Thursday, June 6, 2013

ft Desoto Park

Florida Olsdcool Camper Rentals 

is lucky to have Ft De Soto Park 
 in our back yard. It has one of the best campgrounds 
in all of Florida, with Shell Island & Egmont Key close by.

The great thing about this park is it has 7 miles of coastline,
where you can always seem to find a place to call yours for the day.

The great thing about taveling in a VW Bus... 
Once you find a spot you can dine with the view of your choice, 
and then take a nap at any of Floirda's great parks. 

Ft De Soto is the largest park within the Pinellas County Park System, It consists of 1,136 acres made up of five interconnected islands (keys). 
With over 7 miles of coastline, it is easy to find a non crowd spot to call yours for the day. 

These keys are home to beach plants, mangroves, wetlands, palm hammocks, hardwoods and scores of native plants. Each of these species plays a vital role in the preservation and protection of the natural environment.

Ft De Soto County Park with natural sandy beaches, Fort De Soto was named America’s Top Beach for 2009 by Trip Advisor, the world's largest online travel community. In 2005, “Dr. Beach,” named Fort De Soto the nation’s #1 Beach.

The view from Ft De Soto's south beach looking over Krazy Karl at the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.


This is an areal view of Ft DeSoto in the red. You can see just how large the park is. It is a wildlife paradise! This is the largest park in Pinellas County Park System.It consists of 1,136 acres made up of 5 interconnected islands (keys).

With over 7 miles of waterfront, includes almost three miles of beautiful white sandy beach. Two large swim centers including a food concession area located at the North Beach Swim Center a lifeguard is on duty 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily on a seasonal basis from March to September.

Ft De Soto has two fishing piers-each pier has a food and bait concession.
Gulf & Bay Pier Hours: 7 a.m. - 11 p.m.

Last Christmas and New Years we had the pleasure of renting the buses to this family. They had a wonderful fun filled vacation. They seen more of Florida in the 2 weeks of travel than many see living here a life time! This is at Ft De Soto at the end of their trip. When they pulled up to the shop they were late due to a wrong turn on a kayak! They jumped out of the bus with straw hats and bare feet. I loved it! A true vision of a great VW road trip!

Krazy Karl at Ft De Soto packed and ready for an adventure! We do offer kayak and bike rentals. Please ask when booking to make sure we have availablity.

Fort De Soto is great as many sites have trees that are perfect for a hammock. 
Could this have been planned?

Ft DeSoto Campground is one of the best. - 238-site family camping areas with facilities, many sites are waterfront, with large oak trees for shade and palm trees in between. They have a long bike/walking trail, a great play ground in the campground. Also, if you feel adventurous, they offer a ferry boat ride (extra charge) to Egmont Key, which once held Fort Dade. A lighthouse (not open to climb) with a brick road and trail that winds thru the island. Gopher turtles are very common as well as waterfowl.

Bay Beaches are located in the campground, but you would need to ride a bike or drive a short distance to the Gulf of Mexico Beaches. If you get a water front site, bring a float!

Fort De Soto has the only four 12 inch seacoast rifled mortars (model 1890 mounted on 1896 carriages) in the continental United States. Also at the fort are two 6 inch Armstrong rapid fire rifled guns. (model 1898) which were originally mounted atFort Dade, and are the last two guns of that model year in the United States.

Historic fort located in the Fort De Soto Park, with a short walk to beach. 

If you opt to drive to the beach, there are picnic tables and grills scattered all over the park. 15 picnic shelters, restrooms, and play grounds.

Here is a retro post card from the shack near the fort. It is a great little place with Panama Jack hats, food, ice cream, beach toys, sun screen, etc. The bike trail is right in-front of the resturant. They have bike rentals at this location.

This is to cool! I have never heard anything about a Jungle Tour on Mullet Key. Would love to hear from anyone who rode this train!

Multipurpose trail - seven miles of paved trail connecting North Beach, East Beach, the boat ramp and the camping area.

Fort De Soto has a great selection of kayaks and canoes for rent.

Ft De Soto has 2.25 mile mangrove maze canoe trail. Also, as you first enter the park you will notice
the boat launching facility is the largest in the county! With 800-foot long boat launching facility with elevn floating docks.

Ferry service to Egmont Key concession/snack bar/souvenir shop. Ft De Soto has
Ferry to Egmont Key.jpg

1-mile nature trail in the Arrowhead Picnic area, and a 3/4 mile nature trail in the Soldiers' Hole area provides a glimpse of some the native fauna and flora. Regardless of your physical abilities, 2,200 feet Barrier-Free Nature Trail is a self-guided interpretive trail providing access to nature for all visitors to Fort De Soto Park.

Dog park with doggie beach

Fort De Soto is a great park and offers a wide range of possiblities. There is a section of waterfront campsites in the area that allows dogs that is on the bay boarding Shell Island. There is also a ferry to Shell Island, with is a unihibatied island inbetween Fort De Soto North Beach and Pass-a-grille.

Most of the island is an bird sancuary to waterfowl that nest on the beach. Ft De Soto also offers primitive camping here, but you have to provide your own transpertation, tent and set up. All gear must be brought to the island by boat. Also, you must bring all your trash off the island. Leave nothing but foot prints! No bathroom, no showers, no running water. Just you, the beach, the birds and the surf. I think it is amazing! Tip-last time we camped there the sand spurs were horriable! Make sure you bring some shoe to protect your feet!

The top left hand conor is Fort De Soto. Egmont Key to me is one of the prettiest place in this area! When you cross over the Sun Shine Skyway Bridge, look west and you will see it in the distance. Follow the channel with all the boats and you will see Egmont Key! Egmont Key Was called Fort Dade back in the day. My faviorte story was one of the light house keeper. In 1928 when the great hurricane hit this area Egmont key went under water. He tied his row boat to a plam tree 15 feet in the air. Once the storm was over, he rowed to Pass-a-grille (old fishing town and sea port) and never looked back. I have been throught a few hurricanes in my time, and never one as strong as the great storm, and I could not imange being in a row boat and surrviving. I leds me to beleive that people were stronger back in the day.

Battery McIntosh at Fort Dade

Fort Dade dinning hall
Egmont Key
Right off the beach. Looks like an old bunker

Looks like an old bunker right off the beach.

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