Boot Key Harbor
"Marathon- the Heart of the Florida Keys"

An On-Line Cruising Guide for the Florida Keys & Cuba
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                              NOTE: The Lodge has been closed since 2005 - please check with the Everglades National Park to see when it might re-open (if ever).
The information is left posted here in case they get it re-opened again, and we'll then update these pages.
CLICK for more information - park service.

Flamingo Lodge & Marina (CLOSED)
www.flamingolodge.com

Flamingo marina opens to the backcountry and Florida Bay. The marina store offers camping supplies, groceries, souvenirs and other items.

The lodge offers rooms, swimming pool, restaurant, gift shop, marina, store, sightseeing cruises, charter fishing & boat & bicycle rentals.

Flamingo Lodge & Marina
#1 Flamingo Lodge Hwy, Flamingo FL 33034-6798

Everglades National Park
www.nps.gov/ever 

Flamingo Lodge is almost directly North of Marathon, in the middle of Everglades National Park. It has a marina, lodge, restaurant and covered swimming pool. Phone is 941-695-3101 ext 245 (or 800-600-3813). Guy Leach runs the Marina (08/00). However, slip reservations are made through the Activities Desk at ext 286. Guests can also drive to the Flamingo Lodge by turning West at the one main intersection in Florida City off US1. Signs mark the way to the Everglades National Park. Because of mosquitoes, winter is the best time to visit, but is workable from about November through May. The swimming pool and facilities are well screened.

The lodge is open year round with 103 comfortable, air-conditioned rooms and 24 cottages with kitchen facilities, plus the swimming pool overlooking Florida Bay. The Restaurant overlooks Florida Bay and numerous keys. It features an extensive menu of seafood, steak, chicken, vegetarian dishes and local specialties. The bar serves exotic concoctions including the Flamingo Sunset, Rumrunner and a Coco Loco. From November to April, breakfast, lunch and dinner are served. During the summer season continental breakfast is available for lodge guests, and light meals, sandwiches and salads are available at the marina store.  The Buttonwood patio serves pizza, salad, sandwiches, and tropical drinks. It's open from December to April. Flamingo Lodge accommodations are clean and comfortable; most rooms offer great views of the surrounding scenery.

Everglades National Park: Flamingo Lodge is in the middle of the Everglades National Park, with a Park Ranger Station located at the Lodge. The Everglades are protected under 36 CFR-7.45 . Park Boundaries are marked on the nautical charts, but cover a considerable portion of Florida Bay, coming within a mile or two of the Upper Keys down to about Long Key. The killing, collecting or molesting of animals, the collecting of plants, and waterskiing are prohibited by Federal Regulations. For the protection of wildlife, all Keys in the Florida Bay portion of Everglades National Park are closed to landing except those marked as designated camping areas. A backcountry use permit is required for overnight camping and can be obtained at part Ranger Stations. Very nice beaches line the South shore of the Florida peninsula from Cape Sable eastward toward Flamingo. The water is very shallow far out from these beaches though, so anchor and dinghy or walk in. Thereís not much protection though in bad weather except for Flamingo marina. Airboats, swamp buggies, Jet Skis and all-terrain vehicles are not permitted in the Everglades park. Firearms and hunting are prohibited. Metal detectors are prohibited.  Pets must be leashed in the parks and are not allowed on trails or the amphitheaters (besides, you don't want the alligators to eat them).

At left, Shark Valley is known for its observation tower, lots of alligators and a two hour tram tour. Located at the north end of the everglades.

Park Headquarters 305-242-7700
Emergencies 305-247-7272
Lost & Found

305-242-7700

Camping Information 305-242-7700
Campground Reservations 305-365-2267
Special Services (handicap) 305-242-7700
Lodging Reservations 800-600-3813 or
941-695-3101
Boat Tours / Rentals 941-695-3101
Shark Valley Tram Tours 305-221-8455

Fishing in salt or freshwater requires a Florida fishing license. The saltwater license is sold in the park, but not the freshwater. Swimming in everglades waters is not recommended for obvious reasons. Alligators tend to eat things like children, pets and sometimes adults. They look sluggish but can move quite quickly. Four types of poisonous snakes are found in S. Florida including diamondback and pygmy rattlesnakes, coral snakes (red, black, yellow rings) and water moccasins that swim on the surface. Bug spray is a must. Enjoy, but pay attention.

Swimming in the everglades to scrub your waterline is not recommended. Alligators tend to eat things like pets, small children, and the occasional boater.

Wilderness Waterway: The wilderness waterway extends throughout the Everglades. Buttonwood canal from Flamingo Lodge leads directly into the waterway and is good for exploration by dinghy. This waterway goes on for miles and can become complex. . Take a VHF radio and bug spray if you go. Donít get lost. Navigation of the Wilderness Waterway is not advisable for boats over 18 feet in length or for boats with high cabins and windshields, because of the narrow channels and overhanging foliage in some areas. For additional information use charts 11433, 11432 and 11430. It's about 17nm from Flamingo marina, up the wilderness waterway to Little Shark River.

Navigation: Approximately 30nm NNE of Marathon in the Middle Keys. Starting at the Oceanside of the 7 mile bridge, by Knights Key channel, by the new R19 daymark below Bethel Bank, itís a heading of about 009M and approximately 21.4nm to the R2 mark just West of 1st National Bank Shoal. Youíll turn to starboard (East) here following the channel below middle ground into Flamingo - about another 7nm into the Flamingo Lodge & Marina. Itís not a straight shot so pay attention to the Daymarks and then follow the Flamingo Channel in for about 1nm.
An alternative route from Marathon for shallow draft boats with experienced navigators is the shortcut through Man of War Channel, then Clive Key Channel and Conchie Channel. The Chart shows the area around Clive Key down to about 3 feet. Much of the rest is 4-5 feet - but much less on the shoals. This cuts through Dildo Key bank. Not recommended unless you know what youíre doing or follow someone with local knowledge and have an appropriate sized boat. Remember the fines for grounding!

 

Charts:
Waterproof Chart #33E of Florida Bay. Covers from Knightís Key Channel into Flamingo and Florida Bay.
Alternatively: NOAA Charts:
            11452-1 Florida Keys, Alligator Reef to Sombrero Key 1:80,000 plus;
            11449-2 Intracoastal Waterway Grassy Key to Bahia Honda Key 1:40,000
            11433-1 Florida Everglades National Park Whitewater Bay 1:50,000

Waypoints from Marathon:     Flamingo Lodge itself (not for navigation) 25.08.554N 080.55.364W
  
                 Flamingo Channel Entrance: 25.07.419N 080.55.789W at Outer Channel Light #G9
  
                 R2 Buoy below Cape Sable 25.05.00N 080.04.98W, where turn starts to East
  
                 Bethel Bank light East: 24.43.73N 081.07.5W, just above Marathon & Knights Key

CLICK HERE for a chart view of Flamingo & the approach Channel.

SIDE TRIPS: The Little Shark River and Tarpon Bay (about 15 miles up into the Everglades) are not far from Flamingo and make a good side trip for a couple days or so.

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Boot Key Harbor website created and maintained by Capt. Gregory T. Absten, Marathon.  - A Boater's Guide to the Florida Keys & Cuba
Copyright 2000-2012 Gregory T. Absten