Blue Hole and Nature Trails: National Key Deer Refuge Professional Guide
Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook
"The Keys is an amazing place, but probably one of the most peculiar locations is Big Pine Key in the Lower Keys, the hub of the National Key Deer Refuge. The refuge, established in 1957, encompasses 8,542 acres that also includes part of adjacent No Name Key. Despite the building boom on Big Pine Key, 2,278 acres are still designated as wilderness.
National Key Deer Refuge may be the only refuge dedicated anywhere to the white-tailed deer, a particularly diminutive variety of it. An estimated 800 of the animals, weighing no more than a large dog, survive on a handful of Lower Keys islands. The refuge has achieved remarkable success in bringing back the Key deer population from the 1940s when their number was only an estimated twenty-seven to fifty animals."