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Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail

 Activities at Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail

Bicycling

Bicycling

Cycling is a popular and well-established method of travel in the Keys. Be sure to follow standard bicycle safety practices of riding in the direction of traffic and use extreme caution along the bridges. Helmets and safety vests are highly recommended for all cyclists and Florida law requires helmets for cyclists age 16 and under. A summary of Florida bicycle safety laws may be found here. Existing sections of the FKOHT for cycling are shown on the trail map. Several bike shops along the corridor offer bike rentals and/or repairs.

Please note: There are community events, road projects, utility repairs, etc. that impact our trail throughout the 106 miles of the Florida Keys. Although they impact the trail, we don’t always have control over the activities being performed by other agencies and groups and may not have up-to-date information on them. For your convenience, we have added the following planning resources link that may help provide additional information on these type of activities when planning your trip.

Birding

Birding

As it follows the path of an important  migration route, the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail  offers great opportunities to observe a rich variety of birds, including many types of wading birds and shorebirds. The Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail offers a self-guided experience in learning about the species that can be found in this area. To help protect birds and marine life from the hazards of becoming entangled in discarded fishing line, there are recycling bins placed at the ends of the trail's fishing bridges and FKOHT volunteers frequently assist with the monofilament recycling program.

Boat Ramp

Boat Ramp

The turquoise waters surrounding the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail invite trail users to enjoy boating activities. Boat ramps are available at several of the state parks in the Keys, with some offering marina facilities. There are also ramps managed by the FKOHT at other locations, as marked on the trail map. The John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park has a very good deepwater boat ramp, located at the marina. This ramp can handle most boats up to 36 feet in length.

Camping, Full Facility

Camping, Full Facility

There is no camping on the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail. Full-facility camping is available at four of the 10 state parks located along the trail: John Pennekamp Coral Reef State ParkCurry Hammock State Park, Long Key State Park and Bahia Honda State Park. For state park camping reservations, contact ReserveAmerica  toll free (800) 326-3521, (866) I-CAMP-FL or TDD (888) 433-0287. Information on privately owned campsites in the Keys may be obtained from the local chambers of commerce.

Canoe/Kayak Launch

Canoe/Kayak Launch

More than a dozen kayak and canoe launch sites are located along the trail corridor, as noted on the trail map.

Canoeing & Kayaking

Canoeing & Kayaking

The trail offers easy access to many kayaking and canoeing opportunities along the corridor, including sea kayaking within this designated segment of the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail. Kayak rentals are available through several outfitters  and special eco-tours can be booked through various sources. Points of interest along the paddling trail are noted on the trail map.

Fishing

Fishing

Fishing is allowed on many of the trail’s historic bridges. Cantilevered fishing platforms have been added to the sides of selected bridges including the Channel Two Historic Bridge, the Tom’s Harbor Cut and Tom’s Harbor Channel historic bridges and the Long Key Bridge. Rules for shared use of the bridges are posted at the ends of each bridge, along with containers for recycling fishing line that presents a danger to marine life. To learn about licensing and fishing regulations, check with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Hiking/Nature Trail

Hiking/Nature Trail

One of the best ways to experience the Keys' colorful communities and beautiful scenery is on foot. The longest, continuous section of paved trail currently located in the Upper Keys between MM 106 at Key Largo and through MM 72 at Islamorada, Village of Islands. Other sections of trail have been completed as noted on the map. Where there is no existing trail, hikers may, with caution, follow the shoulders of the road since the trail generally parallels US Highway 1.

Historic Site

Historic Site

The historic railroad bridges built by Henry Flagler in the early 1900s, to connect the Florida Keys to the US mainland for the first time, are now a central component of the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail. On January 22, 1912, Henry Flagler rode the railroad to Key West where the project was heralded by the press as the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” Today, all of the remaining 23 Flagler Railroad Bridges have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Trail users can now travel the path of Flagler’s famous rail journey as they cross these bridges and learn more about Flagler’s historic achievement at the Pigeon Key Museum just south of Marathon. At the trail’s end in Key West, there are many more historic and cultural points of interest to explore, including Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park.

Pets

Pets

Well behaved dogs are allowed on the trail with a maximum six-foot, hand-held leash. Owners are requested to walk their dogs near the edge of the trail, for the safety of all trail users.

Picnicking

Picnicking

Picnic tables (no restroom facilities) are provided at  FKOHT's Knights Key Trailhead located at the north end of the Seven Mile bridge. There are additional picnic facilities available at state parks and local parks throughout the trail corridor.

Roller Blading

Roller Blading

Though trail users are welcome to skate (with caution) on any of the existing paved segments of the FKOHT, a couple of the better areas for this activity are in the stretch from the Marathon Airport to Grassy Key and in the Saddlebunch Keys segment.

Walking

Walking

Walking along the existing, paved segments of this developing trail and its historic bridges is a great way to access local businesses and points of interest along the way. At sunset, or any time of day, the scenery is worth the trip!

Wheelchair Accessible

Wheelchair Accessible

Completed portions of the trail are wheelchair accessible. Motorized wheelchairs and other personal mobility devices are permitted if required.

Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife Viewing

The FKOHT offers access to many points of interest with opportunities for wildlife viewing  including the Everglades National Park, Biscayne National Park, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, The Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge, Key Deer National Wildlife Refuge, Crocodile Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, Key West National Marine Sanctuary, as well as 10 state parks.