- General Park & Preserve Questions
- Mobile Parking Technology
- Pet Questions
- General - Fort De Soto Park:
- How to Help?
- How Are We Doing?
1. Are the parks ever closed?
All county-governed parks and preserves are closed on the day after Thanksgiving and December 25 (exception is Fort De Soto Park, which is open all year, excluding shelter reservations).
2. Do I need a fishing license for lake or saltwater fishing at any of the county parks?
3. Is overnight parking allowed on the county boat ramps?
Overnight parking for boat ramp use only is allowed at the boat ramps at Belleair Bridge, Park Boulevard Bridge, Sutherland Bayou and Fort De Soto Park. The proper fees must be paid and daily receipt or annual permit appropriately displayed. No overnight vehicle storage is allowed.
4. Is one annual boat ramp pass good at all Pinellas County managed boat ramps?
5. What do I do if I want to have a wedding or other kind of private event at a county park?
All weddings require a permit even if you have a shelter reservation. This also includes gatherings on the county beach parks.
1. What payment options are available for paid parking at beach and boat ramp locations?
The implementation of mobile parking technology will enable patrons to have multiple options to pay parking fees using either the Flowbird mobile app, pay-by text, existing parking terminals, or an annual pass.
2. Are there fees associated with using the mobile app or pay-by-text?
There is a $0.35 cent convenience fee for submitting your payment using the app and/or pay-by-text option. There is no convenience fee for using the parking terminals or annual pass.
3. Can patrons still pay cash at the Fort De Soto Park entry booth?
The implementation of mobile parking technology transitions Fort De Soto Park to a cashless system. The booth is no longer used to accept payments. Additional machines were relocated to Fort De Soto Park to increase their inventory of pay stations. The entry booth will be staffed for two weeks following the implementation of mobile parking technology to assist providing directions to terminals and handouts with mobile app assistance.
4. How will volunteers be impacted by this change?
Volunteers will need to provide Parks & Conservation Resources their license plate data in advance of their arrival for any volunteer projects.
5. How does mobile parking technology impact annual parking pass holders?
Annual pass holders will not be impacted by mobile parking technology. Their license plate data will be uploaded daily. Decals will no longer be used for annual passes. There will be a 1 to 2 business day turnaround for new requests and renewals to be uploaded.
6. Will the mobile application apply to the Madeira Beach Access?
The Madeira Beach Access location/zone will be configured for an hourly rate.
7. How will disabled veterans with, or without, an annual pass use the mobile app?
Those with a state-issued disabled parking placard, a registered disable license plate, or a Disabled Veterans plate can park in any designated disabled parking space or any parking space free of charge. Annual pass holders license plate data is updated daily.
8. How will patrons without a smart phone pay to park?
Several parking terminals are located at each location. Additional parking terminals were added to the inventory at Fort De Soto throughout the park. Pay-by-text is also available.
9. How does mobile parking technology impact campground guests for beach parking?
Registered campers must check in at the campground office to confirm or update their attending vehicle license data. Only one vehicle per campsite is allowed for complimentary entry to the park during park operation hours of 7a.m. to sunset. This will ensure the attending vehicle’s license plate data is uploaded successfully into the pay-by-plate software daily.
10. Does my SunPass work as an accepted form of payment?
No, SunPass is valid for road tolls and not paid parking.
1. Where can you take your pets in county parks and preserves?
Pets are welcome in most areas of the county parks with the exception of Fort De Soto Park Historic Fort, beaches, swimming areas, piers, boardwalks, picnic shelters, restrooms, beach showers, playgrounds or where food and drink are sold. Pets must be on an adequate leash not greater than 6 feet in length. The only exception is the county dog parks.
No pets, except horses accessing and utilizing trails designated for horseback riding, are permitted in any environmental land.
2. What are the rules of the dog parks?
3. What do we do if someone brings in an aggressive dog into the dog park?
Signage at all dog parks indicates aggressive dogs are not allowed. If it’s an emergency call 9-1-1 or report the incident to Pinellas County Animal Services.
4. Are dogs allowed on county beaches?
Dogs are not allowed on our beaches EXCEPT the dog beach at Fort De Soto. It is accessible by a path that runs along south side of the dog park or by walking through the dog park and existing the gate at the southwest corner (small and large park both have exits to beach). The dogs can play on the beach without the confines of a leash, but pets need to be under voice control. The dog park at Fort De Soto has areas for small and large dogs to run leash free in an area just less than three acres. For other dog parks within the county park system, please visit dog parks.
5. Why is one side of a dog park sometimes closed?
The dog parks are closed several times a year for maintenance.
1. Is there a shuttle to Egmont Key State Park?
Yes - see Ferry Service to Egmont Key
2. Can I rent a canoe, kayak or bike at Fort De Soto?
Yes - see Rentals - Kayaks & Bikes
3. Are there concessions at Fort De Soto?
Yes - see Food Concession
4. Are there trails for biking?
Fort De Soto offers a paved 6.5-mile multi-purpose trail (hiking, biking, inline skating) that can be accessed at various locations throughout the park.
5. Where can you swim?
Swimming is only permitted from the beach. Please check signs for lifeguard availability (seasonal).
1. Are we allowed to bring in a golf cart to the campground to tour the fort?
Electric carts are allowed in the campground only. They are not permitted in the other areas of the park. Gasoline powered carts are not permitted within the campground or the park.
2. Do you provide fire rings at the campsites?
No, we do not provide fire rings at our camp sites. We do permit small fires in the provided grills. Campfires are permitted in the camp sites as long as you have the fire in a container. You can use a "cut off" 55 gallon drum or a portable fireplace which can be purchased at a home improvement store or department store. Camp rings are also available for rent or purchase at our camp store.
3. Is the camp store run by the county?
No, the camp store is privately owned and operated by our contracted vendor, United Park Services.
4. What kind of electric hook-ups are provided?
Area #1, sites 1-85, has only 20 and 30 amp service. Areas #2 and #3 have 20, 30, 50 amp service available on each site. Appropriate plugs are required for each with 20 amp using the standard household type plug. You will need to bring your own hose for the water hook-up. We do not have television or full hook-up sewer. We do have a two dump stations and seven restrooms located in the campground.
5. Do you have WIFI?
There's wireless service provided at no charge in and around our camp office. This service is brought to you by Pinellas County and the Friends of Fort De Soto Park.
6. How do you make reservations to camp in the primitive area of Fort De Soto?
We accept reservations by phone up to three months in advance. There is no charge. You may call (727) 552-2100 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday. It is very popular and is usually booked exactly three months in advance and can accommodate up to 90 people.
7. Are you allowed to camp in Area #1 with a 15' Trailer?
Yes, trailers under 16' are permitted to camp in Area #1.
1. Where are we allowed with our boats?
The water surrounding the campground is Mullet Key Bayou. We do NOT permit boats with internal combustible engines in the water to the eastern side of Area One or in the water between Areas One and Two. We DO permit boats with internal combustible engines in the bayou on the western side of Area One. However, please be advised that the water on the western side of Area One is very shallow.
2. Where do we launch the boat?
You must launch your boat at the boat ramp which is close to the entrance of the park. Parking is $6 daily for boat trailer parking and $5 for vehicle parking. Annual parking permits are available. The water to the eastern side of Area Three is the boat channel. If you are camping on the eastern side of Area Three you can tie your boat off the seawall in front of your site. We also permit patrons to tie their boats in the boat channel just behind the parking lot and camp store no matter where you are camping in the campground.
3. Where can you canoe or kayak?
Canoe and kayaks are permitted in all the waters around the campground.
1. Is there a volunteer group just for the Parks and Conservation Resources?
Yes! For information, see opportunities available.
2. Is there a lot of paperwork involved if I want to volunteer?
No, it’s a simple process. Contact Pinellas County Volunteer Services for more information. They are located in downtown Clearwater at the Courthouse Annex - 400 S. Ft. Harrison Ave., Room 121, Clearwater, FL 33756.
PH: (727) 464-8477 /TDD: (727) 464-4063.
3. Can I make a monetary donation to the Parks and Conservation Department?
Yes. Donations can be made by making your check payable to Pinellas County BOCC and send to attention Finance Manager, PCR, 12520 Ulmerton Road, Largo, FL 33774. We do not permit memorials of any kind. Questions regarding monetary donations can be sent through our contact form or by calling (727) 582-2100 and selecting 2 from the phone menu.
How can I thank the staff or comment on my experience at park?
Our staff is here to serve and appreciates your feedback. Use our contact form or send your comments by mail to Pinellas County Parks and Conservation Department at 12520 Ulmerton Road, Largo, FL 33774