Bahia Honda State Park
Bahia Honda State Park is not in Key Largo, but if you like sun, sand, swimming and snorkeling, it's worth the drive down US 1 to visit. Located around Mile Marker 37, the Park is around 65 miles or so toward Key West from Key Largo.
The Old Bridge as Viewed from Park
The Old and the New Bridge
Then, on Labor Day in 1935 one of the worst hurricanes ever to hit the U.S. slammed into the Keys around Islamorada packing winds of 200 to 250 miles per hour. If the wind speeds seem exaggerated, that's what the reports have said. Over 400 people perished. Based on the accounts given, it was the most awful storm imaginable. Besides the tragic human toll, the howling winds and 18-foot storm surge put a quick end to Flagler's Miami-to-Key-West railroad.
Rather than rebuild the railroad, what was left of it was converted into the Overseas Highway--a.k.a. US 1--which opened in 1938. The old Railroad Bridge at Bahia Honda was converted into an automobile bridge, and used to span the new highway through the Keys.
Then, in 1972 a new four-lane bridge replaced the old Bahia Honda bridge. This new bridge is located a few hundred yards north (the road runs east and west in this section) of the old bridge.
As a point of interest, the missing spans on each end of the old Bahia Honda bridge were not blown away by some fierce tropical cyclone, but were purposely removed to keep people off the bridge. My guess is the rickety old structure was considered too much of a safety hazard.
The Park's Beaches
The general lack of Keys beaches makes Bahia Honda that much more attractive, because it does have beaches. So, if you want to spend some time lying in the sand or strolling along the seashore, you can do that here.
The Beach at Bahia Honda
Peeking Through the Seagrapes
Snorkeling Looe Key
The Snorkel Boat Makes Two Trips Daily
Depths on the reef vary from two to 30 feet, and visibility can range from around 15 feet up to 100 feet, depending on weather and sea conditions.
Although I've been diving and snorkeling for years, I've seen few sharks. One of my best memories of Looe Key was the five-foot gray shark that swam lazily past me while on his way to wherever his shark brain told him he needed to go. If you think about it, sharks are always going somewhere. I wonder...do they have busy schedules?
Snorkeling in the Park
Bahia Honda Snorkeling Spot
A Bad Case of Keyitis
Typical RV Site
Tent Camping Site
A View of the Campground
The Campground at Low Tide
Rest room facilities complete with hot showers are available in the camping areas.
Rest Room Facilities
The Park's Rental Cabins
Sue Checks Out the Gift Shop
36850 Overseas Highway
Big Pine Key, FL 33043
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