Florida Guide > State Parks
BAHIAN HONDA STATE PARK
We have Henry Flagler to thank for his railway making this stunning island accesible. The beaches are wonderful and you can spot many birds, fish and rare trees, or snorkel, kayak or go boating.
Bahian Honda is one of the most southerly state parks and is formed of Key West Limestone. The sea levels dropped many thousnds of years ago and the ancient reefs formed this paradise island.
The shallow flats on the ocean side of the island is where you will spot most of the birds (go during low tides) Plovers, Domwitchers. Turnstones and Willets are all to be seen. Among the wading birds are various herons (of course) Egrets and White Ibis.
If you are visiting from September to November you have a good chance of seeing some hawks. During the summer months see if you can spot a white crowned pigeon; best place to find these is on the poisonwood trees.
There is great fishing to be had on this island; fly fishing enthusasts might like to try the Atlantic side of the island and you can be sure to catch some barracudas or bonefish. Fish off the old sea walls on Old Bamia Honda Bridge for snapper and grouper.
There are several beache; Loggerhead on the south side of the island is good for little ones as the waters are shallow. Sandspur is somewhat larger on the south east side and boasts freshwater showers. Also look at Calusa on the north west side of the island-small but perfect with a boathouse and showers. Waters tend to stay between the 70s and the 80s.
You can rent a boat from the concession holder (305 872 3210) and there are boat tours to Looe Key National Sanctuary (www. bahiapark. com) Snacks and kayak rental are available from the concessionare (tel as above).
There are two good nature trails here; on the south west side in the Calus Bay area the trail takes you to the top of O. B H bridge, this is a good place to some some exotic butterflies. From the top of the bridge is a spectacular view of the whole island. On the south east side is the Silver Palm Trail; grab yourself a self guide before you go!
Snorkelling is excellent; particularly for beginners since the waters are shallow.
You will see much unusual vegetation and rare trees; there are many of the endangered Silver Pals and some of the best examples of the Yellow Satinwood tree in the wahole af America.
On mondays at 9am a park ranger leads a beach walk (you will get wet) You need to reseve your place by phoning 305 872 2353. also a park ranger gives a talk at the visitor station at 1pm on wednesdays. Entry to the visitor centre is free with your park entrance; open from 9am to 4pm it contains an aquariam, preserved sea life and some wildlife videos.
Telephone the park for more info (305 872 2353. Opening times ate 8am to sindown every day of the year. You will locate Bahian 12 miles south of Marathon on US 1 and it will cost you $3. 50 for a car and one person and a little extra for each additional person.
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