Big Pine Key and the Lower Keys offer an abundance of opportunities to view wildlife in their natural habitats. The area is home to a variety of species, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals and fish. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced wildlife observer, Big Pine Key and the Lower Keys have something for everyone.
One of the best places to view wildlife in Big Pine Key and the Lower Keys is at National Key Deer Refuge. It is home to over 1,000 free-roaming Key deer and other endangered species like the woodstork and the Atlantic loggerhead sea turtle.
A boardwalk provides easy access to explore the refuge’s wetlands, coastal hammocks and hardwood hammocks on foot. It’s also possible to take guided boat tours of the refuge where you can observe birds, fish, reptiles and more from a safe distance.
Another great spot for spotting wildlife is at Bahia Honda State Park which encompasses over 500 acres of tropical hardwood hammock habitat and pristine beaches. Here you can find a variety of bird species such as osprey, night herons and bald eagles, while also enjoying views of some of Florida’s most beautiful sunsets from one of its many beaches. The park also offers kayak rentals so you can explore its mangroves, tidal creeks and salt marshes up close.
No matter what type of animal you’re hoping to spot during your visit to Big Pine Key or the Lower Keys, there are plenty of places for you to explore. From secluded beaches to boardwalks through wetlands, you are sure to find something that appeals to all levels of wildlife observers in this beautiful part of Florida.
Conclusion: Big Pine Key and the Lower Keys offer some incredible opportunities for wildlife viewing with its variety of habitats – from wetlands to tropical hardwood hammocks – as well as its many parks such as National Key Deer Refuge and Bahia Honda State Park that feature guided tours or kayak rentals so visitors can get an up-close look at some amazing creatures in their natural environment.