Camping On Anclote Key


Island Camping,
FYI – All camping is on the northern part of the Island only. Please carry out all you garbage and trash with you and if you need a garbage bag please call the Park @ 727-638-4447. Also, you must register in to camp.

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38 Responses to Camping On Anclote Key

  1. joyce says:

    What are the requirements for camping on the Island? Is a pass, permit or fee needed and if so where would I be able to obtain it or pay the cost? I see in the cartoon for camping there are fires, are they allowed? What type of facilities are available?

    • Great Questions!
      There is not a fee…however, you must register to camp on the Island of Anclote Key and its counter part “North Anclote Key Sandbar” and to do that you call the Park Phone…727-638-4447 and the resident Ranger of the Island will take your info. Campfires are allowed on the beach only, away from the sand dunes unless you hear different at the time of registration. The only Facility on the Island for campers is a composting tolet, looks like a “Port-o-Let” on the very northern tip of the Island. Always remember though, camping is only allowed on the northern part of the Island and “No Dogs & No Alcohol” is allowed. State Law!

  2. Jeanene says:

    What a fantastic hidden treasure you have there on the island. No better place to watch sunrise or sunset! Thanks to the wonderful rangers and volunteers that work so hard at keeping the place just right for all of us looking for an island adventure!

  3. Pete Lucchini says:

    I am so glad to see her all clean and brilliant, I grew up in the Holiday Tarpon area from 1970 till 1998.
    One of my Favorite places to go when growing up was Anclote Island/Key affectionately known by my friends and myself as Mosquito Key, we camped a few times I recall around 1975 or 76 I slept all night in a sleeping bag on the Catwalk when the original Fresnel lens was still in place and ran on an array of small white auto parking lights on a rotating wheel that would turn when a bulb would burn out.
    I weathered a midnight fog bank that left me shaking cold and wet but I thought this was a personal adventure my Mom thought it was a stupid but hey I never forgot that paint peeling tower with all the cast iron trimmings that not many folks appreciated as I found out around 1997 when a friend and I canoed from Howard park beach to the Key and found this Lighthouse in total shambles, No Fresnel lens no windows just packed with trash and burned inside it almost made us cry.
    Would like to thank you all for preserving her to bad the stilt houses are gone in 1993 no name storm I survived on Green Key, but that’s another story.

    • Thanks for your story……that was a great adventure. If you happen to have any old photos from those days, I sure would like to see them.
      Chris Berner
      The Resident Ranger

  4. Jon Shope says:

    Hello from Indiana! We are looking forward to another camping trip to the north end of the island next week. Any park rule changes from last spring? We will of course call to check in as we launch our boat.

  5. Hello, No rule changes. Give a call the day of departure or the day before.

  6. Kurt templin says:

    Is there running water on the island? Non-potable?

  7. Moderator Chris says:

    Hello Kurt, Sorry…..no running water here. Primitive Camping all the way. Camping is on the northern part of the Island

  8. Kurt templin says:

    No problem, just preparing. Thank for the quick reply.

  9. Alan says:

    We have called to let them know we were coming and no one ever got back to us. Is it still cool to go on out there?

  10. Yes….there is still primative camping on the northern part of Anclote Key and also the Island of the North Anclote Sandbar. Call the Ranger on the departure day. No Dogs.

  11. Rob says:

    We will be camping there on 3/29 and 3/30/13 and will be our 1st time. Wondering where the best place to anchor and camp would be? Directly on the northern tip or somewhere on the northwest side? Will have an 18ft bay boat and have 2 kids so looking for quiet out of the way to anchor and camp and fish. Thanks!

  12. Rob says:

    Won’t be leaving until this afternoon. Thanks for the info! So basically if the winds are out of the West I wouldwant to acre on the east side of the island and vice versa? Thank you!

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  14. Heidi says:

    May be looking to camp on the island in the near future. Is it necessary to arrive on your own vessel or is there a ferry service to get on and off of the island?

    • There is no ferry service from and to. I’m going there tomorrow on a double inflatable kayak. I’m going against the tide though so it’s going to be rather tough, plus I’m walking the 4.06 miles to the northwestern-most place of the island. I’m going for simple stargazing and to be alone for a moment. I hope no-one else camps there that night but there is more than plenty space in the island. If you have a kayak and I go there with friends you can come. Hell even if you don’t and we have room it’s all the same. (kayaking is about 45 minutes from howard park to anclote) but this can vary considerably depending on your craft, wind and tide conditions. You have to pack a gallon of water per day and lots of food. No alcohol or dogs allowed.

      The first time I went there I laughed after reading the sign… It said “No alcohol dogs allowed” Wait! Are non-alcohol dogs allowed?

      You have to call the park ranger. You should have a first aid kit. A marine radio and a cellphone with GPS may be handy also. A life preserver on a kayak is also a must. Fires are only allowed on the beach (it’s common sense really) You can only stay on the northernmost place of the island. Some toilets are there, but nothing else will be provided.

      My sleeping arrangement is basically my inflatable kayak, with the two sides deflated it makes the best air mattress ever.

      • I am replying to my post just to say that I had a great time at the park.

        I however would advise people not go over using inflatable kayaks, too many things may happen that may render the kayak useless. I am pretty lucky and none of this happened to me.

        Also there are sharks. Maybe a few too many. I saw only 3… 2 medium sized ones that I did not identify (it was pretty late) and a very small hammerhead shark (in waist deep water no less).

      • Glad you had a great time and I hope others take your advice about the Kayaks.

      • Hi Konstantinos….lets hear some more comments about your trip to the Island. If its Kayak stuff put post on Kayak page..Great job!

  15. Thomas says:

    Can you go up the lighthouse

  16. I am sorry the Lighthouse is closed at this time.

  17. Diana says:

    We are thinking about camping here later this year, possibly November or December. How is the weather that time of year? Also, how safe is it to camp there with young kids (5 and 2)?

    • Hi Diana,
      Please know this is a primitive island with no facilities and 4 miles from land. You do need your own boat as ferries are not dropping campers off. Weather plays a big factor on camping. Those months may be a little cold for younger children. Call me if you like.

  18. Jennifer says:

    Is there a boat rental place that you would suggest, on shore?? Our boat isn’t even equipped to handle the Halifax, :) My kids have been wanting to do this for years!!! Any info would be helpful.

  19. Hi Jennifer….Yes you can call…http://www.windsongboatrentals.com/
    they are the only ones that you can rent a boat over night for camping. If just for the day, you should call…http://www.anclotevillagemarina.com/
    If camping, don’t forget to call…727-638-4447 to register in.

  20. Benet says:

    I am a bit confused. The site shows ferry service but you say there is none. Is it an easy canoe , with a trolling motor, from Tarpon ?

  21. Stefan says:

    Do you ever see anybody pull up jet skis and camp out?i don’t have a boat but I got 2 jet skis and I definetly want to come camp on the north part of the island soon

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  23. Billy says:

    Is it better to camp on the island or the sandbar as far as bugs are concerned. We want to bring a fairly large group out on Labor Day weekend and do not want to get carried away by the mosquitoes. Also, if we camp on the island, how far south can we camp? Does it have to be only on the North End or can you go on the North West side, down just a little fom the actual North end of the island. I had heard that if you enter throught the lagoon you can leave your boat protected and walk through the very short treeline to the gulf side of the island and camp there.

    • Billy,
      Here is the scoop….The Anclote North Sand Bar Island is preferred by a lot of campers because if there is any wind at all you will get it out there and also it is free of Raccoon’s. The down side is there is no firewood out there and it can get pretty crowed on a weekend. From the northern tip of Anclote Key you can camp about a mile down the beach on the Gulf side. As far as bugs are concerned the Sand Bar is the best choice. if you are camping on the Gulf side look for a wind out of the west. Don’t forget to call in to register and no Dogs on Anclote Key but on the Sand Bar Island they are allowed….

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