Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail

Ever hear of the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail? It's a fairly new 106 mile multi-use scenic trail system extending from Key Largo to Key West utilizing 36 historic Flagler Railroad bridges and running parallel to US-1.

Ten years in the making (and still not fully completed), the pathway permits running, bicycling, hiking, sightseeing, fishing, and kayaking. Planners envision a world class integrated system of smooth bike paths, educational kiosks, picnic areas, scenic outlooks, fishing piers, boat ramps, water access points, nature trails and amenities. 

This year construction is planned for nine more improved portions of the trail (including retrofits of five bridges) and seven more areas improved for 2010 including a trailhead and offices in Key Largo.

Islamorada locals Holly Padgett, Cathy Rakov, Sara Bernardin, and Nancy Kluger recently geared up their bicycles and left from Plantation Key heading to Key West. Their 1st annual journey was divided into three days of about 30 scenic miles per day. According to the ladies it was the perfect pace (not overly aggressive) to have time to see the sights, stop along the way for snacks and lunch, and arrive at a nice hotel by mid-afternoon for some fun in the evening. Their overnight stops included Hawks Cay Resort before Marathon, Parmers Resort in Big Pine Key, and the grand finale at The Southernmost Hotel in Key West. 

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Way to go Sara... I was wondering if next year you were going to make the trip on a P & P bike?

Wayne

Anonymous said...

hi Jim - could you list the resort's street address somewhere? we're trying to program GPS to come down on Thurs from Miami?

thx - Mary H.

Jim said...

Hi Mary, our address at Pines & Palms is 80401 Old Highway, Islamorada, FL 33036

TheVintageHusband said...

Hi Jim, just checking out your website and blog. We are heading down your way in June and thinking about possibly staying with you for a couple days. Looks like a great place to stay. Hope to see you in June. Brett

Anonymous said...

Hi Jim! My husband just called you guys today and booked us for May. This is our second time to stay at your place and we couldn't wait to get back there. See ya'll in May!

Tammie N

Jim said...

Thanks Tammie, we look forward to seeing you again. Let us know if we can help you with fishing or other activities.

Anonymous said...
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J. Ryan said...
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J. Ryan said...

Hi Jim, How are the "Unfinished" sections of this trail? Are they difficult to navigate?

Jim said...

Mr. Ryan,
The unfinished sections of the trail are no problem to navigate. If fact, my wife and her friends are doing the same trip again this year, leaving February 7th. As these sections are finished (more have been completed since the article was written) the trail just gets better. Let me know if you are planning a trip or need more info on the trail.
Jim

J. Ryan said...

Thanks for the info, Jim. My wife and I have been looking for a fun and interesting place to tour on our bikes. Our home town of Bradenton, Fl doesn't offer much for cyclists. We may also be interested in staying at your resort. What type of attractions are near?

Jim said...

There are plenty of attractions throughout the Florida Keys... it all depends on what you want to do. From eco-tourism to cultural attractions, there is literally too much to see and do on one trip.

Near Islamorada, we have a number of art galleries, great shopping & dining, the Everglades National Park on the bay side, the only living coral reef in North America on the other side, the best historical dive museum in the country, Lignumvitae State Park (the most preserved/natural island in the Florida Keys), various beaches, birding, eco-tours, and on and on.

If you want to bike to Key West, we could help you arrange accommodations along the way. It's an easy 3 day trip from Pines & Palms. The return trip is more difficult because heading back you would be riding against the wind.

Give us a call at 800-624-0964 if you would like to make a reservation or contact me in person.

Jim

Charles said...

I plan on biking in the keys this year. I can't wait. Nice blog. All the best.

Jim said...

Hi Charles,
Stop by Pines & Palms at mm 80.4 and say hello.
Jim