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Latest update: Dec. 2015

Bahia Honda State Park... Kayaking in the Florida Keys

Bahia Honda State Park is in the Florida Keys along the Overseas Highway (US 1) at Mile Marker 36.8, south of Marathon. The 524 acre park almost totally occupies Bahia Honda Key. Henry Flagler's Florida East Coast Railway ran through the present park to Key West, a portion of the Old Bahia Honda Bridge has been converted to a walking trail with great views of the entire island. Kayaking around the park is one of the prettiest areas we've seen on "big water." (Detailed map and photos below.)

paddle Bahia Honda, Florida Keys, kayak, canoe

Bahia Honda State Park


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Distance: varies
Location: Bahia Honda Key (US1, MM 36.8)
Difficulty: Moderate
Tidal: Yes
Launch points: Boat ramp at the Marina (Gulfside); kayak launch on the beach (Oceanside) (See map)
Nearby points of interest: City of Marathon, Dolphin Research Center, The Turtle Hospital, Old Seven Mile Bridge and Pigeon Key, EAA Air Museum

Rentals/Outfitters/Tours:

Coral Reef Park Company (park concessionaire, rentals)

Support and Advocacy:

Friends of Bahia Honda State Park

Bahia Honda... Comments and Photos

Kayaks are available for rent; check-in at concession. There are two launches for paddle craft, from the Loggerhead parking lot (Oceanside) and from the paved boat ramp at the marina (Gulfside). The tiny beach is a gem. Watch for buoys marking the designated swimming areas. Wind and tide can be challenges during any Keys paddling trip, but typically the Gulfside of Bahia Honda offers some pleasant shelter and a good number of wading birds.


Kayaking at Bahia Honda State Park

We launched our kayaks from the boat ramp at the marina, and paddled under the Old Bahia Honda Bridge for a quick view of the ocean. We then turned around and paddled under the Overseas Highway bridge (US 1) and along the west side of Bahia Honda Key (Gulfside) to the Ohio-Bahia Honda Channel. We then turned east, paddled under the Overseas Highway bridge at Ohio Key and onto the ocean. Upon return, we walked the short State Park trail up to the historic old bridge span. Here, we discovered some of the very best views in the Florida Keys.

Launches: Oceanside and Gulfside (at marina)

Paddling on the Gulfside to Ohio Key

 

Ohio-Bahia Honda Channel to Ocean

 

Old Bahia Honda Bridge and Walking Trail


Bahia Honda State Park

Bahia Honda State Park has parking, restrooms, swimming, camping and cabin rentals, fishing, picnicking, hiking trails, biking, concession and restaurant. The Gulfside beach is compact and picturesque; you'll often see photos of the beach in Florida Keys promotional brochures. Snorkeling and scuba diving are popular and the concession offers a snorkeling tour to the historic Old Bahia Honda Bridge. The short walking trail up to the old bridge span is a must for the views from the top. The Sand and Sea Nature Center offers educational programs and interpretative exhibits. Bird watching is also popular.

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