Monday, February 24, 2014

Key West and the Florida Keys: Big Pine home of Key Deer

We do a lot of driving in the Florida Keys, and we are always especially careful when driving through Big Pine, home of the Key Deer National Wildlife Refuge.  You are most likely to see Key Deer around dusk - but be careful - we've seen them wonder right up to the street on US 1 even south of the traffic light.  If you go during the day you'll need to turn at the light to visit the center in Big Pine Key Plaza.  If you are willing to go a bit further you'll find a peaceful refuge, but don't expect to see many deer in the afternoon.

Speed kills Key Deer.  You'll see lots of signs warning you to slow down for the habitat if you travel in the Lower Keys.  The habitat actually has a lower night time speed limit but you can still come up on a tiny Key Deer pretty fast even at 35mph when it is dark.  So the next time to come to the other side of seven mile slow down on Big Pine and take a side trip to look for Key Deer, and try to find the nature path you see in the pictures so you can walk in the footsteps of Josh and Joe Travels!

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