Florida Guide > State Parks
Egmont Key State Park is located in Tampa Bay, south west of De Soto beach.
The main atraction here at this park is the working lighthouse that was built as a result of the many ships that were wrecked on the sand banks around the key.
This poor light house has quite a chequered history. It was built when congressional funds made it possible in 1848. One short year later and it had been badly damaged by a hurricane that threw up waters 15 feet higher than normal. These smashed the light and destroyed it.
Two years on and the light house was damaged again and so it was that in 1858 work was carried out that meant the light house was storm proof.
During the civil war a lens was removed and not restored until the war was over.
In the 1930s the coast guards took overthe running of the light house
During the 1800s Egmont Key was used to imprison the Seminole Indians and later it was occupied by the Union Navy. There were 300 people living here in the early 20th century and a fort was constructed for defence reasons. However it remained only til the 1920s and there are only its ruins to be seen now.
Wild life reserve status came in 1974 and in 1989 the State Parks became involved and now run it in conjunction with the U. S fish and wild life service.
The beaches are stunning, lined as they are with palm trees and the whole place is a wild life refuge. The most appealing thing is that you can only reach Egmont Key by boat; phone 727 893 2627 to arrange to get over there.
As well as the light house you will see gun batteries that are over a hundred years old and were built to defend Tampa Bay. The ruins of the fort are also here.
This is the place to see Gopher Tortoises and Box Turtles. Thes are protected species and great care must be taken not to disturb them. Humming birds also make their home here.
You will be able to walk the 100 year old brick roads that were made when 300 souls lived here.
There is no charge for this State Park and no shops and cafes either. Therefore it is essential that you take a pic nic with lots of water and sun cream, sun hats, insect repellant and everything else you may need for your day out.
Egmont Key State Park
4905 34th Street South, #5000
St. Petersburg, Florida 33711
Phone: 727- 893 - 2627
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Page added on: 5 May 2007
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