Fort Desoto on Egmont Key is one of the most fascinating coastal fort adventures I have taken. I arrived on the Tampa Bay Ferry pictured above from Fort Desoto. Egmont Key is a Florida State Park with I believe a lone park ranger. There are no facilities, a visitors center has been constructed, but apparently never opened. Because of its limited access you can pretty much roam around without being disturbed. It is not hard to imagine being in some distant  land as you stroll along old roads many  constructed of red brick surrounded by semi tropical vegetation.

The original batteries have been preserved except for considerable erosion at Battery Howard. The Power House has also been destroyed by erosion, but makes for a very interesting ruin. All of the other buildings related to the Fort except the Guard House - Visitors Center and the Mine Storehouse ruins are gone although their locations are marked. The Island also has a fine lighthouse pictured below.


Photographs by   John Van Horn


Mine Storehouse




Approaching Battery Mellon


Battery Mellon has numerous interesting staircases, walkways and entries.


Panoramic of Battery Mellon

Battery Howard at Fort Dade
Battery McIntosh at Fort Dade
Power House and Interesting Ruins at Fort Dade

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