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“Fascinating. Unique.”

Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park
Ranked #13 of 62 things to do in Islamorada
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Nature trails and fossilized coral reefs are the highlights of this park.
Reviewed December 10, 2013

This was a highlight of our brief, but exciting visit to the Florida Keys. One can see the results of extracting coral rock from three different quarries including the one used for taking fill for building the railway over a century ago. In addition to that, however, there are several paths where with the self-guiding trail books one can learn about the fascinating range of flora that flourishes on the thin topsoil covering the coral limestone bedrock. Although you can hear the traffic on the Overseas Highways just a few metres away, there is sense of escape into the very interesting past of the Keys that we look forward to learning more about in the future.

Thank ottawahound
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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173 - 177 of 226 reviews

Reviewed November 21, 2013

Although the purpose of the park is the geology of the keys, the main focus of the trails is the fauna. Lots to learn, if that's your interest. Avoid if you don't like LARGE spiders (we do and thought that was the best part of the visit).

Thank Charlie N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 12, 2013

I wish I had read Tripadvisor before our visit, but we were directed here by the tourist center in Islamorada. I thought it would be nice to walk in the woods after eating so many wonderful meals on our trip. The spiders ruined it for me. THEY ARE HUGE! And poisonous. Like I'm going to get close to them. I did take pictures because we don't have spiders like that in Missouri. The spiders are above and beside the trail. The rangers said there had been people earlier than us who would have walked through the ones across the trail. Sheesh. (I think the poor girl who cleared the path also left a review.)

The rangers were wonderful and the tourist center was clean, organized, and informative. We were there on Veterans' Day and they weren't charging admission, which was a surprise. The bathrooms were clean and well-stocked.

We didn't walk through the quarry, because 1) I was very freaked out after the spider trauma and 2) there was no shade and I'm very fair. If you're up for a walk on Survivor Island, this place won't faze you at all.

Thank goodeye_buddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2013

Okay, I'm going to be nice here. The ranger was great, the visitor's center was extremely informative and neat, the quarry that Flagger used to construct the railroad going down to the keys was amazing. But, and this is a big but...if you don't like spiders, DO NOT go down the two paths that they have.

I am terrified of spiders, and as long as they were off to the side I was scared, but okay. Then when a web was across the path, hubby worked to pull it off to the side and told me to run on by, which I did, and stopped in my tracks when I immediately ran into another web across the path. That's when I was done. Period. So we tried the second path. Even worse.

We went to the quarry next, not many trees, no spiders or webs, and the fact I was looking up at 8' of coral that Flagger used, knowing the water had to be much higher, was amazing. I was really impressed. Nice historical place, just not for the faint of spiders. There were other paths but I wasn't willing to take them....shiver...

Oh, and they don't take plastic, only cash. The fee is $2.50 each, they sell some of the keystones ($1.50 each) used in the area, and they have bathrooms, soda machines, and water fountains.

Thank Tamara M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2013

More people should visit and ponder the implications of how a patch reef (with brain coral similar to those living today at Cheeca Rocks, Hen and Chickens, or The Rocks) could grow at this elevation 125,000 years ago.

The visitor center has excellent displays explaining the history of the area.

Thank Donny B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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