What to do in Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park

**Note: This information was provided by www.floridastateparks.org.

Formed of Key Largo limestone, fossilized coral, this land was sold to the Florida East Coast Railroad, which used the stone to build Henry Flagler's Overseas Railroad in the early 1900s. After the railroad was built, the quarry was used until the 1960s to produce exquisite pieces of decorative stone called Keystone. Today, visitors can walk along eight-foot-high quarry walls to see cross sections of the ancient coral and learn about the quarry and its operation- an important part of Florida's 20th century history. Samples of the quarry machinery have been preserved at the park. Visitors can enjoy the natural attributes of this island while strolling five short, self-guided trails. Picnic tables are available. The visitor center, open Thursday through Monday, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., features educational exhibits about the history of this site.

Guided tours of the park are available Thursday through Monday at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Tour fee is $1.00 per person, children under 6 admitted free.

Picnic tables are placed throughout the park's quarries. Shady tables, however, are limited.

The Alison Fahrer Environmental Education Center offers displays on Flagler's railroad, tropical hardwood hammocks, Florida Keys' geology and more. A conference room on the second floor can be reserved for school groups, meetings, etc.

A variety of bird life may be found in the park.

Recreation
The park has approximately 1.5 miles of trails that wind through a tropical hardwood hammock. Along the trails, visitors are able to observe over 40 species of trees and plants that are native to the Florida Keys. With the aid of a guidebook, numbered trail stops, and interpretive markers, it is easy for visitors to learn about the natural and cultural resources of the site. Ranger-guided tours are also available.

Location
Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park is located on Windley Key at Mile Marker 85.5 near Islamorada.

Climate
Florida's weather is dominated by the water that surrounds it. The Atlantic Ocean in the east and the Gulf of Mexico in the west provide a stabilizing force that maintains the mild climate. Northern Florida is considered sub tropical, although it does receive some snow. This area is drier than the rest of the state. Southern areas of the state, definitely the Keys, lie within a tropical climate. Humidity is high, a characteristic of the climate, although the temperatures usually don't extend past 90 degrees F.

On the average the state receives 50 to 65 inches of rain. Summer is the rainy season, which extends into October in the south. Hurricane season begins in late August. Some hurricanes can bring up to 25 inches of rain. An average of two hurricanes per season reach the Florida peninsula. Most often these storms reach the Atlantic Coast rather than the Gulf Coast.

Address
P.O. Box 1052
Islamorada, FL 33036

Phone: 305-664-2540

Email: michael.strivelli@dep.state.fl.us
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