New Florida Keys Eco-Experience Trail Pass Connects Visitors to Environment
- Mobile Pass Header
- Pennekamp ParkKayakers paddle along mangroves at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo, Fla. The nation's first underwater preserve encompasses 70 square miles of coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangrove forests. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY (Bob Care/Florida Keys News Bureau)
- Key Largo KayakKayakers paddle adjacent to mangrove islands at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo, Fla. Kayaking is a popular vacation activity in the Florida Keys. Photo by Bob Krist/Florida Keys News Bureau
- Marvin Key KayakersSUGARLOAF KEY, Florida Keys — Kayakers paddle over a stretch of sandy flats near Marvin Key in the Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge. Located a few miles off Sugarloaf Key, Fla., at the edge of the Gulf of Mexico, the region’s islands and inlets offer boaters, flats fishermen and snorkelers a realm of calm, clear waters year-round. (Rob O'Neal/Florida Keys News Bureau)
- Lower Keys
- Marvin Key KayakersSUGARLOAF KEY, Florida Keys — Kayakers ply the sandy flats between uninhabited islands some 5 miles off Sugarloaf Key near mile marker 17. The offshore chain of mangrove islands is home to seabirds including great white heron, ibis, great egret, night heron and great blue heron, among others. (Rob O'Neal/Florida Keys News Bureau)
- Lower Keys CastFlorida Keys, Saltwater fly fisherman stripping line while reeling in catch from flats boat at sunset in the Caribbean ocean.
- Key DeerA Key deer searches for food in the National Key Deer Refuge on Big Pine Key, Fla. About the size of a large dog, the deer are indigenous to the lower Florida Keys and were almost hunted to extinction prior to the establishment of the refuge in 1957. Since then, the size of the herd has increased from less than 50 to about 700 animals. Photo by Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau
Visitors to the Florida Keys can now discover the island chain’s unique eco-attractions and environmental offerings by using the free Florida Keys Eco-Experience Trail pass.
The mobile-exclusive digital pass enables users to check in at area businesses and earn points while exploring the rich natural world and wildlife of the continental United States’ southernmost island chain.
Created by the Florida Keys tourism council and technology company Bandwango, the Eco-Experience Trail pass includes nearly 50 geo-tagged, bookable activities that encourage engagement with the Keys’ environment and sustainability initiatives. Other activities and offerings are to be added in 2024.
After accessing the pass via fla-keys.com/experience, users can activate it and begin exploring parks and nature tours, wildlife centers and refuges, coral restoration opportunities, eco-adventures and more from Key Largo to Key West. Also featured are fishing, diving and snorkeling tours in the protected waters of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary that surrounds the Keys — many conducted by sanctuary-certified Blue Star operators.
Upon checking in at a location on the pass, users receive points based on the level of the experience. Once a specific number of points is earned, passholders can exchange them for Keys-focused prizes. In addition, some participating businesses provide value-added offerings or incentives.
“The Eco-Experience Trail pass is an easy-to-use, mobile-based ‘passport’ that introduces visitors to the best of the Florida Keys’ natural attractions,” said Rita Irwin, chair of the Keys tourism council. “Once they connect with the island chain’s environment, they can make eco-conscious choices that help protect it.”
Eco-Experience Trail pass information and access: fla-keys.com/experience