Fort DeSoto Beach
you are sitting on the beach or kayaking near the still water's edge at
Fort De Soto, you find yourself absorbed in the abundance of natural
beauty for as far as the eye can see. The complexity of the ecology
is not immediately apparent, but the park offers the greatest diversity of
systems just about anywhere. Emerging from the wealth of bird life, sea
life, wild life and plant life is the majestic tapestry called Fort De
The largest park within the
Pinellas County Park System, Fort De Soto park consists of 1,136 acres
made up of five interconnected islands (keys). 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.
Another amazing example of
the importance of the park's natural ecosystems is the more than 290 species of birds that have been documented by ornithologist. The beach
also provides refuge to the loggerhead sea turtle, which nests between
April and September.
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.
Annual park attendance
averages more than 2.7 million visitors.
Over 7 miles of waterfront,
includes almost three miles of beautiful white sandy beach.
800-foot-long boat launching facility with
eleven floating docks.
Camping - 238-site family camping area with facilities
Primitive youth camping area for organized youth groups
15 picnic shelters -reserve
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
fishing piers-each pier has a food and bait concession - Gulf & Bay
Pier Hours: 7 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Ferry service to Egmont Key
6.8 mile, 12-foot-wide asphalt recreation trail
connects the campground with the North and East Beach Swim Centers and
the historic fort.
2.25-mile recreational canoe trail.
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
Barrier-Free Nature Trail is a self-guided interpretive trail
providing access to nature for all visitors to Fort De Soto Park,
regardless of their physical abilities.
Dog park - Fort De
Soto has the only dog park where dogs are allowed on the beach in a
designated area. There are also 2 fenced in areas near the beach for
large and small dogs with water stations - view dog park- (beach entrance is at the far southwest corner
of dog park, not shown)
Please review dog park
to official website of DeSoto Beach
Official Fort DeSoto brochure and