Biscayne National Park Highpoint Trip Report
two unnamed points (9 ft)
Date: March 12, 2006
Author: Ron Tagliapietra
Dave and Beckie Covill, Nathan Chancy, and I rented a motorboat
at Matheson Hammock SP. Dave passed the motorboat driver's test
for Florida; he was awesome as always. Priorities were the highpoints,
so we visited the two highpoint candidates for the
Dave drove the boat up the Biscayne Bay side past Elliott Key
to the south edge of the national park. We followed the park
boundary near Swan Key to the Atlantic side of the keys, where
we saw several boats stranded on shoals or reefs. We headed for
the easternmost point of land, part of Old Rhodes Key. As we
neared it, we saw the channel between Swan and Old Rhodes Keys
and entered. Just before the channel widens to the west,
we found a spot where the higher ground on Old Rhodes Key touches
the channel. We tied up the boat to mangroves and splashed a
few steps before gaining the high ground. After the initial
trash area, a manway with ribbons brought us to the highpoint
on a quarter mile roundtrip.
Returning to the Atlantic side of the keys, we boated up the
east side of Old Rhodes Key and crossed toward the bay side
south of Elliott Key. After a short stop at the visitor center
on Adams Key, we passed between Rubicon and Reid Keys and reached
the northernmost tip of Totten Key using a very narrow channel.
Dave got us in despite the glare from the westerly sun.
The mangrove area was silty and muddy, but required only a few steps.
Once on land, we hiked about a half mile roundtrip.
There were occasional ribbons, but we eventually lost them.
We did not find the stake near the highpoint, but we did find
an old rusty tractor on the way out.
We camped at the campground on Elliott Key. Camping near the
boat docks reduced mosquito problems to zero, since it was more
open there. We also saw a sting ray as we boated, lobsters from
the shore, and another sting ray from the docks at dusk. In the
morning we snorkeled right off the end of the northernmost dock
with lobsters, parrotfish, grunts, and many other fish.
From the lighthouse on Boca Chita Key, we could see the beautiful
colors of the reef and a manta ray! As we motored home,
we visited Stiltsville, houses on stilts in the ocean!