Copyright 2000-2014 by Thomas Zinneman.  All rights reserved.

Pinellas County

Fort DeSoto Park

This 900-acre park is located on Mullet Key, an island south of the Tampa - St. Petersburg area.  From Port Charlotte or Punta Gorda, take I-75 north to I-275, which is Exit 228 (old 44).  Take I-275 over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.  There is a $1.00 bridge toll (both ways).  (Note: There is a nice rest area immediately beyond the toll booths.)  Get off I-275 at Exit 17 (old 4), which is SR682.  Note: Exit 17 is a left side exit, so get over into the left lane.  Turn left (west) unto 682;  go about one mile, then turn left (south) unto SR679.  Follow this road into the Park. You will encounter two toll booths, the first for 50 cents and the second for 35 cents.  These are paid only going south, not on your return heading north.  For a map of the Park, click here.

There are quite a number of good places to bird in the Park, including East Beach, East Beach turnaround, the Mulberry trees just east of Bayside Pier, Arrowhead picnic area,  North Beach, and the lagoon at the north end..  There are several restroom facilities and numerous picnic tables located throughout the Park.  More information can be obtained at the Park Headquarters.  During the spring and fall migrations, many species of warblers and other songbirds can be found in the wooded areas and around the Mulberry trees.  Many species of gulls, terns, and other shorebirds can be found along the beaches.