Florida Guide > State Parks
LONG KEY STATE PARK
Long Key State Park is situated on 67. 5, 67400 Over seas Highway in the Florida Keys on Mile Marker 67. 5. It is roughly half way between Key West and Miami.
The Calusa Indians were the first known settlers of Long Key followed by the Spanish. The Spaniards called it Rattlesnake Key because they imagined its shape resembled a snake with its jaws open. This island was also popular with the folk from the Bahamas.
What really opened this area up was the coming of the railways which were run by the ubiquitous Henry Flagler. This was in 1912 and he also founded the renowned Long Key Fishing Club which was renowned world wide for the quality of the salt water fishing.
In 1935, a hurricane destroyed not only the railway but also the fishing club. This took place on Labor Day.
The remnants of a 100, 000 year old coral reef can still be seen at Long Key and the flora is mainly from the Caribbean and West Indies. Look out for Jamaica Dog wood, Gumbo Limbo and Crab wood.
It goes without saying that the fishing here is superb; that is saying something in a state that is over flowing with wonderful fishing opportunites. It is particularly noted for the bone fish.
A good day to visit is on a thursday when a ranger will hold an event; this could be a guided walk or a presentation on photography, birding or Native American canoeing.
If hiking is your thing, then visit on a wednesday when there is a guided walk through The Golden Orb Trail. This takes about 2 hours and is a distance of roughly one and a third miles. These walks also start at 10 a. m. and will take you through coastal scrub and highland hammock.
In the afternoon you might like to take the much shorter Layton Trail. Take a packed lunch and plenty of water to sustain you between times.
A good way to see most State Parks is by canoe or kayak and this park is no exception. You can hire either of these at this park and also grab yourself an informative leaflet. You will paddle down the Long Key Lakes Canoe Trail which is fairly shallow.
Look out for the sea beans which have floated many thousands of miles to get here. If you see a small bean that looks a little like a hamburger that has come all the way from West Africa.
Do take time to climb the observatory which affords you a 360 degree view
Long Key State Park
P. O. Box 776
Long Key, Florida 33001
Fax: Contact Park for Number
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Page added on: 21 March 2008
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