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An Information Guide  to Activities, Attractions, and Family Friendly Accommodations in the Florida Keys

Kids Nature Tours in the Florida Keys

 

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NATURE WALKS TO TOUR FOR KIDS IN THE FLORIDA KEYS

Several nature walks to tour were described in the Beach Activity section: review descriptions of the "Golden Orb" Trail at Long Key State Park, the "Silver Palm' Trail at Bahia Honda, and the Mangrove and Wild Tamarind trails at John Pennecamp State Park.

. Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory-1316 Duval St.- Key West (305)296-2988

Your Trip to paradise will not be complete without a walk through magical world of Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory, where hundreds of free-flying butterflies inhabit an enclosed, climate-controlled tropical habitat. The most beautiful winged creatures in nature surround you as you stroll among the flowers, trees, colorful birds and cascading waterfall. Marvel at 50 to 60 varieties of butterflies from around the world. The Learning Center explores all aspects of the butterfly world with a short film and educational displays, while the Gift Shop and Gallery offer a wide range of unique gifts. We offer discounted rates for children ages 4 to 12; 3 and under are free.

 

. Native Hardwood Hammock Trails at Tropical Crane Point Hammock - MM 50.5

For kids that want to keep active tour the nature trail. See if they can find the "tourist tree" or Gumbo Limbo which earned its name from the peeling bark. Identify and learn about the Chicle tree which is the original source of rubber and chewing gum. Nature Trail Brochure available to explain the interesting history and story about dozens of trees native to the Florida Keys and helps guide you through this subtropical wilderness.

 . Windley Key Fossil Reef Park -

Thursday through Monday an hour long tour of 32 acre Windley Key is offered starting at 10 AM and 1 PM and costs $2.50 per person, children under 5 admitted free. Families with young children would be wise to take a self guided tour and pick and choose information that might be of intetrest to the kids from the park's wonderful Trail Guide available at the park store. Choice of 5 trails with numbered stations along the way. 305-664-25440

. National Key Deer Refuge - Big Pine - MM 30.5

The refuge is a Key Deer haven of approximately 2,300 acres located on Big Pine Key. There you may see in the early morning or late evening hours the small free roaming and endangered Key Deer. These small and graceful creatures inhabit the island of Big Pine which has fresh water and native foliage to provide nourishment. Best place to see Key Deer is along the back roads of No Name Key. Make a right turn at the intersection of Key Deer and Watson's Boulevard. Keep going till you cross a concrete bridge. Drive slowly once your on No Name and start looking carefully. If you see a stopped car it usually means someone has spotted a Key Deer.

The best time of day to see Key Deer is in the early morning or at dusk. In addition to the roadside of No Name Key, Key deer may also be seen along the grassy road sides of Big Pine. Fawns feeding with their moms are seen during May and June.

. Blue Hole - Big Pine

Also on Big Pine is a sinkhole called Blue Hole. The Blue Hole has an nature observation platform and a walking trail. Freshwater fish and turtles as well as alligators at times reside in Blue Hole. Located off of Key Deer Boulevard on Big Pine Key , the Blue Hole is a great place for picture taking family photos and videos. 305-872-2239

. Watson's Hammock - Big Pine - MM 30.5

A short walk from the Blue Hole on Higgs Lane will take you to the refuge sign with a flying bird where a nature trail begins through the pinelands of Watson's Hammock. The trail leads under the canopy of trees where you'll see gumbo limbo or "tourist trees" named because of their red color and peeling bark. Also visible are Jamaican dogwood trees. Pieces of this trees bark were floated in local waters by Caloosa Indians to catch fish. The bark's chemical property caused fish to float to the top making them easy to gather, thus, the tree is also known by the lesser name "fish-fuddle tree". In addition to local Key's plant life you'll find orchids, bromiliads, and possibly golden orb spiders.

 

Indian Key and Lignum Vitae Key Tours by Capt. Anne Baxter - MM 81.5 at WideWorld Sportsman. Islamorada, 305-852-4553

Easy Adventures offers walking tours as well as private snorkeling charters for families and groups up to 6. Indian Key and Lignum Vitae Key guided nature walks. Adventure tours for the kids and family, specialty tours, Indian Key ruin tours, Everglades, ocean reefs, photography, wildlife identification, learn ecology and science while in search of dolphin, reddish egrets, bald eagles, roseate spoonbills and sea turtles. half day or full day of exploring the waters of the Florida Keys, remote shallow bays and narrow creeks where tropical wildlife lives. Snorkeling sites are shallow,  sometimes only 2 feet, ideal for beginners. Cheeca Rocks is a nearshore patch reef with 7 foot tall coral formations in 10-12 foot depth, the tops of the corals in many places only 3 foot deep. Alligator Lighthouse is an offshore bank-barrier reef with 3 foot depth in the shallowest portion. More advanced snorkelers can try their luck at catching a lobster. Lessons and equipment provided, free. For more information, click on Easy Adventures -

For more information click on Easy Adventures at www.keysboats.com

. Jack Watson's Nature Trail - Big Pine - MM 30.5

A distance of several hundred yards down the road passed Blue Hole brings you to the entrance of the Jack Watson Nature Trail. The trail is about one mile long and the sites along the way are numbered. A tour brochure may be found at the beginning of the trail describing each numbered item. Key Deer have be found within the Hammock's undergrowth or in low lying areas that collect water. 305-872-2239

 

Poisonous Snakes

Poisonous snakes along with benign snakes found in Florida are also found in the Keys. The coral snake, the rattlesnake and the cottonmouth are considered not to be aggressive by naturalists. Just the same hikers and families with children should be alert and use caution and stick to the marked trail.

 


 
ACTIVITIES and PLACES TO VISIT for CHILDREN and FAMILIES
in the
FABULOUS FLORIDA KEYS 
To find out more about Kids' activities and places to see to make your children's visit to the Keys a rewarding and worthwhile experience, CLICK on the links in the navigtion bar to the left or provided below.
GUIDE INTRODUCTION . KIDS AND RESORTS . BEACHES . NATURE WALKS .
MUSEUMS . WATER SPORTS . MOVIES . DOLPHINS . KAYAKS . GOLF
BOATS TOURS . SNORKEL . DAY PROGRAMS . ATTRACTIONS
BIKING AND SKATING . FISHING . CHILD HEALTH TRAVEL
.
ICE CREAM . READING .

 

 GIVE TO A FLORIDA KEYS' CHARITY

The links below are for charity organizations providing services for children in the Florida Keys.

[ CHILDREN'S SHELTER ]
[ FLORIDA KEYS KIDCARE ] [ KIDS IN SPECIAL SIUTUATIONS ]
[ GUARDIAN AD LITEM GUILD ]
[ OPERATION BRAVE KIDS ]

 
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