and Layton

By  Mike Miller Updated November 28, 2023

Long Key is in the middle Florida Keys about halfway between Islamorada and Marathon.

It is home to a small village, Layton (population about 200), and Long Key State Park, a popular camping destination if you are lucky enough to get a campsite.

Zane Grey Doing What He LovedZane Grey Doing What He Loved

During the early days of Henry Flagler's construction of the Key West extension of the Florida East Coast Railway, Long Key became the location of lodging for many of the railroad workers and also had a railroad station.

Long Key, FloridaLong Key, Florida

Long Key might have remained largely unknown except for its fishing camp known as the Long Key Fishing Club.

The most prominent member of this club was novelist Zane Grey, famous for his 1912 novel "Riders Of The Purple Sage".

Riders of the Purple Sage Movie PosterRiders of the Purple Sage Movie Poster

Henry Flagler had built the fishing camp in 1908 to serve tourists arriving by train in the Florida Keys.

Other members of the fishing club included Herbert HooverAndrew MellonFranklin RooseveltWilliam Randolph Hearst and many other famous people.

The Hurricane of 1935The Hurricane of 1935

The awful hurricane of 1935 destroyed Flagler's railroad and the Long Key fishing camp.

For years after the hurricane, Long Key was a lonely place.

Things changed when the village of Layton was developed in the 1960s and Long Key State Park was created.

A popular restaurant in the Long Key area is Lazy Days Restaurant in Islamorada.

Long Key State Park

Long Key State ParkLong Key State Park

This beautiful state park is on 965 acres and is a popular camping location.  All of Long Key's campsites are oceanfront with great views and nice breezes. 

The park opened in 1969, and getting a site is difficult because it is so popular.  It's easier to get a site in the summer, but the bugs can be real bad about that time.



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