Entry gate to Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park
Entry gate to Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park
Plaque and information kiosk at the Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park trailhead

Once upon a time the property that is now the Dagny Johnson Key Largo Botanical State Park was slated to become just another condominium development in the Florida Keys. Today, the park contains one of the largest remaining tropical hardwood hammocks in the United States and is home to 84 protected species of flora and fauna. Among those protected species are mahogany mistletoe, wild cotton, Schaus' swallowtail butterfly and the American crocodile. Administration happens via nearby John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and for access to the backcountry trails, you need to go there and fill out a backcountry permit form. Possession of a completed form allows access to some six miles of backcountry trails that allow you an opportunity to see and visit with some of the other protected species found using the park. The primary self-guided nature trail is 1/2 mile long and is accessed at the front gate. That trail is paved and universally accessible while the others are not. About halfway down that main nature trail is a native plant butterfly garden with two picnic tables across the way (no fires are allowed and this is a pack-it-in, pack-it-out facility).

Dagny Johnson Key Largo Botanical State Park is open for day use only from 8 am until sunset every day of the year. To get there: At mile marker 106 on US Highway 1 turn north on Monroe County Road 905 and go 1/2 mile to the park entrance.