Egmont Key State Park is at the mouth of Tampa Bay, s.w. of Fort DeSoto Beach. The island, accessible only by boat, is a wildlife refuge and protects gopher tortoises, box turtles and a variety of nesting bird species. Bottlenose dolphins are a common sight for boaters and beachcombers. The island served as a camp for captured Seminoles and was occupied by the Union Navy during the Civil War. In 1898, due to the threat of the Spanish-American War, Fort Dade was built. An 1858 lighthouse also is on site. Recreational activities include seashell collecting, fishing, swimming, hiking, snorkeling and wildlife viewing.
Note: Private companies offer ferry services to the island at an additional cost. Visitors are advised to bring sufficient food and beverages as there are no shops on the island.
Recreational activities are permitted. Picnicking is permitted.