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Dry Tortugas National Park Set to Temporarily Close Campground

Dry Tortugas National Park says they are planning to temporarily close the only campground at the park. According to a social media post, the park will shut down the Garden Key campground from March 11 to April 24. 

The park sits off the end of Florida and is essentially a tropical paradise that’s popular for snorkeling. The majority of the protected area that makes up the park is underwater. Getting there requires a ferry, and the area is relatively remote despite its proximity to major cities like Miami. Camping at the park is pretty limited. In all, there are only 11 campsites. 

Park officials say the closure is due to repairs from Hurricane Irma in 2017 and Hurricane Ian in 2022. The project will repair a wall and restore water flow in a moat to protect the park’s Fort Jefferson. 

Fort Jefferson is the main structure on the island. The building covers 16 acres and is a former U.S. military base. Construction of the fortress dates back to 1824.

“The first phase will remove the sand and sediment deposited by storms in the moat and around the finger piers used by visitors and NPS boats,” wrote the park in their post. “After removing debris, including bricks and other hazards, the sand will be redistributed in the parade ground and along the shoreline and beaches of Garden Key.”

The initial work near the campground will last around 45 days. The National Park Service will reopen the Garden Key campground after that. However, visitors should know that the noise from machinery will continue afterward.

The park’s aiming to have everything reopen in time for Memorial Day Week and grouper season.

Are you looking to go camping at Dry Torotguas or any other park? Get started with the right tent.

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