Bahia Honda State Park
Bahia Honda Key, FL
Cited as one of the nation's top 10 beaches. Deep waters close to shore offer outstanding
swimming and snorkeling. Camping and cabins, fishing, nature trails. The park is on 524 acres
including one small island offshore on the southwest end of the park. Many plants and animals in
the park are rare and unusual, including marine plant and animal species of Caribbean origin.
Trees in the park include the yellow satinwood, gumbo limbo and silver palm. There is a nature trail
that follows the shore of a tidal lagoon at the far end of Sandspur Beach. Concession service,
marina, snack bar, gift shop, snorkeling tours, kayak rentals. Admission charged.
The Bat Tower
You'll find the tower down a dirt road, just off the road to the Sugarloaf Airport, bayside at MM 17.
The Bat Tower is one of the most unique attractions in the Keys. Entrepreneur Richter Perky, who
wished to establish a fishing camp in Sugarloaf Key, built it in 1929. He erected the Bat Tower as
part of a chemical-free plan to thwart pesky mosquitoes on his property. Unfortunately, Mr. Perkey
passed away before he could carry out his innovation strategy.
The Blue Hole
Big Pine Key
The Blue Hole is an abandoned limestone quarry. The rock material removed was used to build
many of the original roads on Big Pine Key. Since there is no inlet or outlet to the Blue Hole, its
existence is dependent on rainfall and from salt water which flows through the surrounding
limestone. Fish, turtles, alligators and the occasional wading bird can be found in the Blue Hole.
Alligators can often be seen hugging the shoreline, lazily sunning themselves.
Access for the disabled is provided.
Hawks Cay Resort MM 61
Big Pine Key in the Florida Keys is known for
its Key Deer. If you are driving through the
Keys, you can not help noticing that you are
approaching the National Key Deer Refuge
because the speed limit changes from 45
MPH to 30 MPH at night.
This speed limit is strictly enforced by law
enforcement. This area is from Mile Marker
29 to Mile Marker 33. In the Winn Dixie Plaza
in Big Pine, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
operates an information center on the Key
Deer and its habitat. (Directions: Go north on
Key Deer Blvd. or Wilder Road. The
information center is located across from
the Winn Dixie in part of the strip center.)
The shoulder height of Key deer is between 24-32 inches. Does weigh 45 to 65 pounds while
bucks weigh 55 to 80. Rutting season activities begin in September, peaking in early October and
decreasing gradually through November and December. Some breeding may occur as late as
February. The gestation period is 204 days with fawns born April through June. At birth fawns
weigh 2 to 4 pounds. Antlers on mature bucks are dropped February through March, and re-growth
begins almost immediately so that by June, bucks with 2-inch stubs are seen. Antler growth is
completed by August, and velvet is rubbed and kicked off in early September.
They feed on native plants such as red, black and white mangroves, thatch palm berries and over
160 other species of plants. Key deer can tolerate small amounts of salt water, but fresh water is
essential for their survival. They must also have suitable habitat to ensure their future existence.
No records exist documenting the origin of the deer in the keys. It is believed that the deer
migrated to the Keys from the mainland many thousands of years ago, across a long land bridge.
As the Wisconsin Glacier melted, the sea rose dividing the land bridge into small islands now
known as the Florida Keys.
For more information, contact: United States Department of the Interior Florida Keys National
Wildlife Refuges, PO Box 430510, Big Pine Key, Florida 33043-0510
Phone: 305-872-0774Fax: 305-872-2154
Much of this information was obtained from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service publication "Facts on the Key Deer",
which is available at their information center.