Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park is located on Windley Key near Islamorada. This land once belonged to the Florida East Coast Railroad and was used to quarry the rock for Flagler's Overseas Railroad back in the early 1900s. Today, visitors to the park can take short self-guided walks through 5 different interpretive trails. Learn about the ancient coral reef (known as Key Largo Limestone) that was quarried or about the beautiful natural diversity of this area. Walk along the 8 foot tall edges of the quarry and see the fossils up close in the cut sections.
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is a Florida state park located between 2 bodies of water: Largo Sound and Tarpon Basin on the Atlantic Ocean side of Key Largo. The park consists of about 70 nautical miles and encompasses several types of habitats. The mangrove swamps, upland areas, and hammocks offer some interesting land exploration opportunities on well-maintained trails. The main draw for the park are its spectacular coral reefs which can be viewed by glass bottom boat or on snorkeling and scuba diving expeditions.
Bahia Honda State Park is located on Bahia Honda Key in the city of Big Pine Key found in central Monroe county. Bahia Honda is renowned for its picturesque beaches with clear water and soft sands. Lay on the shore and watch the spectacular sunsets that frame the old railroad bridge. The shallow waters (4-6 feet) make it a nice place to snorkel or for beginner scuba divers. Snorkel gear can be rented from the park's concession as well as kayaks. Picnic areas and shady spots abound for visitors to relax and enjoy the balmy sea breezes on the shore.
The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary NOAA is impossible to miss if you've ever gone into the water in the Keys. The waters of the Marine Sanctuary surround the upper and lower keys and protects the 3rd biggest reef system in the world. Come and explore the underwater shipwrecks, fisheries and seagrass beds that are great for recreational pursuits like fishing, boating, diving, and snorkeling. There are almost 1,700 islands that make up the Keys surrounded on the edges by native mangrove trees.
Biscayne National Park is located south of the city of Miami and borders John Pennekamp State Park, Key Largo, and the Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary. The park was formed in 1980 after being expanded from a National Monument (1968) into a much larger National Park. It's goal is to preserve the natural habitats and wildlife of Biscayne Bay, its offshore barrier reefs, and the upper keys (Boca Chita Key, Elliott Key, Adams Key and more).
Arch Creek Park and Museum is located in the city of North Miami just west of Biscayne Blvd. This historic park was once inhabited by several Native American tribes that lived in ancient Florida. The oldest known tribe, the now extinct Tequesta, once made this natural stone arch their base along a popular native trail. Artifacts from these ancient peoples were discovered on the property and preserved in a small museum along with objects left by early Florida pioneers. The park is small, shaded and has beautiful flora and fauna.
Everglades National Park spans more than 1.5 million acres with multiple entrances and visitor centers. The main entrance is located in the city of Homestead in Miami-Dade county. The park was created in 1947 in an effort to protect the area from further damage to this extremely important environmental area. The Everglades, or "River of Grass", consists of wetlands and forests fed by water flowing out of Lake Okeechobee located to the north of the park.
Greynolds Park is located in northeast Miami-Dade county is west of Dixie Highway just south of Miami Gardens Drive (NE 185th St). The park was formerly the site of a rock quarry and was donated to the county by the Ojus Rock Company back in 1936. This 249-acre park is home to a variety of plants and animals that make their homes in the hammock and the protected mangrove habitats.
Crandon Park has long been a favorite recreational spot for natives and visitors alike. Crandon is located just south of the Miami Seaquarium and north of Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. This beautiful beachfront park on Key Biscayne in Miami-Dade County is comprised of various ecosystems of the Key including mangroves, seagrass beds, coastal hammock and dunes.
Long ago, the area covered by the over 164 acres of the Long Key Natural Area was inhabited by an ancient tribe of Native Americans called the Tequesta. It was later home to the Seminole Indians. Operated by Broward County in the area of Davie, this nature center is home to a wonderful exhibit hall, interactive classroom, banquet hall, theater and trails. Long Key is open from 9am to 5 pm daily.