Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botantical State Park

Monroe County

borrow pit
County Road 905, Mile Marker 106
Key Largo


The Florida Keys are incredibly rich when it comes to natural resources. National Key Deer Refuge, Curry Hammock State Park, Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden and every park and preserve not listed here, all stand out as gems in their own way. But any discussion of the most important of these places has to include Dagny Johnson Key Largo Botanical State Park, both for its bounty and it's history. It is a prime example of what ordinary citizens can accomplish when they work together for the public good even against rich and powerful forces.

For us, this page is what the Wiki folks would call a stub. Our only visit came late in the day years ago as we were returning home from our first visit to the Keys, so what we offer here is limited. But we think Dagny Johnson is important enough so that we decided to publish this page anyway despite its limitations, with the hope of a more thorough re-visit in the coming months.

History: By all rights, Key Largo Hammock should be a condo development and would have been had it not been for the efforts of Anna Dagny Johnson and other Key Largo citizens and citizen groups, who fought a 25-year battle to preserve the natural resources of Key Largo and to establish the state park, which is named in her honor. Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park opened in 1982.

What You'll See: The largest tract of West Indian hardwood hammock in the country is within the park's 2,421 acres. There are nearly 500 species of plants, many of which are state or federally protected as either endangered or threatened. In fact there are 84 protected plant and animal species that call the park home, including the rare and reclusive American crocodile. Like all parks and preserves within the Keys, it's a great place to bird watch year round, but particularly during the fall migration.

Amenities: The main trail is a half-mile long and paved. There are miles of gravel and natural-surface trails throughout the park suitable for hiking or biking. The trails are dotted with interpretive signs and kiosks. There is a butterfly garden, a picnic area, a composting toilet restroom but no drinking water. There is limited parking at the main entrance, which can be full, particularly at certain times during winter. There is a second, backcountry entrance a few miles down the road from the main.

Nearby: The John D. Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is to the south a few miles down the road at 102601 Overseas Highway. Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge is nearby at 10750 County Rd 905, Key Largo, but has limited visitor access.

Of Note: There is a park entrance fee handled through an honor system. Park hours are sunrise to sunset every day of the year. A pass is required to hike the backcountry, and may be obtained at nearby Pennekamp State Park.

Links: The Institute for Regional Conservation's inventory of plants for Dagny Johnson is here. The Great Florida Birding Trail's take on Dagny Johnson is here.

Virtual Tour

Cover Photo: A borrow pit that sits a short distance off the main trail. This is our favorite photo of Dagny Johnson and our favorite view.
Getting There ...
Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park is situated on Key Largo a half mile north of U.S. ! along County Road 905. From the mainland, take U.S. 1 to County Road 905 and turn left. From the south along U.S ! turn right. The entrance is on the right.

Photo Gallery for Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botantical State Park

Click on the photograph to see an enlarged image. Click on the name to read more about the species.

Published by Wild South Florida, PO Box 7241, Delray Beach, FL 33482.
Photographs by David Sedore. Photographs are property of the publishers and may not be used without permission.