Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park, Islamorada

(4.3/5 based on 190+ reviews on the web)
Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park is a Florida State Park located at mile marker 85.5 near Islamorada. It was a former quarry used by Henry Flagler in the early 1900s to help his building of the Overseas Railroad. Following the railroad's completion, it was a source for decorative stone pieces called Keystone. Now on display are exposed sections of fossilized coral, as well as some of the original quarry machinery. The Hurricane Monument at Mile Marker 82 in Islamorada is constructed of keystone from the quarry.HoursFlorida state parks are open between 8 a.m. and sundown every day of the year (including holidays). The visitor center is open Thursday through Monday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.References and external links Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park at Florida State Parks
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The fossils in the bedrock that had not been mined were fantastic. We had never seen fossil that big. The old machinery that was left just rusting away was also interesting. Not very fancy exhibit but...  more »
  • Park is well planned out and the self guided tours are easy to navigate and fairly easy walking terrain. We completed all the trails in 2 hours, stopping at each of the placards. Only $2.50 admission ...  more »
  • We toured in Jan 17, cooler day so no mosquitos at all, in the 60s. We walked the trails, the guide book has numbered stops and was interesting. The quarry was small but had cool features. Park ranger...  more »
Google
  • A good spot for a picnic lunch and then a walk around the short accessible trails on your way further south/north back to mainland. Fascinating geological stop
  • Nice park with interesting history. So many mosquitoes.
  • One of those places that gets passed by but is so unique and interesting. Self guided trails tell the stories historically and geologically.
  • I'm torn on how to rate this park - I've been spoiled by going to other, much larger, state parks in the past so the short walk around the park wasn't really exciting. That said, admission is incredibly cheap ($2.50 per person, when I went) and you're given a guidebook for your walk that has plenty of information about every tree and fossil formation you might come across. The history of the coral quarry was pretty interesting and being able to touch fossilized coral that is literally 150k years old is pretty cool, I admit. Don't go there if it is raining - went as a storm was rolling in and the park worker warned me to get out as soon as possible if it started raining - there is a lot of poison wood on the path and sensitive individuals can be affected by residual dripping if rain is pouring through them.
  • Colorful and vibrant reefs flourishing with life