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Bahia Honda State Park

Big Pine Key, Florida

Contact Information
36850 Overseas Hwy.
Big Pine Key, 33043
(305) 872-2353

Reservations 1-800-326-3521

Bahia Honda is located 12 mile south of Marathon on US1.

Hours of Operation
Florida state parks are open from 8 a.m. until sundown 365 days a year.

The channel between the old and new Bahia Honda bridges is one of the deepest natural channels in the Florida Keys. Bahia Honda is unique among other islands in the Keys because it has extensive sandy beaches and deep waters close enough offshore to provide exceptional swimming and snorkeling.

Park Activities

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 bathhouse 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. It shares the same bathhouse with the 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 bathhouse with outdoor, fresh water showers.

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.

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 and full use of the park facilities (bathhouse, hot showers, trash disposal and sewage pump-out). Reservations are recommended. Call (305) 872-3210 or VHF Channel 16.

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

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

Three duplex cabins (6 units) are furnished with accommodations for up to a maximum of 6 people per cabin. Each cabin is equipped with kitchen appliances, utensils and linens. The cabins have a full bath, central A/C and heat, 2 bedrooms and a living room area. The cabins are on stilts and accessible by steps only, no lift is currently available. Each cabin has a porch above and a wood deck on ground level with a picnic table and grill. The road to the cabins has a vehicle height restriction of 6’8”. Your vehicle has to be able to go under the New Bahia Honda Bridge. Reservations are required 11 months in advance during the winter months, weekends and holidays.

Campfire Circle
Nighttime Slide Presentation or Talk Fridays 8pm (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. Topics vary on local plants, animals or history. Programs will be held at the Nature Center during rain or high winds.

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

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. Spear fishing, possession of spear fishing 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.

Full Facility Camping Reservations

There are 3 different campgrounds in the park. Reservations may be made up to 11 months in advance, the sites book quickly so make your plans well in advance.

Nature Trails
The park has two 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.

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, 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.

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.

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 waves stir the sand up. 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 swimming in is near the Bahia Honda Channel since the currents can be very swift.