Exploring Big Pine Key
Largely wild and protected as National Key Deer Refuge, Big Pine Key is the home of the endangered Key deer.
That’s why there are chain link fences along US 1 as you drive through the tropical forest. The smallest deer species in America, these deer aren’t much larger than a German Shepherd.
National Key Deer Refuge protects the wild habitats which the deer need for survival, on Big Pine Key and the islands surrounding it.
Big Pine Key contains the largest concentration of population and services in the Lower Keys north of Key West, including lodgings, campgrounds, restaurants, and a grocery store.
The Lower Keys are otherwise heavily forested and lightly populated. Some of the most pleasant small resorts and campgrounds can be found on these islands.
Fishing, kayaking, and snorkeling are the only pursuits that might pull you away from the pool or a good book. And yes, there are tiki bars. Lots of them.
For cyclists, this section of the Overseas Heritage Trail offers outstanding views and decent watering holes.
You’ll also deal with the least amount of hassle for road crossings and driveways as you bike between Big Pine Key and Stock Island, the gateway to Key West.