Bahia Honda State Park
About Bahia Honda State Park
A NOTE FROM THE MANAGER
The management and staff would like to welcome our summer season volunteers. We are very lucky to have such hard working and dedicated volunteers to assist us here at the park.
Sport fishermen have been catching and releasing a great number of tarpon in the Bahia Honda Channel, a world-renowned area for this annual event. Tarpon are huge game fish with very large silver scales, they can reach a length of 8 feet and weigh 300 pounds. In the spring and early summer, they migrate into deep channels between the islands of the Florida Keys.
April through October, female sea turtles crawl out of the ocean onto the beaches and dunes to lay their eggs under the sand. Sea turtles dig a large body pit, then a smaller clutch cavity [egg chamber] in which they lay about 100 eggs. The turtle covers the nest with sand and crawls back into the water.
Approximately 50 days after being deposited, the eggs will hatch. Hatchlings emerge from the nest and make their way to the sea. The young turtles’ voyage through the seas is a life fraught with peril.
The next 20–30 years will be spent growing and maturing. The surviving females return to the same nesting area where they were hatched. They will continue the cycle of sea turtle life that has existed for millions of years.
Male sea turtles do not come on beaches; instead they spend their lives at sea.
The sea turtles have begun actively nesting on our beaches; to date we have 5 loggerhead sea turtle nests. When you visit the park you may see staff out walking the beach early in the morning looking for nests.
Here are some things you can do to help ensure nesting females and hatchlings are as safe as possible during their brief time on the beach:
1. Turn off any unnecessary lights. Keep necessary lighting low and avoid any light on beaches. Nesting females are repelled by light and hatchlings are attracted to light.
2. NEVER have a fire on the beach.
3. At night, keep noise to a minimum to prevent interrupting nesting attempts.
4. Chairs, kayaks, canoes, boats, etc. left on the beach at night can deter females from nesting and prevent hatchlings from reaching the ocean. Please do not store any such items on beaches.
5. Do not approach nesting females or hatchlings. You may disrupt their natural behavior.
Be sure to visit the Sand and Sea Nature Center to learn more about the park. We have a wonderful sea life display, a small marine aquarium and several environmental activities to explore. Cool off in the AC and watch a nature video. Park staff will be available to answer your questions.
- Bahia Honda State Park is located in the Florida Keys 12 miles south of Marathon on U.S. Highway 1 at Mile Marker 36.8, ocean side.
- Volunteer -
Do you love snorkeling, diving and fishing in crystal clear waters? Or, do you enjoy sunbathing on a beautiful beach? Then you may want to become a volunteer at Bahia Honda State Park in the fabulous Florida Keys. We accept volunteer applications no more than 12-13 months in advance. Campground volunteer positions are in high demand at the park. The required stay is three months and you receive a free campsite in exchange for volunteer hours. The sites have electric (50amp), water, picnic table and a grill. There is also a sewage dump station. Volunteers at the park perform a variety of tasks including bathroom cleaning, litter pick-up, maintenance and repair projects. We try to match your skills and interests to the job. Please contact Park Manager Eric Kiefer at (305) 872-3897 for more information on volunteering at Bahia Honda State Park.
- For forms, information and benefits of volunteering visit Get Involved.
Coral Reef Park Company, Inc. -
Food service, merchandise sales, rental recreational equipment and boat tours.
Contact Daryl Obenour, (305) 872-3210
- Florida State Parks Pet Policy
- Due to limited spaces at Bahia Honda, pets have limited access to facilities. Pets are not allowed in cabins, bathhouses, pavilions, the concession building, on beaches or in the water. In the limited areas where pets are permitted, they must be kept on a six-foot, handheld leash and be well-behaved at all times. Service animals are welcome in all areas and buildings of the park, as required by law.