We found a new way to have fun. Now that there is a finished bike path from the northern end of Summerland Key all the way past us to the beginning of Sugarloaf Key we can hop on our bicycles and bar hop.
First stop: South 3 miles to the KOA Campground Bar
Second stop: Across the Overseas Highway to Mangrove Mama’s
Third stop: Back 3 miles north to our own Square Grouper
Fourth stop: Further north 3 miles to The Wharf Bar and Grill.
Then south again 3 miles back to Jolly Roger Drive.
The only thing you have to watch out for is when the bike path crosses the Highway. When this occurs you need to be VERY careful. However, we even had the traffic stop for us. That was kind of scary. Otherwise it is wait for an opening and make a dash for it!
The Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail (FKOHT) is coming to Cudjoe Key. The “Old State Road 4” road bed, which was all overgrown and ripped up, first got graded and prepped for paving. Then it got paved. Very nice!
It now runs way past Blimp Road, all the way to where it will cross the highway around the Sheriff’s Substation. This is part of the Summerland Key to Sugarloaf Key trail section. All of it is under construction.
This makes the bike trip to the end of Blimp Road a very pleasant trip. No more branches in the face. The trip to the KOA Campground Bar and Mangrove Mama’s is also now a breeze. Who knows, maybe Sugarloaf Lodge and the Bat Tower will be on the Biking from Cudjoe short list.
I have no idea when it will be completed, but it shouldn’t be too long. I can’t find an updated schedule on the internet.
For more information about the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail go to: http://fkoht.net/.
Two Tandem Recreational Kayaks
We have two tandem kayaks with two paddles and two life jackets for each. You can paddle across the bay, explore the local canals, or put them on top of your car and take a back country kayak trip. Lots of fun!
We have six of these Mango Cruiser bicycles in the storage room. They are all aluminum so they don’t rust. They are great for riding around the neighborhood or up to the fish market to get seafood for dinner. There are also lots of places in the local area to go exploring, like Blimp Road or Loop Road. Also, it looks like the Overseas Highway Bike Path is going to be completed in this area pretty soon. They are working on it like crazy.
There are three boys bikes and three girls bikes. They all have gears. four of them have seven gears, two of them have three gears.
Each bike has a removable basket and a lock. Three have pumps.
While out fishing on the flats one day, we spotted an Eagle Ray not too far from the boat.
We manuevered a bit and managed to get near enough to get this close up. You can really see the Eagle Ray’s distinctive spotted pattern.
We were out behind Cudjoe, pretty close to Sawyer Key.
On the way back from the flats we came across this sight. It is a classic “mud.” A mud is formed when fish stir up the “mud” by rooting around on the sea floor for food or a when group of predator fish do the same thing while attacking other fish.
In this case, the predators are dolphins. There were four of them going round and round and up and down feeding on some little fish we couldn’t quite spot.
The second photo shows three of them leaving the mud.
This is a great trip! I am a little hesitant to recommend it because it is pretty expensive and we were so lucky with the weather and with hardly anyone else on the boat. We took the Yankee Freedom II, a fast catamaran that runs from Key West to the Dry Tortugas on a daily basis.
The trip was wonderful, but there were only a few people on the boat. It could really have been crowded and that would not have been as nice. Also, the weather was wonderful.
The arrival at the park is very impressive. The fort appears rise right out of the sea, probably because it does.
You can also get to the park by sea plane. This costs more, and you don’t get to stay as long, but I bet it is a spectactular trip and arrival.
When you go by boat they provide a nice picnic lunch and you have plenty of time to frolic in the water (great snorkling, gear provided) and to tour the fort.
The fort is quite interesting. The Park Service guide gives a comprehensive explanation.
The top of the fort provides a nice view of the other islands that make up the park. These islands are home to a plethora of sea birds.