We've also done a fair number of things up and down the Keys already. So we didn't want to do the Turtle Hospital again, or Theatre of the Sea - even though both are excellent.
Here's what we did today. First stop Publix in Key West for picnic provisions. Then out on Highway 1 to Sugarloaf Key, coming off the main road onto Sugarloaf Blvd. and drove for a few miles amongst the mangroves. I wanted to take Old State Road 4a north to do the loop and rejoin Highway 1 but it was closed. So we took the Old State Road 4a south for a little while, to where it crosses Sugarloaf Creek, turned back and came back the same way we came.
|The view from the bridge over Sugarloaf Creek|
|You can just see Highway 1 in the distance|
|Looking north from Sugarloaf Creek before Old State Road 4a turns into dirt track|
I like stoping randomly along Highway 1 to take a few pictures. This time I chose Park Key.
|Welcome to No Name Key|
|No Name Key is a long road with this at the end|
Time to depart No Name and head to our main destination: Bahia Honda State Park and awesome beach, at MM36.
Click below for more.
We've been here several times in the past, including one memorable visit when I was trying to get back to Miami in a rush (to catch a plane home) when I had a flat in the park.
I love this place and today was no disappointment.
Main items on the agenda was the short walk at the end of the park (northern end): the Silver Palm Nature trail. Which was really excellent and I totally recommend it. Very easy but fun and educational.
|Silver Palm trail information. Not very strenuous! It's actually downhill by 34 feet|
|This is one of the Silver Palms which give the Silver Palm Nature Trail its name. The palm is endangered|
And finally a real dose of nature on the nature trail... a surprise waiting for me just above head height...It was HUGE!!
More pics and video of this Nature trail in a few weeks.
And second major agenda item was a swim in the ocean, when we were buzzed by a pelican at very close range which was fantastic.
So we were 36 miles from Key West and time to head back. One final stop off, at a place I had wanted to visit for many years - the Bat Tower at Sugarloaf.
|Nesting at the top of the bat tower in Sugarloaf - can anyone identify this bird?|
|The bat tower at Sugarloaf Key in the Florida Keys|
|Bat tower close up|
What a day! Only 36 miles there and back but so much nature, weather, skies, animals, ocean, and fascinating things to see.
Now back home to Key West.