Key West's Best Hikes
Key West has it all. In addition to white sand beaches, crystalline waters and some of the best restaurants and bars around, there are also places where you can get off the beaten track. Enjoy the island’s pristine nature at some of our favorite hiking spots. Our four-mile island features gorgeous, easy walks through some of the natural ecosystems of the Florida Keys.
Fort Zachary Taylor
The 1.2 miles of trails at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park make up the United States’ southernmost hike. They take you along the shoreline and if you keep left at the fork you’ll reach a picnic area with barbecue grills. Go to your right and you can walk along the seawall to take in the views of the fort. There are guided tours of the fort but you can also explore it at your own pace. And, from the moment you reach the parking lot, you’ll note that there is also a spectacular beach. It is truly ideal for sunbathing, swimming and even snorkeling. You can also stop into the Cayo Hueso Café. 601 Howard England Way.
Little Hamaca Park
Little Hamaca has various small paths along with a well-constructed and maintained boardwalk that takes you through the mangroves and salt flats. There is about a half a mile of hiking, and the park’s location offers the chance to spot plenty of wildlife, including the endangered white crest pigeon and maybe even a crocodile. Little Hamaca Park has trailhead parking with room for a few cars. It is bordered on one side by the airport. Government Rd. off of Flagler Ave.
Right in town is this seven-acre lush green space with about a half a mile of paved pathways shaded by a dense tree covering. It’s a calm a tranquil reserve complete with picnic tables and benches. The trail ends at the park’s pond, which is an Audobon sanctuary and features a deck for birdwatching. There are also many other species of wildlife including iguanas, turtles and white-crowned pigeons. At the entrance to the park you’ll pass the Key West Wildlife Center, which is also open to the public. 1801 White St.
Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden
Located on Stock Island, this natural wonder features thematic natural trails and boardwalks with signage. The tours can be viewed on your phone. It also has a butterfly garden, freshwater pond, native plant nursery, large poisonwood trees, Cuban palms and a collection of Cuban chugs. This is the only frost-free botanical garden in the continental United States. 5210 College Road.
During your stay at The Gates you can balance out your time in town with one of these beautiful Key West hikes. Book your room and bring your walking shoes!