Raccoon Key

Cudjoe Key, Florida 33042

Raccoon Key

Raccoon Key Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Begin this elliptical route from a ramp on Cudjoe Key, close by the land mooring site for the gigantic white observation blimps that are reeled out on long cables to float in the air above the Florida Keys. Supposedly they keep a watchful eye on drug traffickers and boat movements in the region—but who knows what they really do up there? There are normally two, one in the air and a spare down on land. The first blimp in service was affectionately known as Fat Albert.

Our route follows the stepping stones of the Little Swash Keys and the Tarpon Belly Keys to Raccoon Key, which used to be home to a colony of rhesus monkeys, bred for research purposes.

The shallow waters close to Raccoon Key are sheltered grounds favored by small sharks and barracuda. You may see large rays here in shallow water. I still recommend a circuit of Raccoon Key to watch the fish, although it’s no longer possible to see monkeys . . . unless there were some escapees."

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Trail Information

Cudjoe Key
Nearby City
12
Distance
Moderate
Skill Level
Full day
Duration
Insignificant tide
Tidal Information
Check the weather forecast before you leave. A straight-line return trip from Raccoon Key measures 3 miles, with few places to rest from the wind. Wind blowing across such shallow water will make it more awkward to keep a straight-line course than will the same wind across deeper water, where waves can build to a bigger size. This trip is most enjoyable in calm conditions.
Hazards/Cautions
Waterproof Charts #34E; NOAA chart #11445
Local Maps