boundary runs along the intercoastal waterway all the way to Long Key.

    http://www.nps.gov/ever/planyourvisi...ad/evermap.pdf

    The 3 times I've ridden around Key Largo and places I stayed...

    Dec 2005 - Camped at Pennekamp, put skis in at the Pennekamp boat ramp right next to the camping area.

    May 2006 - Stayed in a condo on the ocean side with access to a private marina ramp and doc.

    Dec 2006 - Stayed at the Holiday Inn Resort at Marina Del Mar. Decided not to use the Marina Del Mar boat ramp because of low tide concerns so we just drove to the state park and put in there.

    I believe these are the coordinates for Pennekamp - 25.12365, 080.40722

    I also recommend riding over to Hog Heaven for lunch...24 57.004N 080 35.457W...they have a very scenic view from the rear deck area and you can tie up there and eat inside or out. They also stay open late and it gets crazy there late night.

    Here's a website with a lot of coordinates for restaurants, etc., throughout the Keys... http://www.bootkeyharbor.com/restaurants.htm

    There's a number of good places to eat in the channels of Key Largo around Marina Del Mar and you can tie up and eat at those places too.

    Hope this helps. I spent the first trip learning where and how and these are some of the things I learned along the way. Maybe it will save you some time so you have more time for riding!

    Let me know if you have any questions about the places we stayed. Glad to help.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomgtv View Post
    Get Google Earth (free) if you don't already have it. It's great for
    this kind of stuff. I'll post in advance when we're next going to
    run down there. I'm waiting for my Ultra 250. When it shows I'll
    be chasing dolphins, turtles, manatees and bikini's!

    Lat 24degree, 53min, 22.15sec
    Long 80degree, 40min, 23sec

    The grid shows this also
    Great! Thanx for the coordinates, i have google earth so thats why i was asking for them, and for my GPS of course.

    Now that we found out you can ski Pennekamp we can't wait to go down there again on our ski's!

    Def post up next time you guys do a big trip and we'll all try to meet up, hopefully we'll be getting our FXHO's this month.

  9. #9

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    JAG,

    Huge wealth of info! Thanx alot! That high res map of Everglades national is perfect. I've been looking for one.

    I wish there was a way i could put those boundaries in my GPS (currently Garmin E-Map, looking to upgrade to a Garmin 60CSX), just so i know for sure when i'm getting too close. I'll definitely be making a keys intercoastal run as soon as i can, looks like alot of fun.

  10. #10
    JAG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thameth View Post
    JAG,

    Huge wealth of info! Thanx alot! That high res map of Everglades national is perfect. I've been looking for one.

    I wish there was a way i could put those boundaries in my GPS (currently Garmin E-Map, looking to upgrade to a Garmin 60CSX), just so i know for sure when i'm getting too close. I'll definitely be making a keys intercoastal run as soon as i can, looks like alot of fun.
    No sweat! The intercoastal is pretty well marked...does your GPS show the red and green markers? If it does, you're set! Wish I could do the trip with you...I love it down there!

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