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The No.1 Ultimate Kayaking Destination in the Florida Keys : Bahia Honda State Park

Bahia Honda State Park is an underwater gem in the depths of the Florida Keys—an escapade into a paradise filled with natural wonders and living history beside which many of its activities can be undertaken, with prominent mention to none other than kayaking. This park covers over 500 acres of land and water and is heaven for nature lovers and adventurers. Join us as we explore the crystal-clear waters, beautiful beaches, and fascinating history that make Bahia Honda a must-see destination.

A Day of Adventure at Bahia Honda State Park, Florida Keys

Kayaking and Beaches

Spend your day at Bahia Honda State Park, one of the premier kayaking spots in the Florida Keys. The park’s crystal water and shallow waters seamlessly blend with the lush mangroves, making it the ideal place for kayaking. The largest and most visited beach in the park is Calusa Beach. A beautiful combination of crystal-melting sands and lightly texting turquoise waters makes it truly perfect for kayaking. With stunning natural surroundings, it’s just the place to get away from everything and rejuvenate yourself. Sandspur Beach occupies a mile of the coast, perfect for family stay still because here the water is shallow and full of shells. Loggerhead Beach is famous for the chance to snorkel and swim in its warm, shallow waters teeming with marine life.

Oceanic view of Bahia Honda State Park Bridge.

Historical Highlights:

A Kayak in the park will give one a particular type of experience that it thrives on. The park was a section of Henry Flagler’s famous Overseas Railway, which he built to connect the mainland of Florida with Key West. The park contains remnants of the old historic bridge, which offers an unobstructed ocean view of Calusa Beach. The park itself was also a part site for the construction of the railway and was also used in military training during World War II. The Bahia Honda Channel Spanish Quarantine Station was operated during the late 1800s for only a short time as a historic way-point for ships entering the Gulf of Mexico. Still, remnants are there to speak the story.

Wildlife and Aquatic Life

Bahia Honda provides a habitat for many terrestrial and marine wildlife. Kayak along its shorelines seeking wading birds like herons, egrets, and roseate spoonbills. Beneath the water’s surface are schools of brightly colored fish, sea turtles, and, occasionally, manatees or dolphins. The mangrove forests and seagrass beds within the park are vital homes to these life forms, and visitors get a greatly eco-enriched experience coming here.

Hiking and Trails activities at Bahia Honda State Park

Things to Do

Outside of kayaking, Bahia Honda State Park presents an open buffet of activities. The coral gardens provide the ideal fish refuge, and their safe swimming, snorkeling, and diving draw visitors into an underwater world. Hiking enthusiasts can savor a walk on the Silver Palm Trail and the Old Bahia Honda Bridge Fishing Pier for spectacular views. The surrounding waters also offer great opportunities for fishing activities by those who love engaging in this type of outdoor sport. The park amenities have picnic facilities for family and friends who want to spend the day outdoors in relaxation.


The park features ready-to-go campsites with water and electric hookups and some primitive sites for those who like it a little rougher. Whether you want to stay comfortable or adventure during the night, Bahia Honda has got you covered.

Operating hours and nearby attractions

Bahia Honda State Park is open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Hours extend during peak season to get the most out of your visit.  The summer months, from late May to late September, are popular for kayaking in the Florida Keys.

Map of Florida Keys

Nearby attractions include:

  • Key Largo: About 1.5 hours away, featuring Sunset Park, Dove Creek, and more.
  • Islamorada: A 20-30 minute drive, home to Indian Key Historic State Park.
  • Big Pine Key: Approximately 30 minutes away, offering backcountry adventures and the Great White Heron Wildlife Refuge.
  • Long Key State Park: 15 miles up the road from Marathon, with a marked paddling trail.
  • John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park: About an hour away, with 2.5 miles of mangrove trails.
  • Key West: Just an hour away, featuring top kayaking spots like Geiger Key.

These nearby areas provide additional kayaking opportunities and attractions to explore while roaming around the Florida Keys with your kayaks.

Living the Dream: Kayaking Adventures Await

Kayaking in Bahia Honda State Park and the surrounding Florida Keys promises endless adventures. Rent a kayak for a day or a week, with convenient options available for delivery or pick-up. Local rental shops offer flexible terms to suit your needs, ensuring you’re ready to hit the water as soon as you arrive.

Reserve Your Kayak: Book through Trailsandlakes Rental Site 

Explore Trailsandlakes.com for more details about Kayaking and Paddleboard.

Launch Site Information: Conveniently located in the Florida Keys, Bahia Honda State Park is easily accessible from nearby cities like Marathon and Big Pine Key. The park offers ample parking, washrooms, and a resourceful visitor center.

View of Sunset at Bahia Honda State Park Bridge

A Must-Visit Destination

Bahia Honda State Park is a treasure trove of natural beauty, rich history, and diverse activities. Whether you’re an experienced kayaker, a nature enthusiast, or a history buff, this park has something for everyone. With abundant wildlife, stunning scenery, and proximity to other top kayaking destinations, Bahia Honda is a must-visit location in the Florida Keys. Plan your visit in the upcoming weeks and immerse yourself in the wonders of Bahia Honda State Park! Paddling Feliz!

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