Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park - Key Biscayne (June 2, 2008)
The Cape Florida Lighthouse is one of the most celebrated landmarks owned by the State of Florida. The historic compound in Bill Baggs State Park and Recreation Area includes the newly restored, 95-foot white-brick tower and a replica of the lighthouse keeper's 1825 cottage.
The original lighthouse and cottage, built in 1825, were attacked and burned in 1836 by Seminole warriors protesting U.S. presence in the South Florida wilderness and resisting deportation from Florida to the West. When the lighthouse was rebuilt in 1855-1856, it was extended from 65 feet to its present height, and wooden stairs were replaced with 119 spiraling iron steps to the top.
The lighthouse rises on the southernmost tip of Key Biscayne overlooking the rest of the more than 500-acre Bill Baggs State Park. Visitors may want to picnic, sunbathe, swim, fish, or follow paths through the ecologically restored interior, traveling on foot or bicycle from beachside to bayside on the Key Biscayne Heritage Trail.