03 Jun Welcome to Biscayne National Park
Biscayne National Park is located in Homestead, Florida at the very southeast tip of the peninsula. It houses the northernmost of the Florida Keys and the third-largest coral reef in the world. The park is 95% water and 5% land so most of the visitors get the most experience out of the park when they visit Boca Chita Key and Elliot Key. Boca Chita has a decorative lighthouse (where the first picture was taken) that allows you to see the key from a bird’s eye view. Aside from the lighthouse, there’s also a marina for boats to dock on, a beach area to swim in, picnic tables to enjoy eating with family/friends, and hiking trails that allow you to learn more about the Key and its history. Elliot Key is a much bigger key with campgrounds, docks to fish from, and longer trails that you can walk down through the entire key. There are other areas in the park that are only accessible by boat like Caesar’s Creek, named after the mythological pirate black Caesar, or Jones Lagoon, named after Israel Lafayette Jones who is a very important historical figure of Biscayne National Park as he was an African-American man who made his way down to the Florida Keys and was able to purchase Porgy Key and maintain the land to harvest pineapples and Key limes with his family during 1897 and make a livelihood here within the park’s bay.
Aside from these keys, the other 5% of land accessible to those that visit the park is Convoy Point Visitor Center. The road to get to this location is the only road within the park’s perimeter. Here, visitors get to ask our staff any questions they may have about our park, walk around our exhibit that talks about the different ecosystems found in our park, touch the many objects we have on our touch table that include shells, animal bones and corals, or watch an informative movie about the park. In Convoy Point tourists also get to purchase souvenirs at the gift shop, purchase boat tours that go out to the locations discussed in the previous paragraph, purchase kayak/canoeing guided tours along our mangroves, or walk down our boardwalk and fish or go birding as they walk along it. Some visitors have been able to spot manatees, dolphins, crocodiles, and frigatebirds from here as well.
At Convoy Point, we have many programs hosted by our park rangers that educate the public on our park. Some programs include botany walks, guided birding walks, and learning about what washes up on our shores or the small organisms we find right at our bay. These programs are for all age groups and the picture and video below show our plankton lab in which we look at microscopic organisms we find in our bay and why they’re important to our ecosystem.
Biscayne National Park has a plethora of experiences to offer. From our mangroves to our coral reefs, there are many organisms that call this place a home, and they can be spotted either from land or water. You will always learn something new when you visit our park, we’re waiting for your visit !