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Long Key State Park
long key state park
Click Photos for Larger Image and Description
long key state park
long key state park
long key state park
Click Photos for Larger Image and Description
 

67400 Overseas Highway (Mile Marker 67.5)
Layton

Website

The site of Long Key State Park was once a playground for the rich and famous; now, it's a playground for all of us, sitting roughly midway between Key Largo and Key West. It covers 965 acres of mangroves, beach dunes. lagoons and mudflats that are magnets for birds and other wildlife. Both the elusive mangrove cuckoo and the rare white-crowned pigeon can be found within the confines of the park.

Birding here is good enough to land Long Key as a stop on the Great Florida Birding Trail, the statewide compendium of the best spots to find our fine feathered friends. The park has two trails cutting through it. The 1.1-mile Golden Orb Trail is mostly boardwalk that connects the parking lot to the camping and beach area, traversing mangrove forests along the way. The Layton Trail connects to Florida Bay. According to the GFBT, the fall migration season is a particularly hot time to spot birds.

The waters around the park are shallow and attract a long list of wading birds. During our visit, we found black-bellied plovers, willets and little blue herons foraging along the shores and in the shallows. The park offers camping, swimming, snorkeling and canoe/kayaking among other activities. However, Hurricane Irma hit the park during the fall of 2017; camping reservations weren't being accepted as of June 2018, for example, so best to check with the park in when planning a stop.

 
 
 
 
More Resources for Long Key State Park
Great Florida Birding Trail Institute for Regional Conservation    
 
Photo Gallery for Long Key State Park
sea daisy hermit crab willet mangrove crab
red mangrove black bellied plover gray nickerbean little blue heron
       
Unless otherwise stated, all photographs are property of the publishers and may not be used without their express permission.