Egmont Key State Park: An Island in St. Petersburg, Florida

At a glance: Egmont Key Island State Park is a small island at the entrance of Tampa Bay, near St. Petersburg. Because it’s an island, access is only possible via a boat. Ferry services are offered or you can book a private boat.

Things to Know about Egmont Key Island State Park:

Location and Access

Egmont Key Island State Park is accessible only by private boat or ferry. Visitors can take a ferry from Fort De Soto Park or hire a private boat to reach the island. It’s a beautiful ride so enjoy it!

Natural Beauty

The island is known for its natural beauty, including pristine white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters. It offers opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, picnicking, and wildlife viewing. If you take a ferry, you will be there for 4 hours which is plenty of time to explore and relax.

Historic Significance

Egmont Key has a rich history and is home to the ruins of Fort Dade, which was built in the late 19th century to defend the entrance to Tampa Bay during the Spanish-American War.

Visitors can explore the remains of the fort and learn about its role in history. There are several buildings right along the beach and other sites within the island where structures used to be.

Wildlife and Birding

The island is a haven for wildlife and bird enthusiasts. It is a nesting ground for several species of seabirds, including least terns, black skimmers, and American oystercatchers.

It is also a habitat for gopher tortoises and serves as a sanctuary for sea turtles during nesting season. There is a section on the island that is specifically regarded as a bird sanctuary.

Snorkeling and Diving

The waters surrounding Egmont Key offer excellent snorkeling and diving opportunities. There are submerged ruins and a shipwreck known as the “HMS Narcissus” that attract underwater enthusiasts.


Egmont Key is home to a historic lighthouse that was built in 1858. The lighthouse is still active and helps guide ships into Tampa Bay. It will be the first thing you see as your approach the island.

Limited Amenities

It’s important to note that Egmont Key Island State Park has limited facilities and amenities. There are no stores or restaurants on the island, so visitors should bring their own food, water, and other necessities.


You can hang out at the beach and there will also be several boats there. Plenty of room to look for shells, set up a lawn chair or fish.

When planning a visit to Egmont Key Island State Park, it’s advisable to check for any updated information regarding ferry schedules, park rules, and access restrictions. There are tours offered throughout the day. I suggest going early because the parking lot does get crowded and it obviously gets pretty hot during summer months.

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