The Florida Keys Wilderness now contains a total of 6,197 acres and is managed by the Fish & Wildlife Service. All of the Wilderness is in the state of Florida. In 1975 the Florida Keys Wilderness became part of the now over 110 million acre National Wilderness Preservation System. In wilderness, you can enjoy challenging recreational activities and extraordinary opportunities for solitude. In an age of "...increasing population, accompanied by expanding settlement and growing mechanization,..." you play an important role in helping to "...secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness" as called for by Congress in the Wilderness Act of 1964. Please follow the regulations in place for this area, and use Leave No Trace techniques when visiting to ensure protection of its unique natural and experiential qualities.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport are generally prohibited on all federal lands designated as wilderness. This includes the use of motor vehicles (including OHVs), motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters, unless provided for in specific legislation. In a few areas some exceptions allowing the use of motorized equipment or mechanical transport are described in the special regulations in effect for a specific area. Click here for additional regulations or contact the agency.
REFUGE RANGER: James Bell
179 Key Deer Blvd.
Big Pine Key Plaza
Big Pine key, FL 33043
Visitor Center - M - F, 9 - 4 Summer - M - Wed
The wilderness islands in National Key Deer Refuge overlaps Great White Heron NWR. These two areas lie north of the main Florida Keys in the Gulf of Mexico with Key West to the west and Marathon to the east, an area approximately 50 miles wide and five to 10 miles deep. Key West NWR is a rectangle approximately 15 miles north and south and 25 miles east and west. The refuge begins just west (1 mile) of Key West, the western most town in the Florida Keys. The western boudnary is just west of the Marquesas Keys. Access to either of the wilderness areas is by boat only. Public and private boat launches are available throughout the keys.
FWS - Fish and Wildlife Service