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Bahia Honda State Park

 Activities at Bahia Honda State Park

Beaches

Beaches

Bahia Honda has several white sandy beaches for you to enjoy. Calusa is the smallest beach; it is located on the northwest side of the island. There are several small pavilions in this area and a restroom with outdoor, fresh water showers. Loggerhead is the shallowest beach and is located on the south side of the island. It is known for the large shallow sand bar just a few feet offshore. The restroom is shared with Calusa Beach. Sandspur is the largest beach; it is located on the southeast end of the island. There are three large pavilions in the Sandspur area and a restroom with outdoor, fresh water showers.

Bicycling

Bicycling

This is a popular pastime at the park. You can take a leisurely ride on the park’s 3.5-mile paved road. For your safety, remember persons under the age of 16 years are required by state law to wear a properly fitting bike helmet. To preserve the natural areas of the park, bicycles are limited to roadways and are not permitted on footpaths, boardwalks or the trail that leads to the top of the Old Bahia Honda Bridge.

Birding

Birding

Bahia Honda is a very good place to see wading birds and shorebirds. There are shallow sand flats during low tide on the ocean side of the island where the birds feed and rest. A variety of shorebirds including Willets, Sanderlings, Ruddy Turnstones, Short-billed Dowitchers and Plovers may be seen along the shore feeding and resting. Several species of wading birds may be seen in the park as well. These include Great White Herons, Great Blue Herons, Tri-colored Herons, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets and White Ibis. During the fall hawk migration, from mid-September to mid-November you will see a variety of hawks soaring overhead. The endangered White-crowned Pigeon can also be seen feeding and resting in the Poisonwood trees during the summer months. View/Print the Bird List - Bahia Honda (PDF - 216.88KB).

Boat Ramp

Boat Ramp

The park has two modern boat ramps located in the main marina. The controlling depth in the marina is 3 ½ feet. Nineteen boat slips are available for overnight rental and include water, electricity (30 amp) and full use of the park facilities (restroom, hot showers, trash disposal and sewage pump-out). Reservations are recommended. Call (305) 872-3210 or VHF Channel 16. The boat ramp fee is $10.00.

Boat Tours

Boat Tours

The concession offers a snorkeling tour that allows young and old alike to experience the breathtaking beauty of Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary. For more detailed information go to www.bahiahondapark.com.

Boating

Boating

Boating is a very popular activity at Bahia Honda; boaters have access to the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic Ocean.

Cabins

Cabins

Three duplex cabins on stilts overlook the bay. Each cabin is equipped with kitchen appliances, utensils and linens. Cabins 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 have central heating and cooling, two bedrooms, a living room with sofa bed, kitchen/dining room and full bath. These cabins each accommodate six people.

Cabin 2 has a wheelchair lift. This cabin accommodates four people and has central heating and cooling, one bedroom, living room with sofa bed, kitchen/dining room and full bath, and a porch. A wood deck on ground level with a picnic table and grill provides an ideal setting for al fresco dining.

The road to the cabins has a vehicle height restriction of 6’8”. Your vehicle must fit under the Bahia Honda Bridge.

For the guest's relaxation, televisions and phones are not provided.

Reservations may be made up to 11 months in advance through ReserveAmerica. Book Online or call (800) 326-3521 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.) or TDD (888) 433-0287. Pets are not permitted in cabins.

There is a minimum two nights stay in cabins on weekends and holidays, either Friday and Saturday night, or Saturday and Sunday nights. A single Friday or Saturday night may be reserved only if the following Saturday or Sunday night is already reserved.

Cabin Rentals:
$120.00 per night, plus tax (May 1 - October 31).
$160.00 per night, plus tax (November 1 - April 30).

View the photo gallery.

Campfire Circles

Campfire Circles

(Sorry, this program is for overnight guests only) Join a park ranger at the outdoor amphitheater (campfire circle) located at the base of the trail to the Old Bahia Honda Bridge. The amphitheater is used seasonally, so please check the Ranger Programs section of our website for specific days and times that programs are offered at this location. Topics vary on local plants, animals or history. Programs will be held at the Nature Center during rain or high winds.

Camping, Boat

Camping, Boat

Boat slips are available for overnight rental and include water, electricity, full use of park facilities (bathhouse, showers, trash disposal and pump-out). The marina includes 19 slips in a protected basin. The marina is a designated Clean Marina, with a pump out. The charge is $2.00/ foot with a $30.00 minimum. Reservations are recommended. Call (305) 872-3210 or VHF Channel 16 or visit Bahia Honda Park for more information. There is a 3.5 foot controlling depth.

Camping, Full Facility

Camping, Full Facility

There are three different campgrounds in the park: Buttonwood, Sandspur and Bayside.

Buttonwood (sites #1-48) can accommodate a variety of camping rigs from large RVs to small tents. The sites are gravel, making them more suitable for an RV or pop-up. These sites are the largest in the park. They all have electricity, water, a picnic table and grill. The sites on the water have little shade. There is also a restroom with hot showers and a dump station. Waterfront sites are #12-25. #12 and #13 are by the boat docks and #14 is on the channel.

Sandspur (sites #49-72) is located in a hardwood hammock. The sites are small and have low clearance. Tents can fit on all of these sites and a few will accommodate small pop-ups. RVs over 14 feet in length are not permitted in this area. All sites have a picnic table, grill and water. #57-72 sites also have electricity. The waterfront sites in this area are #64-72. There is no dump station in Sandspur. Guests may use the dump station located in Buttonwood.

Bayside (sites #73-80) is the smallest campground with only eight sites. There is a vehicle height restriction of 6 feet 8 inches. Your vehicle must be able to go under the new Bahia Honda Bridge. The sites have a picnic table, grill and water. There is a small restroom nearby with electricity. Visitors are welcome to use the large restroom in the Buttonwood campground, which is one-half mile away.

Hammock camping is designated in campsites 45, 54 and 73.

Pets are welcome, but must be confined, leashed (up to six feet in length) or otherwise under the physical control at all times.

Maximum RV length = 71 ft.

Reservations: Reservations may be made up to 11 months in advance through ReserveAmerica. Book Online or call (800) 326-3521 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.) or TDD (888) 433-0287.

Canoeing & Kayaking

Canoeing & Kayaking

Safe and stable sit-on-top Ocean Kayaks are available for rent at the concession. You may also bring your own kayak or canoe and launch it from either Loggerhead parking lot on the ocean side or the boat ramp on the Gulf side. Enjoy a quiet, relaxing paddle in the waters around the park. Remember, for the safety of swimmers, kayaks and canoes are not permitted in designated buoyed swimming areas.

Concession & Restaurant

Concession & Restaurant

Sandwiches, snacks, ice, t-shirts, souvenirs, snorkeling equipment and kayak rentals may be obtained at the concession. Limited grocery and marine supplies are also available. For further information call 305-872-3210 or online at www.bahiahondapark.com.

Fishing

Fishing

There are several good areas for fishing in the park. If you like to bottom fish for snapper or grouper, you can fish on either side of the Old Bahia Honda Bridge off the old sea walls. If you prefer fly-fishing for bonefish, permit or barracuda, you might try the shallow sand flats on the Atlantic side of the island. All fishing within the park must conform to the regulations concerning size, number, method of capture and season. Spearfishing, possession of spearfishing equipment and collection of tropical fish (by any method) is prohibited within the park. The boundaries of the park extend out into the water 400 feet.

Geo-Seeking

Geo-Seeking

Test your GPS skills at finding hidden 'treasure' in the park. These four geocaches are found at Bahia Honda and they include the geocaching code or (GC): Henry Flagler's View-GC2MVRJ, Wings and Waves-GC1MBAR, Picnic in Paradise-GC26FEE, Silver Palm-GC1MD7X. Follow this link to get the GPS coordinates for starting your hunt -- www.geocaching.com.

While at the park, you may also want to participate in the Nature and History Quest which is an Earthcache. The starting GPS coordinates for this may be obtained on the same website. After completing your quest, go to the Sand and Sea Nature Center and answer the questions to win a prize!

Hiking/Nature Trail

Hiking/Nature Trail

The park has three nature trails. The Silver Palm Trail is located at the southeast end of the island in Sandspur and there is a self-guided brochure available. The other trail is located on the southwest end of the island in the Calusa area and leads you to the top of the Old Bahia Honda Bridge. Along the sides of the trail you may see several butterfly species. The view is spectacular; from the top of the bridge you can see the entire island. You have a bird’s-eye view of the water below. You may see large rays or fish jumping. If the water is clear, you can see fish and sea turtles swimming beneath the surface. Or, take a leisurely stroll through the Wings and Waves Butterfly Garden located near the Loggerhead parking lot. This small garden was planted in 1998 after the winds from Hurricane Georges destroyed the vegetation in this area. If you look closely at the foliage, you may see the tiny endangered Miami Blue butterfly.
Silver Palm Nature Trail at Bahia Honda (PDF - 292.25KB)

Participation Requirements

Interpretive Exhibit

Interpretive Exhibit

A variety of interpretive exhibits are located throughout the park providing information about local flora, fauna and history. The most current nature program schedules will also be posted in these exhibits. You can also visit our Sand and Sea Nature Center (PDF - 516.05KB).

Pets

Pets

Due to the small amount of land area at Bahia Honda, only limited accessibility is available for pets. Pets are not allowed in cabins, bathhouses, pavilions, the concession building, on beaches or in the water. In the limited areas where pets are permitted, they must be kept on a six-foot, hand-held leash and be well behaved at all times. Service/guide dogs are welcome in all areas of the park.

Picnic Pavilion

Picnic Pavilion

The Sandspur area is located on the southeast end of the park and has 3 large pavilions with barbecue grills. One of the pavilions is available to rent. This pavilion includes 8 picnic tables and rents for $53.75 for a full day, tax included. Electric and water are not available. Please contact the ranger station at (305) 872-2353 for availability and reservations. The Calusa area is located on the northwest end of the island and has several small shelters with barbecue grills.

Picnicking

Picnicking

There are several areas for picnicking in the park. The Sandspur area is located on the southeast end of the park and has 3 large pavilions with barbecue grills. One of the pavilions is available to rent. This pavilion includes 8 picnic tables and rents for $53.75 for a full day ($32.25 for half-day), tax included. Does not cover regular day use fees; parking spaces are not guaranteed if day use parking is full. Electric and water are not available. Please contact the ranger station at (305) 872-2353 for availability and reservations. The Calusa area is located on the northwest end of the island and has several small shelters with barbecue grills.

Restroom Facilities

Restroom Facilities

Restrooms, with hot showers, are located in the Buttonwood and Sandspur campgrounds for registered campers only. For daytime visitors, restrooms, with accessible cold outdoor showers, are located in Sandspur Day Use and Calusa Day Use areas.

Scuba Diving

Scuba Diving

Scuba diving is permitted.  The shallow water makes it a good area for beginning divers and snorkelers, but  it is not recommended for advanced divers, as the water is shallow for several yards from shore. A 'Diver-Down' flag must be displayed.

Showers, Day Visitors

Showers, Day Visitors

Cold outdoor showers, for rinsing off saltwater, are located near the beaches at the Sandspur and Calusa bathhouses and at the east end of Calusa Beach. Hot showers are available, for registered campers only, in the Sandspur and Buttonwood campgrounds. There is a cold outdoor shower for campers registered in the Bayside camping area; they can also use the hot showers in the Buttonwood campground.

Snorkeling

Snorkeling

Bahia Honda has some of the best nearshore snorkeling in the Florida Keys. You can see a variety of sea life just a few hundred feet from the shore. The snorkeling is good for beginners because it is shallow, 4-6 feet. You may see soft corals, small coral heads, tropical fish, Queen Conchs and spiny lobster. There is always something different to see. In the winter months, when the water is cooler, you may need a wetsuit to be comfortable. Just remember to take nothing but photos and leave nothing but ripples. View/Print the Snorkeling Guide to Marine Life of Bahia Honda (PDF - 847.56KB).

Swimming

Swimming

Visitors come from all over the world to enjoy the swimming at Bahia Honda. The water is usually clear, unless the wind picks up and the sand is stirred by the waves, limiting visibility. The water temperature varies from the mid to upper eighties in the summer, to the mid to lower seventies in the winter (Fahrenheit). The water is shallow and the currents are very mild. The only area to avoid when swimming is near the Bahia Honda Channel, since the currents can be very swift.

Visitor Center

Visitor Center

The Sand and Sea Nature Center is open Thursday through Monday from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. More information about the Sand and Sea Nature Center (PDF - 516.05KB).

Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife viewing is a popular activity in the Florida Keys and at Bahia Honda State Park. From the Atlantic Bottle-nosed dolphin to wading birds and ghost crabs, visitors are delighted by the opportunity to see wildlife here. View/Print the Animal List of Bahia Honda (PDF - 45.43KB).