- Long Key was once referred to by the Spanish as "Cayo Vivora," which means Rattlesnake Key. The name was used to describe the shape of the island, which resembles a snake with its jaws open. Today, Long Key State Park is known for being rich in history and recreational opportunities as well as natural beauty. The 965 acres that make up Long Key were acquired between 1961 and 1973, with the park's official opening in 1969.
Long Key contains the remains of ancient coral reefs that were formed 100,000 years ago when the sea level was 20 to 30 feet higher. The vegetation is primarily of West Indian or Caribbean origin. A large variety of trees and shrubs are found, including species such as the gumbo-limbo, poisonwood, mahogany, Jamaica dogwood and crabwood. The shallow waters off Long Key support an abundance of marine life. Various wading bird species may be observed in the mangrove-lined lagoons, particularly during the winter months.
Educational offerings at the park include fun and informative programs on snorkeling, fishing, birding, canoeing, sea turtles, plants, history and the marine ecology of the area.
There are three nature trails located within the park for visitors who enjoy both walking and canoeing. Picnicking, swimming and some of the best sport fishing in the Florida Keys is enjoyed at Long Key State Park.
Long Key State Park is located in the Florida Keys at mile marker 67.5 on U.S. Highway 1.