What to do in Lignumvitae Key State Botanical Site

The virgin tropical forest that thrives on Lignumvitae Key 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. Here, you walk in the shade of trees with strange names like mastic, strangler fig, poisonwood, pigeon plum and gumbo-limbo.

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.

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. Tour boat departs 1/2-hour before listed tour times.

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

Southern Florida lies within a subtropical climate. It is usually hot and humid in the summer with brief afternoon thundershowers. It is not unusual for temperatures to exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit with averages reaching above 83 degrees Fahrenheit (above 29 Celsius). Winters are mild and dry with temperatures averaging above 64 degrees Fahrenheit (above 18 Celsius). The average precipitation for the southeast area is more than 60 inches per year. The powerful rays of the sun make it a good idea to wear hats and sunglasses along with using a SPF-15 (or above) sunscreen when planning outdoor activities.

P.O. Box 1052
Islamorada, FL 33036

Phone: 305-664-2540

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