The Middle Keys neighborhood is also made up of a group of islands and Keys.
Small Long Key features a state park with nature trails leading to tropical hammocks reminiscent of the Keys' wilderness of a century ago, and Grassy Key is the site of the Dolphin Research Center
, providing visitors a unique opportunity to learn about and interact with the intelligent mammals.
Marathon, also called the Heart of the Florida Keys, is home to many eco-attractions, notably the world's only Turtle Hospital
and Crane Point Hammock, a 63.5-acre land tract that is one of the most important historical and archaeological sites in the Keys. Once an entire Indian village, Crane Point is rich in natural history and contains evidence of pre-Colombian and prehistoric Bahamian artifacts. Visit the Museum of Natural History of The Florida Keys
and the Children's Museum.
A drive across the Seven Mile Bridge, considered an engineering feat of Henry Flagler, leads to the Lower Keys, but don't pass up the small island below the Old Seven Mile Bridge, which today is utilized primarily as a fitness path. You can walk along the Old Seven Mile Bridge
(approx. 2.2 miles) or take a 20-minute ferry from Knight's Key to Pigeon Key
, which once housed the workers who built the Flagler railroad in the early 1900's. This tiny island with enormous history has essentially remained unchanged, and is a beautiful respite to wander back in time.
January 22, 2012, marks the 100th anniversary of Henry Flagler arriving in Key West on the Flagler railroad. Keys-wide celebrations are planned leading up to that date, so plan your visit accordingly for the not-to-miss Flagler centennial.