I came to Crandon Park specifically to try out the snorkeling and hiking here. I had read a recommendation to snorkel on the far western portion of the beach. There really wasn't much to see except some large barracuda. If you want to snorkel, come during high tide, because the water is way too shallow during low tide.
However, what made my day was just exploring the whole park itself. There is an amazing nature center located on the far left parking lot- this is also where all the trails begin too. The nature center had very informative diagrams as well as many fish tanks, touch tanks, and a gift shop with unique items. Outside of the nature center, there were three tails that you could explore. The beach trail goes parallel to the beach with little shade but very cool lizards and butterflies. This eventually merges with the Fossilized Reef trail, which takes you an additional half mile until you hit the fossilized reef. This was a beautiful area whee you not only see the ancient reef, but marine birds and possibly turtles too. Along the reef there is a beach trail that continues into the mangroves, and the scenery is just beautiful. There were many secluded coves at the end of this trail, and places to just find some peace and quiet too.
There is also the Bear Cut Trail, which I thought was actually quite short compared to what was listed. It takes you through dense forest and foliage. The nature center has brochures for all three trails to point out interesting points along the way.
All in all I spent about 6 hours exploring underwater and on land here. The beach itself was nice and spacious, when I came at 9 am there was not another soul in sight, but by 12 pm it did get crowded (weekend day). You can rent kayaks from a beach hut as well as snorkel gear, and there are lifeguards. This was a little bit of paradise, I felt like I was in the Bahamas because the water was so clear and the trails were so much fun to explore.
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