Next stop: one of the most famous bridges in the country, at one point even considered to be the 8th Wonder of the World. The highly popular and history-filled Seven Mile Bridge is a famously long box girder bridge located in Monroe County, serving as a connector from Knight’s Key, in Middle Keys, to Little Duck Key, in Lower Keys. This entire bridge was first used by local tycoon Henry Flagler as an ‘Overseas Railroad’, serving the area in the early 1900’s (1912-1935). The bridge was heavily used but destroyed in a local storm in 1935, being reconstructed and converted into an automobile highway in 1978-1982. The total length of this gargantuan over the Moser Channel is 35,720’, a sizable 7-mile long trip over the translucent water below.
This stretch of highway, technically US Rt. 1/ Oversea Highway, provides some of the absolute best views in all of Florida, Thrillist actually voting this the ‘most beautiful place in the state’. You can choose to drive, walk, or ride along the bridge to see all the glorious scenery it provides, from spotting sharks and sea turtles below the water to catching Pelican-filled postcard perfect beach moments above. Bikers really love the2.2-milee ride to Pigeon Key, a sort of mile marker scenic spot to stop, take in the views, and have a picnic/rest. It’s no wonder this massive string of steel and concrete was considered the best engineering marvel of it’s day.
Note: This portion of the highway will be closed until April 2017 due to renovation including additional walkways, pavilions, and parking. This $2 million renovation project begins in July of 2016.