Manager's Message

Picture of Lu Dodson Park Manager of Indian Key

Lu Dodson, Park Manager

Welcome to Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park, island home to one of the Key's last old growth hardwood hammock forests.

Accessible only by boat, this island is place of wonders, dense with endangered plants, protected insects and birds as well as being the location of the historic Matheson home, mysterious ruins, and Native American cultural sites.

The island is named after the native Lignum vitae tree found in abundance throughout the hammock. I find the attributes of the Lignumvitae tree amazing. To think that a piece of wood could accomplish the lubrication of ships rigging all by itself!

Ranger-led tours of the coral rock and Dade county pine house are available Friday through Sunday, December to April at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The tour will take you back in time to a simpler way of life in the Keys, circa 1930.

You may also choose to explore the beauty of native flora and learn the natural and cultural history with the ranger along a .29-mile nature walk.

On your return trip from the island in kayaks, be sure to take the time to explore the seagrass flats and numerous, winding red mangrove creeks that make up the aquatic portion of the Lignumvitae Key Management Area.