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By Clyde Powell


 

 


Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail    


The Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail (FKOHT) is a multi-use bicycle and pedestrian facility currently under design and construction by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Greenways & Trails (OGT). Ultimately, the vision is of a scenic corridor extending from Key Largo to Key West that serves not only as a highway, but a recreational greenway that permits hiking, running, bicycling, in-line skating, sightseeing, fishing and kayaking. We envision an integrated system of educational kiosks, roadside picnic areas, scenic overlooks, fishing piers and cat walks, boat ramps, water access points, bicycle and jogging paths as well as a myriad of compatible small businesses and services in the nearby area that support these uses. The Old Keys Bridges serve as a central component of this vision, providing opportunities for fishing, sightseeing, recreation and historical reflection. The bridges will also allow safe opportunities for alternative transportation uses of the corridor by allowing people to get from island to island, linking the different communities and their complimentary character.

The trail will link unique ecological resources such as the Everglades National Park, Biscayne National Park, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, The Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge, Key Deer National Wildlife Refuge, Crocodile Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, Key West National Marine Sanctuary, as well as 10 State Parks. When completed, the trail will provide alternative transportation for residents and visitors of the Keys, support facilities for recreation both on land and from the water, and will use public art to interpret the natural and cultural history of the Florida Keys. The trail runs parallel to US 1 and is an integral part of the Florida Keys Scenic Highway Project. The fishing bridges offer a significant and unique opportunity for a greenway/transit system.

Current Status:

Most of the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail is in design at this time. There are 60 miles of existing bike paths spread throughout the Keys that are included in the project. Most of these trails will be upgraded over the next few years. An additional 40 miles of new trail will be built starting next year. Key Largo in the Northern Keys is the longest section of bike path beginning at MM 106 and connecting into the Village of Islamorada at MM 82. When crossing the islands, you are required to use the bridge shoulders which are not protected from vehicular traffic at this time. There is 11 miles of trail through Marathon between MM 58 to MM 47, the entrance to the Seven Mile Bridge. The Lower Keys has trails interspersed throughout, including one mile in Big Pine, one mile on Big Coppitt and four miles in the Saddlebunches. Please refer to the Traveling Directions link for more information on existing bike trails. There are no restrictions on traveling on the shoulders if you plan on cycling. Please be sure to follow standard bicycle safety practices when biking.

Fishing is allowed on the Keys bridges and is quite popular on historic Channel 2 Bridge, Channel 5 Bridge, Long Key Bridge and Seven Mile. Fishing Platforms are in development to address potential user conflicts in these areas.

Activities

The trail provides opportunities for bicycling, hiking, fishing, in-line skating, paddling, snorkeling, swimming, hiking and diving.  There are limited camping opportunities available at local state parks and some private campsites in the Keys.   The local Chamber of Commerce will carry this information. 

 

Contact Information

Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail
3 La Croix Court
Key Largo, Florida 33037
Phone: 305-853-3571
Tallahassee Headquarters: 850-245-2052
email: Debra.Stucki@dep.state.fl.us
 

Florida State Parks in the Keys

(listed in order from MM 106 - MM 0)

bulletFlorida State Parks are open daily 8:00 am until sundown 365 days per year.
 
bulletCamping Reservations must be made through Reserve America

 

 Dagney Johnson State Botanical Site- North Key Largo               Phone:  (305) 451-1202

Nature Trails, Tropical Hardwood Habitat.  Guided nature trail walks offered every Thursday and Saturday at 10 a.m.  Access to remote areas is possible with use of backcountry permit only.

Additional Information: http://www.floridastateparks.org/keylargohammock/default.cfm

 

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park- Key Largo                      Phone:  (305) 451-1202

RV/Trailer Sites, Camping, Picnic Tables, Sheltered Areas, Beaches, Snorkeling, Swimming, Diving, Boat Ramp, Marina, Boat Rentals, Kayak/Canoe Rentals, Visitor Center, Concessions.  Admission begins at $3.50 per vehicle.  Visitors can enjoy a nature trail for jogging or strolling.  Pets are allowed, but only on a restricted basis.  Please call the park for more information.

Additional information: http://www.floridastateparks.org/pennekamp/default.cfm or http://www.abfla.com/parks/JohnPennekamp/pennekamp.html

                                                           

Windley Key Fossil Reef State Geological Site- Windley Key    Phone:  (305) 664-2540

Geologic Nature Trails, Interpretative/Historical Signs

Additional Information: http://www.floridastateparks.org/windleykey/default.cfm

 

Lignumvitae Key State Botanical Site- Lignumvitae Key            Phone:  (305) 664-6474

Historic/Archaeological Structures, Interpretative/Nature Trail, Docking Facilities.  Guided walks are provided.

Additional Information: http://www.floridastateparks.org/lignumvitaekey/default.cfm

 

Indian Key State Historic Site- Indian Key (Offshore)                Phone:  (305) 664-2540

Located at MM 78.5.  Nature Trail, Docking Facilities, Map provided.

Additional Information:  http://www.floridastateparks.org/indiankey/default.cfm

 

San Pedro State Preserve- 1 mile south of Indian Key (Offshore)    Phone:  (305) 664-2540

Historic/Archeological Dive Site, Mooring Buoys. Located in 18 feet of water.

Additional Information: http://www.floridastateparks.org/sanpedro/default.asp

 

Long Key State Recreational Area- Long Key                                 Phone:  (305) 664-4815

RV/Trailer Sites, Tent Sites, Sheltered Areas, Interpretive/Nature Trails, Canoe Trails/Rentals, Pets allowed in certain areas.  Admission is $3.50 per vehicle, $.50 per additional person.

Additional Information: http://www.floridastateparks.org/longkey/default.cfm

 

Curry Hammock State Park- Marathon                                           Phone:  (305) 289-2690  

Camping, Swimming, Playground, Picnic Tables, Grills, and Showers, Hardwood Hammocks.  Located along both sides of US 1 starting at Little Crawl Key, MM 56.2, 11 miles west of Long Key. The entrance to the facilities is on the oceanside of US 1.

Additional Information: http://www.floridastateparks.org/curryhammock/default.cfm

 

Bahia Honda State Park- Bahia Honda MM 36.8                           Phone:  (305) 872-2353

RV/Trailer Sites, Tent Sites, Cabins, Picnic Tables, Sheltered Areas, Trails, 2.5 Miles of Natural Sand Beaches, Boat Ramp, Swimming, Marina, Concession, and Equipment Rental Center.

Additional Information: http://www.floridastateparks.org/bahiahonda/default.asp

 

Ft. Zachary Taylor State Historical Site- Key West (Offshore)       Phone:  (305) 292-6713

Snorkeling, Picnicking, Swimming, Fishing, Beach, Historical Building, Daily Tours at Noon and 2 pm, Picnic Tables, Grills, Nature Trail, Concession.  Located at the end of Southard Street on Truman Annex.

Additional Information: http://www.floridastateparks.org/forttaylor/default.asp or http://www.forttaylor.org  

 

Please be sure to mention that you were
sent to them by Clyde's Key West Camping.

Prices are subject to change   Give Mike a call for the current pricing