Accessible only by private boat or ferry, Egmont Key is not only a state park, but also a national wildlife refuge. The remote nature of this island makes it a prime destination for those willing to forgo some of the customary amenities enjoyed in the more developed parks of the area in search of those more unspoiled natural areas. Visitors to this secluded island are treated to endless opportunities to enjoy the secluded pristine beaches in a relaxed and relatively solitary environment.
The waters in this area of Florida are typically quite beautiful and the clear, blue water of this park does not disappoint those in search of beachside adventures. Those seeking a day strolling along the sandy shoreline framed with the near shore sea oats gently swaying in the breeze will find this beach a picturesque destination worthy of many return trips.
As a result of it is isolation from the mainland, the Island is home to many interesting plant and animal species and serves as a nesting site for numerous species of birds as well as sea turtle nesting during the summer months. One of the protected wildlife species encountered in abundance here is the gopher tortoise. This relatively large animal can often be spotted as they roam in the scrub areas searching for edible vegetation, or dig the burrows which also provide critical homes for a wide variety of other species including mice, frogs, lizards and snakes.
The southern part of the island is a protected bird sanctuary and the interior area is a national wildlife refuge. Along the shore, visitors can see snowy egrets, American oyster catchers, blue herons, terns, black skimmers, willets, sander lings and white ibis.
Those seeking to explore the history of this diverse Sun Coast getaway will find explore for hours on end. Along with the lighthouse built in 1858, the remaining gun batteries from Fort Dade which was built in 1898 provide unique photographic and hands on experience of local history.
The water temperatures in this area are generally moderate, but may be a bit cool during the winter months for local residents’ enjoyment, but those seeking swimming or snorkeling activities will find the mid-southwestern area of the island an inviting destination. Towards the south from this beach are some remnants of previous structures which have been claimed by the sea and are currently home to diverse sea life to delight the snorkeler.
Camping is not allowed on Egmont Key, so plan your time accordingly. Pets are also not allowed due to the wildlife refuge and sanctuary status of the island.
Links are provided below for the Florida State Park pages dedicated to this park for your convenience:
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