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Fort Desoto State Park

Located near St. Petersburg, year round residents include pelicans, herons, egrets and plovers. Sea turtles nest along the beach in summer and you’ll often see dolphins from the Gulf fishing pier. Soft sand, emerald waters and shady pines await you at Fort De Soto Park, which is made up of five separate islands. Ride, skate or jog the 7-mile paved trail, or canoe and kayak through lush mangroves. Rover can roam at the Paw Playground and frolic in the surf at Dog Beach, while the kids explore the canons and jail cells of the old fort.

An 800-foot long boat launch facility provides easy access to this park’s waterfront and beaches. The facility also includes eleven floating docks. Other amenities: showers, lifeguards, camping and fishing.

Built for the Spanish-American War, the fort was finished after the war ended and never fired a hostile shot. Fans of the old television series “Prison Break” might recognize the park, since it acted as a stand in for the country of Panama for several episodes. Fort De Soto is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

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Fort Desoto Park

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