Fort De Soto

The largest park in the Pinellas County Park System, Fort De Soto consists of over 1,000 acres of land on five interconnected islands. These keys are teeming with plant and animal life; visitors can examine mangrove forests, wetlands, palm hammocks, stands of hardwoods, and scores of other native plants, all of which play a vital role in the preservation of the natural environment.

  • Students will enjoy a nature hike across the island and learn about the introduction of exotic plants and animals to this ecosystem.
  • Students go snorkeling and gather and identify marine life specimens while also discussing the effects of pollution on an ecosystem.
  • Students will enjoy on a kayaking trip through Florida’s ecologically diverse waters.
  • Students will help the facilitator dissect a shark.

Did you know?

  • Fort De Soto was never the site of a major battle, and the weapons on the island have never been fired in combat.
  • The Fort is named for Hernando De Soto, a Spanish explorer who was the first European to survey the shores of Tampa Bay.
  • Fort De Soto lies within the Eastern Flyway – the major eastern U.S. flight path for migratory birds.


Fort De Soto

Article written by Sarah Wyland

Sarah Wyland
Sarah never gets in trouble for being on Facebook and Instagram at work, because its her job. As social media manager, she gets to tell the stories of travelers, teachers, and interesting places. Other titles she enjoys include dog mom to Knox, barre instructor, Crossfit athlete, avid reader, and world traveler.