Welcome to the Florida Key’s ONLY freshwater lake! The Blue Hole is a local tourist attraction that was born from a former quarry supplying the Florida Key’s with material for road beds in the 1930’s & 40’s along with stones for Henry Flagler’s East Coast Railway. The empty abandoned quarry over the years filled up with rainwater to appear as it does today supplying local wildlife vital freshwater.
Although I was expecting a brighter clearer blue shade of water, I can see how this has become a tourist attraction. If you look at the sign on the blue railing pictured on the left which reads: “Please Do Not Put Hands or Feet Through Railing”… I’ll finish what was left off: “Or You May Lose Them To A Hungry Gator!” Though others and I looked for gators, I’m sad to say we came up empty… but thank goodness, since there’s NO fence or railing stopping the gators from wandering onto the walkways only 6 or 7 feet away from the water’s edge! Don’t even think about going there at night or you might never return from which you came! 🙂 With that said, I saw only a turtle upon a rock and 3 mosquitoes (two of which bit me) 😦 on my journey to the Blue Hole, maybe your visit will produce a greater abundance of wildlife than I encountered! Happy hunting!
You can find this Blue Hole by driving down US-1 to Mile Marker 30.4 bayside and turning onto Key Deer Blvd. Once you’ve turned, simply go down 2.9 miles on your left where you’ll see the 8 car parking lot where you’ll pull in. Oh yeah, it’s against the law to feed the gators either willingly giving them food or being their food… the only difference is that if your their food… you won’t be prosecuted due to lack of remaining evidence!
Crocodile Crossing MM 112.8
There are two ‘Crocodile Crossing’ signs on your way down the Keys. Just taking a photo with or without a family member being in it makes for a good picture to tell your out-of-town friends who’ve NEVER seen or heard of a ‘Crocodile Crossing’ sign. In fact, I’ve been told by a reliable blog reader James W. that it may very well be the only “Crocodile Crossing” signs in the western hemisphere . . . at least in English he adds. 🙂
Being 100% honest… YES, you can see an occasional crocodile heading south on US-1 but nowhere near the amount of alligators you’ll be GUARANTEED of seeing on I-75’s Alligator Alley through the Everglades. And yes, there’s a difference between Florida Key’s Crocodiles -vs- Everglades’ Alligators!
The first sign at MM 112.8 is highly unlikely of a sighting since road construction crews have erected fences on both sides of the road that now sadly appear to be permanent. I’m sure the sign there will eventually come down since it’s no longer possible for a gator to cross. So take a few minutes and get off at the access road at MM 108.2 (southbound before the bridge) where you’ll have your best chance on seeing a crocodile. Notice BOTH the standard yellow diamond road sign and the more unusual lettering on the bridge itself! (seen below)
Oh yeah, DON’T feed the gators, they are wild! In the Everglades, experienced & trained Air Boat tour guides show tourist how much the gators LOVE human food in order to get them closer to the boat for a photo-op; believe it or not it’s those large puffy marshmallows! (fact) 🙂 I can’t stress enough and repeat, DO NOT FEED THE WILD GATORS… or your friends may be calling you lefty after you do! 🙂 That would give a whole new meaning to the term HAND OUT! 🙂
Crocodile Crossing Bridge MM 108.2