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Larry and Penny Thompson Memorial Park

Larry and Penny Thompson Memorial Park is a lakeside park in Miami. It's a pretty big park, featuring a campground and a pool with three water slides.

The park sits on what was once a part of Richmond Naval Station. There are fruit trees left over from past groves, but signs instructed us not to take any fruit.

The campground in the park is right behind Zoo Miami. There are tent sites and 240 RV sites with full hookup. Lots of trees provide shade, and all amenities are here - restrooms, showers, a dump station, laundry facilities, and a camp store. The campground also has its own beach and water slide. Unfortunately, pets are not allowed in the campground.

The pool here is really just a landing point for the water slides, with riders being asked to leave the pool immediately. However, there is a beach at the "clear blue" lake (it didn't look so clear to me). What was really weird about this was that when we visited in November, the entrance building was completely deserted (as was that entire side of the park) and the greenery was all overgrown - we assumed that this area had been abandoned years ago, but web research indicated that it still opens seasonally, and is quite popular.

The park is named for Miami Herald columnist Larry Thompson, and is allegedly one of the last areas of "wilderness" in Miami-Dade county, but it really didn't look too "wild" to me. When we visited, the park seemed very underused, with only a few visitors throughout. Granted, the water slides are closed in the fall/winter, and it wasn't yet camping season, but it still seemed eerily empty. We'll have to visit again in the summer.

Park Hours: sunrise to sunset, 365 days
Water Slide Hours: 11AM - 6PM, Tuesday - Sunday, November 1st - May 31st; 12PM to 7PM, weekends only, June 1st - October 31st

Location:

12451 SW 184 St
Miami FL 33196
305-232-1049
270 acres

Web site:

www.miamidade.gov/parks/parks/larry_penny.asp


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