3500 Pinellas Bayway S., Tierra Verde, FL 33715
Park Office Phone:
Campground Office Phone:
Campground, Canoe Trail, Concession, Hiking/Nature Trail, Boat Ramp, Museum, Picnic Area, Playground, Restroom, Shower, Swimming
Nature and History Come Together at Fort De Soto County Park:
Established in 1963, Fort De Soto County Park is a favorite destination for tourists and an honored tradition with area residents.
At 1,136 acres, it is the largest park within the Pinellas County Park System. Although annual park attendance averages more than 2.7 million visitors a year, those familiar with the area can still manage to avoid the crowds and enjoy a peaceful stroll along the Gulf of Mexico.
Covering five interconnected islands, the park boasts seven miles of waterfront, including three miles of beautiful, white sand beach.
There is ample parking, multiple playgrounds for kids, an 800-foot long boat launching facility with 11 floating docks, two fishing piers, more than a dozen group picnic shelters and a 6.8-mile asphalt recreation trail. The fort itself – yes, it’s still there – features a 12-inch mortar battery, two British breech-loading rapid fire rifles of 1890 vintage and a Quartermaster Storehouse Museum.
For shelling, North Beach is the place to go. Go early in the morning or on a weekday and chances are you’ll find plenty of sand dollars, olive shells, augers, whelks and – if you’re lucky – maybe even a conch or a starfish.
For campers, the park offers a 238-site family camping area complete with picnic tables, grills, electricity, modern restrooms, laundry facilities and play areas. Many campsites are on the water.
To get to Fort De Soto, take the Pinellas Bayway to S.R. 679 and follow the signs south to the park. There is no admission, but there are a few toll bridges along the way, so bring a handful of change. Call 727-582-2267.