Friday, January 29, 2010

Bahia Honda State Park

“Welcome to Bahia Honda State Park

Henry Flagler's railroad to Key West turned the remote island of Bahia Honda Key into a tropical destination. Today, the island is home to one of Florida's southernmost state parks, known for beautiful beaches, magnificent sunsets, and excellent snorkeling. Visitors can picnic on the beach and take a swim, or simply relax and enjoy the balmy sea breezes that caress the shores year-round. Anglers can fish from shore or bring a boat and launch at the boat ramp. The park's concession rents kayaks and snorkeling gear and offers boat trips to the reef for snorkeling excursions. Bahia Honda is an excellent place to see wading birds and shorebirds. The nature center can introduce nature lovers to the island's unique plants and animals. Full-facility campsites and vacation cabins are available. Located 12 miles south of Marathon.”


Today we went to the Bahia Honda State Park. This is the only accessible Florida key with true sand beaches.  It is an excellent place to see birds and relax in the “balmy sea breezes that caress the shores”.



In 1935 there was a tropical storm that hit the keys hard. The railway was extensively damaged. It was decided not to rebuild the railway but instead use to old rail bridges to build a highway. This portion of the old road the rail superstructure was above the rails and was too narrow for the roadbed. So, they built the highway on top of the superstructure.


The new bridge is on the right. the old rail line is on the bottom of the steel and the old highway was built on the top. The lanes are only 10 feet wide and accidents were common. The old rails are used as the guard rails.


Looking back at the park at the Atlantic Ocean.


Looking back at the park with the Gulf of Mexico in the foreground and the Atlantic Ocean in the background.


The Old Bridge.


Very large burs.


The campground in this State park.

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