36850 Overseas Hwy.
Florida Keys, FL 33043
Big Pine & Lower Keys
Visiting Bahia Honda State Park is a wonderful experience any time of the year. The white sandy beaches of Bahia have been listed on America's best beaches list. Even with the profusion of tourists, viewing wildlife is still very good. The lush tropical hardwood forest is nearly an impenetrable thicket for humans but a favorite for birds. Canoeing the mangrove narrows provides both quiet solitude and sights of migratory birds. The best time of year is spring and fall when you're likely to see the black-whiskered vireos and mangrove cuckoos. Year-round you may spot the 14" smooth-billed anis, which very similar to the common blackbird with the exception of the thick bill with an arched ridge. An interesting note is that this bird enjoys the impenetrable thickets as much as the wide-open country meadows.
Walking along the beach affords sights of a number of birds including legions of brown pelicans, soaring ospreys, crying gulls and skirting sanderlings. Lurking at still-waters edge, you may spot the double-crested cormorants, great blue heron, little blue heron, and the great white heron. If you visit Bahia Honda during the winter months, you will likely see a plethora of white ibises, willets, sandpipers, ring-billed gulls and royal terns. A good birding book and binoculars are a welcome accompaniment.
Park staff provides guided nature hikes and snorkeling expeditions.