Ahhhh….this park! I LOVE this park. WE love this park. It’s a fine little paradise, and there are SO many things one can do here. It’s its own separate stretch of land away from the main highway–located in the lovely Florida Keys, not far from Marathon. We spent an entire afternoon here without even planning for it! While our Dry Tortugas Day Trip was my favorite experience in the keys, our adventure here in Bahia Honda State Park is a close second.
Here are SEVEN great reasons you should visit this park:
1. There’s a small entrance fee to the park (it was about $9 total for 2 people), so I would imagine that (at least somewhat) fewer people come and go, which can be a plus if you are wanting to find less crowded spaces! And I’ll tell you–I did not get the “touristy” vibe from this place.
2. There are kayaks available for rent so that you can kayak around the beautiful park–essentially in the ocean! Actually, one side is the Atlantic Ocean and the other the Gulf but whatever 🙂 Anyway, we were not able to kayak, however, because the wind was pretty ferocious this day. 🙁
3. You can rent or buy snorkel gear at the Concession Stand (also where kayaks are available). We saw tons of kids having a blast snorkeling in the shallow waters.
4. Since this park is its own separate “key” essentially, there’s not a lot of traffic, so there’s great space to cycle along the road of the park–if that’s your thing.
5. There is the short “Old Bahia Honda Bridge Trail” that allows for some incredible views. At the end, you can stand atop an old railway bridge; unfortunately you can’t go very far along it, but the views are great nonetheless and it’s pretty neat!
6. There are several different places along the beaches (on both sides) where you can drop your bags and and relax. There is not just one designated place. We found our favorite place by roaming about for awhile. We walked along the beach on the right side of the key (nearest the parking lot) and roamed toward the old railway where we explored right beneath it (near the fence) and then found ourselves on the other (left) side of the park. It seemed that while there were still quite a few people on that side, most did not seem to walk down far enough to see all the empty stretches of beach near the railway/bridge. To put it more simply, the best beach space is nearest the railway with it being on your right (facing the water).
7. There is even a “nature” trail where you can not only spot different types of palm trees but also crabs of all colors and sizes running into their holes as you shuffle past. There are several points where the trail comes out toward the beach, and we saw only a couple people here and there. Otherwise, it looked to be a great place for a bit of seclusion. You can find this trail by turning left on the one road (after coming through the entrance).
So yeah, this was a pretty great place, and it’s not the kind of place many people seem to think of when going to the Keys. I think we spent 3 or 4 hours here, but one could easily spend all day!