Once known for its natural white sand beaches and botanically rich tropical hammocks, Bahia Honda State Park now bears scars from Hurricane Irma’s wrath.
Location: Bahia Honda Key
Fees: $5-12 per vehicle + 50 cent per person Monroe County surcharge
Open: 8 AM until sunset daily
Pets are not permitted on beaches
Still a destination for snorkeling, diving, and camping, Bahia Honda State Park looks nothing like it did before Hurricane Irma bore down on Florida last fall. The famed natural white sand beaches on the Atlantic Coast have washed away, exposing a ledge of coral rock where iguanas now bask. While the park’s outfitter will keep you busy with offshore tours and kayak rentals, portions of the park that we all knew and loved are now gone.
Both Buttonwood and Bayside Campgrounds have been reopened, and the cabins have been restored. Sandspur Campground and the road down to the beach and the Silver Palm Trail have washed away. The entire Atlantic Ocean side of the park is cordoned off with a chain link fence to keep visitors from wandering into that area.
The butterfly garden and its adjoining parking area washed away and the restrooms were destroyed. They are now replaced with a restroom trailer and outdoor showers. The entire canopy of tropical trees above the Old Bahia Honda Bridge Trail has been stripped away, and the trail has been shortened a little at its promontory.
The marina and mooring area still needs to be rebuilt as well. According to park officials, it will be late in 2019 before visitors can expect restoration of the Atlantic side of the park, including the campground. Meanwhile, you can play at the bayfront beach near the marina.
While the park park contains more than 150 species of native plants, including the largest known stand of Florida silver palms, their status remains unknown. Much of the canopy and rich understory once seen around the marina area and along the Atlantic shoreline is gone. From a distance (the Overseas Highway) it appears that the silver palms may have weathered the storm just fine.
Our map has been updated to reflect what is no longer accessible in the park.
Explore the park
- Old Bahia Honda Bridge Trail - Stand above Bahia Honda State Park and take in a sweeping view from one of the highest points in the Florida Keys: atop the Old Bahia Honda Bridge, built in the early 1900s.
- Silver Palm Trail - CURRENTLY CLOSED THROUGH 2019. Along the Silver Palm Trail at Bahia Honda State Park, you'll meander through the largest grove of silver palms (Coccothrinax argentata) in the United States.