This park is closed due to extensive damage to the Florida Keys from Hurricane Irma.
Preserving a patch of tropical forest surrounding a quarry opened in 1908, Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park showcases the uniqueness of the Florida Keys in both botany and geology, with vast slabs of coral frozen in stone awaiting your inspection.
Location: MM 84.9, Windley Key
Fees: $2.50 per person. Additional $2 for guided tour.
Open: Thu-Mon 9-5. Education Center open Fri-Sun 9-5, with tours offered at 10 and 2.
Fossilized coral, sliced and polished, graces the exterior of buildings throughout South Florida, including the grand estate Vizcaya in Miami and the Miami and Key West post offices. Its source? This long time quarry opened in 1908 by Henry Flagler during construction of the Overseas Railroad. It was first used for crushed limestone for the railroad bed, but by 1912, slabs of decorative stone were sliced from these quarry walls.
In the 1980s, the site was threatened by condo development. Local residents stepped up to the plate to preserve the remaining 30 acres of tropical hammock and historic quarries. The park has an excellent visitor center to interpret the unique history, botany, and geology of the site, and its trails interpret the fossil corals found in the walls of the quarry.
Tag along on a ranger-led guided tour Fri-Sun at 10 AM and 2 PM. Bring your birding life list! A stroll through this tropical forest not only yields a wide variety of strange tropical plum trees but offers the possibility of seeing mangrove cuckoo and white-crowned pigeon.
Explore the park
- Florida’s toxic trees - Southeast Florida is home to two poisonous trees, the poisonwood and the manchineel. Learn how to recognize them so you don't get too close, and find out how truly dangerous they are.
- Windley Key Hammock Trail - More than 30 acres of tropical hammock surround a geological centerpiece of a coral rock quarry at Windley Key Geologic State Park near Islamorada.