Florida State Parks are in various stages of accessibility, and are working to improve access to services and facilities. Should you need assistance to enable your full participation, please contact the individual park office as soon as possible. Sometimes as many as ten days may be needed to schedule a particular accommodation.

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.

State Park Guide
To discover and experience all of the Real Florida at Florida's 145 state parks, ask a Park Ranger where you can pick up a copy of the Florida State Park Guide, or call 850/488-9872.

Reservations for
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The serenity and isolation of remote islands have always captured man's imagination. Lignumvitae Key is no exception. To step ashore here is to take a step back into the past. The Matheson House, built in 1919, has changed little over the years. A windmill supplied power; fresh water was provided from a cistern which filled by rain falling on the roof. This is how island people lived during a simpler time when most of their needs were met by the land and sea around them.

The virgin tropical forest that thrives here is typical of the kind of scenery that was once enjoyed on most of Florida's Upper Keys. As the Keys were developed to accommodate an increasing number of people, most of the unique vegetation was scraped away, making the tropical forest of Lignumvitae Key a very rare and special place.

State park rangers conduct guided tours three times daily, Thursday-Monday. Here, you walk in the shade of trees with strange names like mastic, strangler fig, poisonwood, pigeon plum and gumbo-limbo. Fifty people may explore the key at one time, 25 on the nature trail and 25 in the clearing. Walking shoes and mosquito repellent are recommended. Book a trip at the MM 78.5 boat ramp. 305-664-4815.

Indian Key State Historical Site, a 12-acre island on the ocean side of Islamorada, features ruins of a wreckers’ village burned down by Indians in 1840 and numerous sisal plants cultivated by famed botanist, Dr. Henry Perrine. Book a guided walking tour with the Florida Park Service at the MM 78.5 boat ramp. 305-664-4815.

Thousands of years ago, the island began as a living coral reef jutting up from the sea floor. As great quantities of water began to freeze into glaciers at the earth's poles, the sea level dropped, exposing the top of the reef and forming an island composed of fossilized coral rock.

As time passed, storm tides and waves left seaweed, driftwood and other organic debris stranded on the bare rock. This material began decaying, forming small pockets of soil in depressions in the coral rock. Then came a few seeds from other tropical islands, some floating on the sea or carried by the winds, while others came in the digestive tracts of migrating birds. Here, the seeds sprouted and began to grow, drop leaves, produce flowers and seeds, mature, die and decay. With the passing of each generation, a complex and diverse tropical hammock colonized the remains of this ancient coral reef.

One-hour guided walks are given at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., Thursday through Monday. The tour fee is $1 per person. Children under 6 are admitted free of charge. Access to the Key for these tours is limited to privately owned boats or charter boats available at nearby marinas. The park is closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. Tour boat service available. For reservations call (305) 664-9814 or 664-4196. Tour boat departs 1/2-hour before listed tour times.

To preserve the fragile nature of the Key, visitors are required to stay within the clearing except in the company of an interpretive guide or Park Ranger.

  • The maximum number of people permitted on the Key at one time is 50; 25 on the trail and 25 in the clearing.
  • In order to enjoy your visit, you should wear walking shoes and bring mosquito repellent.
  • Most facilities and activities are not accessible to the handicapped. See a Park Ranger for special needs.
  • For more information, contact Lignumvitae Key State Botanical Site, P.O. Box 1052, Islamorada, FL 33036; (305) 664-4815.

Lignumvitae Key State Botanical Site is located one mile west of U.S.1 at Mile Marker 78.5. Access is by private boat or charter boats at nearby marinas.

For more information, contact:
Lignumvitae Key State Botanical Site
P.O. Box 1052
Islamorada, FL 33036
(305) 664-4815

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