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USA Parks
Southeast Region
Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park
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P.O. Box 1052
Islamorada, Florida   33036

Phone: 305-664-2540
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 Friday through Sunday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., features educational exhibits about the history of this site. Located at Mile Marker 85.5 on Windley Key near Islamorada.
History of the Area
Various tribes of Native Americans inhabited the Keys before the first European explorers arrived. Middens and other remains are located throughout the islands documenting their earliest human occupation. After Key West was settled, "Conch" families moved up the Keys to establish small farming and fishing communities. In the mid-1800s, the Russell family homesteaded Umbrella Key, Windley?s earlier name. The Russell family lived on the land until it was sold to the Florida East Coast Railway in 1908 for $852.80. From that time, until the final completion of the Overseas Railroad, the quarries along the tract were used to supply thousands of tons of fill for the railbed and the bridge approaches.

The railroad was completed in 1912 and the quarries and Windley Key Station continued to serve in many ways. Local trains stopped daily to deliver much needed fresh water from the mainland and pick up mail and passengers. On return trips, shipments of polished "keystone" were railed back to the mainland. This keystone, a decorative building stone, can be seen on several buildings throughout the United States including the St. Louis Post Office, an altar in a New York City chapel and many other locations. Local examples include the Alison Fahrer Environmental Education Center at Windley Key and the Hurricane Monument located in the center of Islamorada. The quarry was active into the 1960s and today stands as a preserved geological treasure. The clean cuts of the quarry machinery reveal the perfectly preserved fossilized specimens of a variety of ancient coral animals. The park offers a rare opportunity to professional geologists and curious visitors to compare the living corals of today with their fossilized ancestors. The limestone cuts also reveal the thin layer of soil that supports the abundant variety of botanical life that thrives in the subtropical environment of the Keys.
Annual Entrance Passes can be purchased at all park ranger stations and museums. If you require immediate use of your pass, this is the best option. Passes can be purchased during regular business hours 365 days a year. Please call the park in advance to ensure availability. Those who are eligible for discounted or free passes may use this method to receive their pass. Annual Entrance Passes may be purchased online by visiting the FLORIDA STATE PARKS ANNUALENTRANCE PASSES web page.
Visitors Center
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. The Visitor Center is open Friday through Sunday from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park is located near Key Largo

Picnic tables are placed throughout the park?s quarries. Shady tables, however, are limited.
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.
Guided Tours
Guided tours of the park are available Friday through Sunday at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Tour fee is $2.50 per person, children under 6 admitted free. Self-guided tours are $1.50 per person, children under 6 admitted free.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
June 29 Fossils, Machinery, Tracks ohh my by Karen_W
park review stars; one to five We really enjoyed this park. The massive coral wall was beautiful with the imprints and tree roots growing through it. There is machinery and railroad tracks to explore. We enjoyed the trails as well. We definitely recommend this park.
September 28 beautiful ! your Ranger is so helpful! by Mary from Ohio
park review stars; one to five Thank you Ranger Kevin for helping my daughter and I enjoy your park - with showing us the trail guide, native shells & native species info, and a treasure trove of history. we thoroughly enjoyed your hospitality & awesome smile & friendliness :) We loved the shade of the trees & as a horticulturist, I was fascinated by all the Florida trees & id you have posted on them. what an great park! Thank you!
November 7 Best rangers in Florida by Jasmine Ilia
park review stars; one to five The Rangers Matt and Bob were the most friendly and helpfull in Florida. They made our experience fun and educational
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Area Campgrounds
Blue Fin Rock Harbor RV Park & Marina
36 East 2nd Street
Key Largo, FL
Blue Fin Rock Harbor RV Park & Marina
36 East 2nd Street
Key Largo, FL
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Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park is located on Windley Key at Mile Marker 85.5 near Islamorada.

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Florida State Parks