HEN & CHICKENS REEF

Average Depth: 15 ft. 
Max Depth: 22 ft. 

Hen and Chickens Reef is a protected SPA coral reef that is an extremely popular Florida Keys snorkeling and novice Key Largo diving spot. It is a group of patch reefs whose coral formations from the air appear to radiate outwards from the center like a mother hen surrounded by chickens. What you really see is a beautiful patch reef in shallow water; great for diving and snorkeling. With Brain and Star Coral mounds and Sea Fans so abundant, it’s like a forest of purple trees.

A 35 foot tower rests on the southerly edge of the reef. As it lies closer to shore than most other reefs, it is somewhat more prone to low visibility. It has a great diversity of fish and corals for such a relatively small reef. Massive star coral and brain corals engulf panoramic camera shots. The tragic winter of 1970 destroyed much of Hens & Chickens, but today plumes, fins and candelabra soft coral have begun to colonize the old graveyard. Life continues to proliferate, with snook and small grouper chasing through gorgonians. It’s a nice, shallow dive.

Hen and Chickens is easily accessible and has mooring buoys installed. Giant Christmas tree and brain corals dominate the underwater landscape. Some coral heads are over 15 feet tall. This is a prolific area of corals that almost creates a labyrinth for divers to explore. Even though it’s shallow, no divers ever regret visiting. Hen & Chickens is one of the most unique reefs in all of the Florida Keys.

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