Florida Scenics Blog- The art of Sharon Osterholt

The Florida State Park Plein Air Painting Tour – Painting each of Florida's State Parks on location

Park #133 -Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park

This interesting park is just north of Islamorada in the middle keys. It preserves the old limestone fossil quarry that was used to build Flagler’s Overseas Railroad. Once the railroad was complete, the quarry’s “key stones” were used for many decorative building projects.

There are trails that wind around the property. Some sections from the earlier years have been reclaimed by nature with trees sprouting up through the stone walls. Some machinery is also still here, reminders of how things were done in the old days!

In the visitors center are some displays about the quarry and construction of the railway. There are also samples of the stone. Small 2″ squares of stone – some where heavy stone, and others the same size were super light from the tunnels and shapes of the coral. The exterior of the visitor center also had columns made from the quarry’s stone.

At first I thought I would paint one of the old walls with a tree growing through it, but then I saw the backside of the two story visitors center overlooking the quarry. It almost looked antebellum with the white columns!

For more information about this park, visit their website


Visitor’s center at Windley Key – 6×8″ oil on canvas panel


2 comments on “Park #133 -Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park

  1. marge drew
    December 17, 2015

     This is a very impressive park!  It is difficult to believe that a stone wall that thick would exist in the keys Fascinating history.. Wonderful photos!! Lovely painting!Thanks for sharing I hope one day to actually get to  keys.butits not looking probable so I am glad for your blog Thanks tons


    • FlaScenics
      December 18, 2015

      Thank you Marg’e, I know it’s hard to think of the keys having such a stone quarry. The walls are interesting and filled with fossils of shells and coral. There is no water acess here, and Rick was wishing there was a place to fish though!

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