April 2019 – Biscayne National Park has reopened the hiking trail known as “Spite Highway” on Elliott Key to visitors for the first time since September 2017 when Hurricane Irma toppled trees along the route. See the park announcement below for details:
Date: April 30, 2019
Elliott Key’s “Spite Highway” Reopened to Visitors
HOMESTEAD, FL – Work to clear Elliott Key’s “Spite Highway” was completed last week allowing visitors to once again enjoy the historical hiking trail. The trail had been closed to visitors since September 2017 due to fallen trees and debris left by Hurricane Irma.
The funding for the Elliott Key project was made possible by the United States Congress, who dedicated $6.4 million to support this and more than 20 other vital repair projects at Biscayne National Park related to Hurricane Irma’s impact.
Clearing the trail posed significant challenges because heavy equipment and personnel had to be transported more than 8.5 miles across Biscayne Bay to the key. It took 3 weeks to complete the task with a team of 6 to 8 people working each day to cut and clear debris in hot, humid and buggy conditions. “Spite Highway” came into existence in 1968 when developers, in a last ditch effort to spoil the land for preservation, ordered a 6-lane wide, 7 mile long swath be bulldozed down the center of Elliott Key. Today, it is the longest hiking trail in the park and a favorite of visitors who wish to explore more of the island’s natural beauty.