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Fowey Rocks Lighthouse

Updated: Feb 10

Fowey Rocks Light House

The Fowey Rocks Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse on a group of shoals approximately 7 miles southeast from the Cape Florida Lighthouse in Key Biscayne and 5 miles from Soldier Key.

The lighthouse was constructed in 1878 and was put into service the following year. It was built to warn ships of the dangerous rocks and shoals that surround the area and has been an important navigational aid for over a century.

The Fowey Rocks Lighthouse is built on a shallow reef, is constructed of iron and stands 110 feet tall, with a lantern room at the top. The light is still active today and is operated by the United States Coast Guard.

Over the years, the Fowey Rocks Lighthouse has been subject to numerous hurricanes and other severe weather events, which have caused significant damage to the structure. In 1978, the lighthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places, and in 2000, it was designated a National Historic Landmark.

The lighthouse is not open to the public, but it can be viewed from a distance by boat or from nearby parks and beaches.

To reach Fowey Rocks by kayak, your closest launch point will be the Cape Florida Lighthouse Beach at the southernmost point on Key Biscayne. The water is fairly shallow almost the entire way there, with depths never exceeding 50 feet, and is about 20 feet near the lighthouse.

However, be weary of venturing much beyond the lighthouse. You are right at the edge of the continental shelf and on the shore of the gulfstream. Go another thousand feet east, and you'll be in the open ocean where the depths reach into the thousands of feet, and the northern current rarely drops below five knots.

The best conditions to visit the lighthouse are when wind blows from the south, or southeast. That way you will have a tail wind for your return. Southernly winds will also calm the gulfstream which should keep the waves in the area small and with longer periods.

On a clear day you will likely see several day trippers on their pleasure craft. You and your kayak will be their story of the day.

Bring water with you. You're going to need it. From your kayak vantage point, the lighthouse looks a lot closer than it is, and you will at times think you're almost there, when in fact there are still several miles left to go.

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