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Elliot Key Harbor & Campsite

Updated: Oct 26, 2023

Eliot Key harbor

Eliot Key is largest island in Biscayne National Park, and about 8 miles long from north to south. The harbor on the bay side is your most convenient landing point. With a kayak you will actually want to land on the small beach just north of the harbor as it will be easier getting off your boat to unload.

Eliot Key Harbor is about 19 miles south of Key Biscayne. The downtown buildings are just about visible above the horizon.

The ranger station has good bathroom facilities but as far as I remember, no showers, and no fresh water. Bring your own food and water for whatever length of time you plan on staying here. There is no phone reception.

There are park fees, but just like it Boca Chita Key, payment works on the Honor System.

The preferred campsite is across the island on the ocean side, where the breeze usually keeps the mosquitos to a manageable level. The area also has a fire pit for cooking. The beach by the campsite is rocky and usually covered in seaweed, but if you are looking to paddle on the ocean side and want to avoid circumnavigating the island, then you can portage your way across launch here.

You may come across a sign for the "Spite Highway Trail". It was originally a bulldozed road built by developers in the late 1960s to spoil the island and prevent it from being incorporated into the national park. Their aim was to turn Elliot Key into a second Miami Beach with an overseas highway linking it to the main land, but fortunately the effort failed and the federal government acquired the land. What's left of the road is now a convenient trail running along the length of the island.

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