Management & Protection
Florida State Parks are managed as natural systems. All plant and animal life is protected in state parks. Hunting, livestock grazing and timber removal are not permitted. Do not remove, deface, mutilate or molest any natural resources. For your safety, do not feed any animals. Intoxicants and firearms are prohibited.

Hours of Operation
Florida state parks are open from 8 a.m. until sundown 365 days a year.

Reservations for
Florida State
Parks are now
made through
Reserve America,

toll free, at

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 before the park was established, the subtropical climate, clear waters and abundance of marine life attracted explorers. The Calusa Indians lived off the plant and marine life before the arrival of the first Spanish settlers. After Spanish occupation, other travelers from nearby islands such as the Bahamas made their way to Long Key.

By 1912, the Florida Keys were no longer considered a remote area to travel. By this time, the Key West Extension of the Florida East Coast Railroad was completed, allowing Long Key to become an important depot. Henry Flagler, the founder of the railroad, also established the Long Key Fishing Club which was a mecca for the world's greatest saltwater fishermen. This productive era came to a temporary end when a hurricane destroyed the railroad and fishing club in 1935.


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.
  • Three nature trails are located within the park for visitors who enjoy both walking and canoeing. The "Golden Orb" Trail, named after a native spider, is a leisurely 40-minute walk through several plant communities. The Layton Trail is located on the bayside of the park and takes 15 minutes to walk. The third trail is Long Key Lakes Canoe Trail, which covers a shallow water lagoon. Canoe rentals and a self-guided brochure are available for this hour-long journey.

  • Picnic areas are available with a scenic view of the Atlantic Ocean.

  • Swimming and some of the best sport fishing in the Florida Keys are popular year-round. Saltwater fishing licenses are required in Florida.

  • Campsites are located along the crystal clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean for visitors who wish to stay and enjoy all that Long Key has to offer.

Long Key State Recreation Area is located at Mile Marker 67.5, 67400 Overseas Highway in the Florida Keys

  • For more information:
    Long Key State Park
    P.O. Box 776
    Long Key, FL 33001
    (305) 664-4815

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