Bahia Honda State Park, Big Pine Key, Florida

October 29, 2010
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Bahia Honda Key, Big Pine Key, Florida

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Bahia Honda State Park is a small Florida state park, but has the unique claim (like most things in the keys) of being Florida’s southernmost state park.

Inside the park, visitors will find a number of beautiful, white sand beaches, hiking trails, a nature center, some local history surrounding railroad magnate Henry Flagler.

Entrance Fee for the Park is $3.50 for single occupant vehicles, $6.00 for double-occupant, and an additional $0.50 for each additional occupant.

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Sandspur Beach & Camping Area

Once entering the park, visitors can turn left and heads towards Sandspur Beach and the Camping locations that are actually on the beach (for tent and popups only).

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Continuing left, visitors will find a one way road leading to the camping area on the right, and then a large parking area leading to one of the first beaches.

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Continue past this beach, and you will eventually reach a second parking area on the beach, as well as one of the two major hiking trails in Bahia Honda State Park. This trail, the Silver Palm Nature Trail forms a loop through, a hammock, mangrove area, and dune along the beach.

Loggerhead Beach & Butterfly Garden

Some of the most beautiful parts of Bahia Honda State Park, however, are back in the other direction. If visitors were to take a right at the intersection after the entrance, heading south towards Loggerhead Beaches, they would soon find a park area on the left. This parking area provides a great location to visit the rest of the park, and is also where the kayaks are stationed for kayak rentals.

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Just past this parking area is a butterfly garden and a long winding trail that runs between Loggerhead beach and the ridge that Old Bahia Honda Bridge sits atop.

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Hike down this trail to see a number of Florida’s 2600 species of butterflies. Continue down this trail, and you will get wonderful glimpses of the beach before crossing under Old Bahia Honda Bridge.

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After crossing under the bridge, you will notice an even more serene, beautiful beach called Calusa Beach. This beach has still, very blue green water, perfect swimming. To left will be a replica of Flagler’s Rambler.

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Continue walking down beach, and on the right you will see the sign for the trail head of Old Bahia Honda Bridge Trail (the other major hiking trail in Bahia Honda).

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Old Bahia Honda Bridge

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The Old Bahia Honda Bridge Trail begins climbing a dune from the above beach. The hike very short at than 0.2 miles. Hiking up the dune provides several overlooks over both sides of the island before reaching the bridge.

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Returning down the same path, and continuing along the beach, one will reach the Sand and Sea Nature Center, the Main Marina, and will be back to the parking area next to the butterfly garden.

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Buttonwood Camping Area

The other major camping area in Bahia Honda is not far from the nature center. Buttonwood Camping area’s camp sites sit along the Camper’s Marina, and many provide excellent views of the marina and water. This camping area is more developed than the one on Sandspur, and allows RV’s as well as tents. These sites, however, are not on a beach.

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Camping Fees:

$31.49 for Campsites

$136.30 for Cabins

Entry Fees:  $3.50 single person vehicular access, $6 for double occupancy vehicle, $0.50 for each additional person up to 8.

Activites in Bahia Honda

Other than Hiking and beach going, Bahia Honda State Park offers a number of other activities.

Kayaking - Visitors can rent sea kayaks and depart ocean side from Loggerhead beach, or gulfside from the boat ramp by the marinas. Kayaks can be rented starting at $10 per hour to $30 for a half day.

Snorkeling – boat tours with snorkeling are available from Bahia Honda. Daily departures from the park leave at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.  Snorkelers travel to Looe Key Reef. Snorkelers should have about 1.5 hours of snorkeling. Prices begin at $29.95, plus an additional $8 for equipment rentals.

Fishing: Fishing is allowed at Bahia Honda, and the area attracts anglers trying to catch the feisty and large Tarpon. Other fish, such as grouper, snapper, bonefish and barracuda can also be caught at various areas in the park.

Directions:

1. From Key Largo, follow Highway 1 to Big Pine Key at Mile Mark 37.

2. The State Park Entrance is located on the left.

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5 Responses to Bahia Honda State Park, Big Pine Key, Florida

  1. Suwannee Refugee on November 5, 2010 at 10:06 am

    I’ve been past Bahia Honda many times, but to book a campsite there, you have to be a magician. They are booked so far in advanced, it’s ridiculous.

    • JP on November 5, 2010 at 11:01 am

      Very true. Though I think it is a little easier on weekdays in the slower seasons. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an opening for a weekend reservation.

  2. Shelly on April 15, 2011 at 8:49 am

    Hi there! I accidentally booked an off day for Bahia Honda and they want to charge me $17.50 to cancel! And I know they can resell it immediately. However, I can change the name on the reservation.

    Long story short, I have a reservation to sell for Thursday, May 5th, site 58! It’s a great site on the ocean side of the park, in the area with no RVs! $45.

    Please contact me asap!

    Thanks!

    Shelly

    • Shelly on April 15, 2011 at 8:53 am

      my email is sdankoday@chatham.edu

      • JP on April 15, 2011 at 12:58 pm

        Good luck finding someone, maybe someone will stumble over this on the site.

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