Bahia Honda State Park offers great beaches, kayaking, snorkeling, camping and more. | Site Map
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Bahia Honda State Park -
A Florida Keys picture perfect beach

Bahia Honda State Park and beach Some of the most prestigious travel magazines have called the beach at Bahia Honda, about 45 minutes from Key West and 17 minutes from Marathon, the most beautiful in Florida and some even rank it as one of the best in the world. Most of the visitors to this park come for the beach … the crystal clear water, the soft café au lait hued sand, the colorful corals.

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On the other side of the park, there is a beach on Bahia Honda Channel. Here, the waters are quite deep and the currents swift and strong not far from shore. On either side, deep waters run close enough to the shore to provide great swimming and snorkeling. Picnic areas, rest rooms, and outside showers are located near the beaches.

The island itself is made of Key Largo limestone, derived from a coral reef similar to the present day reefs of the Keys. A drop in the sea level several thousand years ago exposed portions of the ancient reef, forming islands; Bahia Honda is the southernmost key where this formation is evident.

Nature has done its best to decorate the shore with many complex biological communities. On the park’s 524 acres, you can see more subtropical flowers, mainly in the spring, than anywhere else in the Keys. The perimeter of the park is home to a tangled jungle of silver and thatch palms, key spider and tiger lily, sea lavender, bay cedar, gumbo-limbo and satinwood. All these plants were lovingly carried by Mother Nature in the form of sea birds, hurricanes and ocean waves from the West Indies by way of the Caribbean Sea. Ocean birds abound … white or blue herons, gulls, egrets, and pelicans.

An historical treasure stands where Bahia Honda Channel meets the Atlantic Ocean. Constructed in 1917, the Old Bahia Honda Bridge was originally part of the Overseas Railroad built by Henry Flagler. Trains sped through the center of the span, protected on either side by high, steel guardrails. In 1936, after the railroad was destroyed by a hurricane, the bridge was adapted for automobile traffic as part of the Overseas Highway. Because the track area was too narrow to accommodate two lanes of cars, the roadway was built atop the structure. Old Bahia Honda Bridge is one of the most photographed structures in the Keys.

Planned Activities

Looe Key Reef is only 12 miles from the park; three dive and snorkel trips leave the park each day in the summer, twice during the rest of the year, weather permitting. Ocean Kayaking has become a favorite pastime in the Keys, and provides a quiet relaxing way to explore the fabulous waters around the park. Charter boats and guides are generally available during Tarpon season; anglers must abide by regulations concerning size, number, method of capture and season. Spearfishing, possession of spear fishing equipment and collection of tropical fish are prohibited inside the park.

Three camping areas within the park provide campsites for both tent and RV campers. Pay phones, restrooms and hot showers are close by. Half of the campsites can be reserved two weeks in advance and half of them are rented out on a first-come, first-served basis. Two weeks is the maximum stay.

Three duplex cabins, located on the north side of the park, are furnished with accommodations for 6 people per cabin. Linens and kitchen utensils are provided, but if you need to use the phone or watch television, or listen to the radio, you won’t find them in the cabins. Although many people don’t realize these cabins are available for rent, they are usually very well booked, so advance reservations are your best bet. Two nights is the minimum and one week the maximum stay.

If you are simply a day visitor to the park, be aware that there is a per person entrance fee.

 
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Bahia Honda State Park - snorkeling & diving, beaches and recreation in the Lower Florida Keys
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