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Egmont Key

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By Water 27.597069°, -82.757472

 

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egmontAlthough this park is primarily a wildlife refuge, it can be a personal refuge - a place to relax and collect shells along secluded, pristine beaches. Accessible only by private boat, Egmont Key has a unique natural and cultural history, including a lighthouse that has stood since 1858. During the 19th century, the island served as a camp for captured Seminoles at the end of the Third Seminole War and was later occupied by the Union Navy during the Civil War. In 1898, as the Spanish - American War threatened, Fort Dade was built on the island and remained active until 1923. After touring the historic sites and trails, visitors can enjoy swimming, fishing, wildlife viewing, and picnicking. Located at the mouth of Tampa Bay, southwest of Fort DeSoto Beach.

The water is particularly beautiful, especially during the spring and early summer. Snorkeling is popular around the submerged remnants of old Fort Dade. There are no cars on Egmont Key, and camping is not allowed.