Only in the Keys can you find a island named No Name. It is a small island only accessible via one road. Drive to the eastern tip of Big Pine Key, cross the bridge over Bogie Channel & you are there.
No Name Key has a number of things which make it unique, not the least of which is being almost entirely under the auspices of the Federal Government as the vast majority of the island’s acreage is part of the National Key Deer Refuge. This refuge is a part of the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges.
Another unique aspect of No Name Key is that for the few people who live there, there is no commercial electricity, water or sewer. Wind, solar and other generator power are the order of the day. Cisterns catch the usually more than adequate rainfall.
One final fascinating historical fact about No Name Key: It was the staging area for the disastrous Bay of Pigs attempted invasion of Cuba.
This arrangement leaves most of No Name Key pristine and untouched. The Key is home to the largest herd of Key Deer in existence. The best viewing time for them is dawn & dusk, although there is always a chance of seeing a few during the day, especially during the late afternoon, browsing at the edge of the road. Please remember that it is against the law to feed or otherwise bother the Key Deer.
Other denizens of the Key Deer Refuge include Marsh Rabbits, Turkey Vultures, Seagulls, Pelicans, Egrets, Herons, Osprey, Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnakes, Alligators, and sometimes Crocodiles. All told, the Key Deer Refuge is home to 22 species of plants and animals, listed as endangered or threatened, including 5 species found nowhere else in the world.
The parts of the island that are the Key Deer Refuge have many trails which are open only to hikers & bicyclists. No powered vehicles are allowed in the Refuge. But the walks are exquisite. Wildlife and an amazing assortment of plants greet you at every turn. The Key Deer are estimated to eat over 150 types of plants so there are way more than that to be seen.
The Key Deer Refuge is only open during the daylight hours. For more information call the Refuge office at 305-872-2239.