On the way to Key West, Bahia Honda offers the awestruck traveler the chance to ask “do I need to travel any further?”
Henry Flagler’s bold effort to build a railroad to Key West in the early 1900s turned the remote island of Bahia Honda Key into a tropical destination. Known for its iconic Florida scenery—palm-lined beaches, gin-clear waters and magnificent sunsets—visitors to the park enjoy balmy sea breezes that caress the shores year-round. Kayaks and snorkeling gear can be rented and boat trips to the reef for snorkeling excursions are available.
The park is also an excellent place to observe wading birds and shorebirds, while the Sand and Sea Nature Center introduces nature lovers to the island’s plants and animals.
Bahia Honda State Park is open in a limited capacity as hurricane restorations are ongoing. Please call 305-872-2353 for additional information.
This is a popular pastime at the park. You can take a leisurely ride on the park’s paved road. Helmets are highly recommended for all cyclists and Florida law requires helmets for cyclists age 16 and under.To preserve the natural areas of the park, bicycles are limited to roadways and are not permitted on footpaths, boardwalks or the trail that leads to the top of the Old Bahia Honda Bridge.
Bahia Honda is a very good place to see wading birds and shorebirds. There are shallow sand flats during low tide on the ocean side of the island where the birds feed and rest. A variety of shorebirds including Willets, Sanderlings, Ruddy Turnstones, Short-billed Dowitchers and Plovers may be seen along the shore feeding and resting. Several species of wading birds may be seen in the park as well. These include Great White Herons, Great Blue Herons, Tri-colored Herons, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets and White Ibis. During the fall hawk migration, from mid-September to mid-November, you will see a variety of hawks soaring overhead. The endangered White-crowned Pigeon can also be seen feeding and resting in the Poisonwood trees during the summer months.
The concession offers a snorkeling tour that allows young and old alike to experience the breathtaking beauty of Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary. For more detailed information go to the Bahia Honda Park Concession website.
Boating is a very popular activity at Bahia Honda since boaters have access to the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. All boats must remain 400 feet from the shoreline once out of the marina area.
Buttonwood (sites #1-48) Can accommodate a variety of camping rigs from large RVs to small tents. The sites are gravel, making them more suitable for an RV or pop-up. These sites are the largest in the park. The sites on the water have little shade. They all have electricity, water, a picnic table and grill. There is a bathhouse with restrooms and hot showers, and this area also has a dump station. Waterfront sites are #12-25. Sites #12 and #13 are by the campers marina and #14 is on the channel.
Bayside (sites #73-80) is the smallest campground with only eight sites. All sites in this campground are NON electric. There is a vehicle height restriction of 6 feet 8 inches. Your vehicle must be able to go under the new Bahia Honda Bridge to access this campground. All sites have a picnic table, grill and water. Campers have a small restroom nearby and can use of the bathhouse with hot showers in the Buttonwood campground which is one-half mile away.
Hammock camping is designated in campsites #45, and 73.
Pets are welcome but must be leashed (up to six feet), or confined and under control at all times.
Maximum RV length= 50 feet
Sandspur campground is currently closed due to damage from Hurricane Irma, there is no projected date for opening this campground.
Sandspur (sites #49-72) is located in a hardwood hammock. The sites are small and have low clearance. Tents can easily fit on all of these sites; pop-ups and small campers less than 14 feet in length and under 8 feet in height are also allowed. All sites have picnic table, grill and water. Sites 49-56 do NOT have electricity, Sites #57-72 have electricity. The waterfront sites are #64-72. Due to limited space in this campground only one vehicle per campsite is allowed, overflow parking is available in Sandspur day use area. There is no dump station in Sandspur, guests may use the one located at Buttonwood campground..
Reservations: Reservations may be made up to 11 months in advance through Reserve America. Book Online (link is external) or call (800) 326- 3521 (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) or TDD (888) 433-0287.
Boat slips are available for overnight rental and include water, electricity, full use of park facilities (bathhouse, showers, trash disposal and pump-out). The marina includes 19 slips in a protected basin. The marina is a designated Clean Marina, with a pump out.
The charge is $2/ foot with a $30 minimum.
Reservations are recommended.
Call (305) 872-3210 or VHF Channel 16 or visit Bahia Honda Park for more information.
There is a 3.5 foot controlling depth.
Kayak rentals are available through the Concession. For more detailed information go to the Bahia Honda Park Concession website.
You may also bring your own kayak or canoe and launch it from either Loggerhead parking lot on the ocean side or the boat ramp on the Gulf side. Enjoy a quiet, relaxing paddle in the waters around the park. Remember, for the safety of swimmers, kayaks and canoes are not permitted in designated buoyed swimming areas.
All fishing within the park must conform to regulations concerning size, number, method of capture and season. Spearfishing, possession of spearfishing equipment and collection of tropical fish (by any method) is prohibited within the park.
A fishing license may be required. More information is available at the Florida Wildlife Commission’s Fishing in Florida.
Geocaching is still available at the park but some of the previous listed caches are still unavailable while undergoing restoration.
Hiking Nature Trail
The park has one nature trail. The trail is located on the southwest end of the island in the Calusa area and leads you to the top of the Old Bahia Honda Bridge. Walk along the route that was once U.S. 1 leading up to the bridge. The view is spectacular; from the top of the bridge you can see the entire island. You have a bird’s-eye-view of the water below. You may see large rays or fish jumping. If the water is calm, you can see fish and sea turtles swimming beneath the surface.
The Calusa area is located on the southwest end of the park and has two small pavilions with barbecue grills, including one accessible grill and pavilion. There are also picnic tables located throughout the area with BBQ grills.
Scuba diving is permitted. The shallow water makes it a good area for beginning divers and snorkelers, but it is not recommended for advanced divers, as the water is shallow for several yards from shore. A 'Diver-Down' flag must be displayed.
Bahia Honda has some of the best nearshore snorkeling in the Florida Keys. You can see a variety of sea life just a few hundred feet from the shore. The snorkeling is good for beginners because it is shallow, 4-6 feet. You may see soft corals, small coral heads, tropical fish, queen conchs and spiny lobster. There is always something different to see. In the winter months, when the water is cooler, you may need a wetsuit to be comfortable. Just remember to take nothing but photos and leave nothing but ripples.
Visitors come from all over the world to enjoy the swimming at Bahia Honda. The water is usually clear, unless the wind picks up and the sand is stirred by the waves, limiting visibility. The water temperature varies from the mid to upper eighties in the summer, to the mid to lower seventies in the winter (Fahrenheit). The water is shallow and the currents are very mild. The only area to avoid when swimming is near the Bahia Honda Channel, since the currents can be very swift.
Wildlife viewing is a popular activity in the Florida Keys and at Bahia Honda State Park. From the Atlantic bottle-nosed dolphin to wading birds and ghost crabs, visitors are delighted by the opportunity to see wildlife here.
Three duplex cabins on stilts overlook the bay. Each cabin is equipped with kitchen appliances, utensils and linens. Cabins 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 have central heating and cooling, two bedrooms, a living room with sofa bed, kitchen/dining room and full bath. These cabins each accommodate six people.
Cabin 2 has a wheelchair lift. This cabin accommodates four people and has central heating and cooling, one bedroom, living room with sofa bed, kitchen/dining room and full bath, and a porch. A wood deck on ground level with a picnic table and grill provides an ideal setting for al fresco dining.
The road to the cabins has a vehicle height restriction of 6’8”. Your vehicle must fit under the Bahia Honda Bridge.
For the guest's relaxation, televisions and phones are not provided.
Reservations may be made up to 11 months in advance through ReserveAmerica. Book Online or call (800) 326-3521 (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) or TDD (888) 433-0287. Pets are not permitted in cabins. There is a minimum two nights stay in cabins at this park.
The park has two modern boat ramps located in the main marina. The controlling depth in the marina is 3.5 feet. Nineteen boat slips are available for overnight rental and include water, electricity (30 amp) and full use of the park facilities (restroom, hot showers, trash disposal and sewage pump-out).
Reservations are recommended. Call (305) 872-3210 or VHF Channel 16.
The boat ramp fee is $10.
The Visitor Center is open in a limited capacity due to damage from Hurricane Irma.
Come talk about Sea Turtles, Snorkeling, Geo-caching, History, Sea Beans and Drift Seeds, Key Deer and many more. Our staff and volunteers have a wide variety of knowledge on many subjects regarding Bahia Honda State Park and it is a great way to cool down and beat the heat. Open daily from 10:00am to 4:00pm (opening times may vary during turtle nesting season April-October)
Cold water accessible outdoor showers, for rinsing off saltwater, are located near the bathhouse.
For day-use visitors, restrooms with accessible cold outdoor showers are located in Calusa/Loggerhead day-use area. There is also a stand-alone accessible restroom.
Visit the interpretive exhibit located outside the Nature Center providing a variety of information.
Due to the small amount of land area at Bahia Honda, only limited accessibility is available for pets. Pets are not allowed in cabins, bathhouses, pavilions, the concession building, on beaches or in the water. In the limited areas where pets are permitted, they must be kept on a six-foot, hand-held leash and be well-behaved at all times. Service animals are welcome in all areas of the park. Please view our Pet Policy.
The Calusa area is located on the southwest end of the park and has two small pavilions with barbecue grills, including one accessible grill and pavilion. Electric and water are not available.
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