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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easy Spring Getaway—Visit Key Peninsula’s Joemma Beach State Park!

On a recent visit to the Key Peninsula to visit family and friends, I discovered a true local and natural gem. The remarkable Joemma Beach State Park is a great of example of South Sound beauty. This recreation site was created in 1961 and named the Robert F. Kennedy Recreation Area and opened officially in 1968. In 1995, the property was renamed, Joemma Beach State Park, after Joe and Emma Smith who lived there from 1917 to 1932. This park spans 122 acres right on the salt water of the Southeast Key Peninsula. Its pristine views of Harstene Island and the sparkling salt waterway cannot be beat on a sunny spring day. The beachcombing was AMAZING as my family and I discovered lots of pretty shells, many hermit crabs, and amazing pieces of driftwood that were gorgeous walking sticks or lovely treasures to take home to create art in the garden. Beautiful and lush trees border the park that serves as the homes for glorious bald eagles and other shore bird species. We were lucky enough to come up upon a bald eagle, literally close enough to see his feathers flutter a bit in the light breeze. Awesome! And being the only visitors in the park at the time, we could hear the water gently lapping at the shore and the call of the sea birds. We walked along the beach slowly and steadily and retreated to a welcomed and relaxing beach log to sit and soak up the sun. Unfortunately, this was one of those excursions that was totally spontaneous; and of course, I had no camera with me. But the experience is still etched in my mind.

What stood out to me the most was the cleanliness of the park. Clean, well maintained, and plentiful picnic benches with tables had glorious views. There is a boat launch that is in wonderful condition and gently slopes into the water (it’s $5.00 to launch). Signage told of the terrific salmon fishing and crabbing opportunities that this state park has to offer. The camp sites and bathrooms were pristine and boasted wonderful views, decent privacy, and great picnic tables and benches. Some had fire pits ready to go. For more information on fishing, crabbing, camping, and driving directions, click here or go to Lastly, a quick tip: wear good shoes to walk the rocky beach, particularly when rocks get wet (it can be a little slick).

South Sounders, this is a great day trip for anyone. Explore it. In fact, there's a lot to love about the Key Peninsula. More posts to come!


Lorraine Hart said...

Now you've given me a mission, Kim. I tried to find this park one day...and didn't. It's funny how we miss things that are right in our own backyard, until someone comes to visit and points them out.

Perhaps, on one of your trips out here, you and I can slip away. Mileposts in friendships often come on beachwalks.

Kim Thompson said...

You're on!!! I'd love to take you to this place. In researching for my next post, I discovered another treasure of a lavender farm nearby that I want to explore. Treasures abound on the peninsula, I have a feeling (particularly GREAT people, hint, hint)!

Stephanie Frieze said...

Take me, Ladies! It has been years since I was there. Thanks, Kim, for letting everyone know there's life on this side of the bridge. ~Stephanie

Kim Thompson said...

It's a trio and a plan! Stephanie, I have just now really taken the time to explore. The areas across the bridge have much to offer for many people.